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Salesforce Redefines Cloud 2 Redefinition with Dimdim Buy

Sounds Like a Dumdum Concept to Me

Well, as Mr. White said in Pulp Fiction, "let's not start celebrating just yet" (or something to that effect.). He was referring to rehabbing a car; I'm referring to redefining an industry.

Specifically, I'm thinking of Salesforce.com and its use of the term "Cloud 2." It threw that around last week in reference to its Heroku acquisition and the potential to redefine how Cloud apps are written and perform. Alas, Salesforce is now throwing the term around in a much more glib, and perhaps inaccurate way.

It latest use of Cloud 2 comes with its acquisition of Dimdim (for $31 million), a company out of Massachusetts and Hyderabad, India that provides what it describes as a real-time collaborative environment along the lines of Facebook.

Sounds fine, but has Facebook really been "training more than half a billion users worldwide on real time collaboration, including feeds and status updates," as Salesforce is saying in its official statements regarding this acquisition? Training? Did Nestle have to "train" people how to eat chocolate? Did AT&T "train" people how to use the phone?

Salesforce then draws a direct comparison between the 60,000 users of its Chatter collaboration platform and the 600 million or so Facebook addicts. I suppose that's all right; Chatter has, after all, amassed 0.01% of the user base. Only 99.99% to go.

All this presages the dawn of the Cloud 2 era, according to Salesforce, an era that is "inherently social, mobile, and real-time."

I really liked the idea of a Cloud 2 defined by application development more suited to large-scale Cloud Computing (ie, the multitenant approach taken by Heroku). But to say that Cloud 2 will be one big social network is to obscure the true advantages of Cloud (virtualized resources, moving capex from usrs to vendors, flexibility, and paying as you go).

This sort of talk can also serve to inject a new type of "pre-emptive FUD" into the market, in effect cutting off Cloud's progress at the knees before it's even gotten out of the starting blocks. It does no service to Salesforce or any other Cloud vendor. Maybe the marketing department at Salesforce needs to switch over to decaf for a few weeks, and return to a vision that builds on its strengths--app delivery and development--either that, or stop referring to what is, in essence, Enterprise-grade Facebook as "Cloud 2.' It sounds dumdum to me.

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.