Salesforce.com CEO: CRM Live Is Another Zune
Microsoft this week took the wraps off a major part of its hosting strategy
-- the CRM Live initiative
which involves the company itself hosting customer relationship management applications
for customers (and sold through, but not hosted by, partners) at bargain-basement
Never one to back down to Redmond (quite the contrary, in fact), Salesforce.com
CEO Marc Benioff immediately began running smack about Redmond's new scheme,
or so it said in this
"Benioff said Microsoft customers are already paying prices similar
to what Microsoft announced today for hosted CRM software through partners.
'These "new" prices are their market prices today -- there is no
difference,' said Benioff in an e-mail interview. 'When you have an inferior
product you have to have an inferior price. That is why Zune is priced below
iPod. And why Windows CE is priced below BlackBerry. And why Microsoft CRM
is priced below Salesforce.com.'"
Ohhhhh! That was nasty! But, we're wondering to what extent Benioff is whistling
in the graveyard. Yes, his company pretty much owns hosted CRM. And, yes, Salesforce.com
is ahead of Microsoft functionality-wise. But -- and isn't there always a "but"?
-- this is Redmond and the enterprise we're talking about, and Microsoft's really
just getting started hosting its own CRM applications. The CRM Live price point
is bound to be attractive, and we're guessing that Microsoft will be able to
catch up to Salesforce.com in terms of functionality at some point -- at least
close enough to make customers take a second look at the more affordable package.
Still, Benioff gets the award for line of the week so far. It's just too bad
that he couldn't have worked a shot at Vista in there just to complete the trifecta.
Is CRM Live another Zune, or will it be a real enterprise contender? Let me
know at email@example.com.
Posted by Lee Pender on July 11, 2007 at 11:54 AM