After Larry Ellison’s dismissal of as the wrong sort of cloud at Oracle’s open world conference this week, it’s sure going to be interesting to hear what salesforce CEO Marc Benioff talks about when he takes the stage at the event along with Michael Dell. For those who didn’t catch Ellison in vintage style, he said that:

salesforce, which bills itself as the cloud computing company, is really only one or two applications that run on the Internet, [salesforce is a system] for doing little add-ons or little interfaces to Salesforce’s applications. But it’s really not a platform.

Ouch indeed. Benioff countered with his own form of bitch slapping, warning people to be wary of the false cloud.

Anyway – a couple of testosterone charged IT execs parading for the audience. As I mentioned – what is really interesting is the response to the barbs, in terms of product innovations.

Salesforce announced this morning what they’re calling “Chatter2”. Chatter2 is the sort of announcement you make when there’s very little to say but you simply have to provide a response to a competing company’s barbs. Chatter2 sees some minor functional additions to the existing Chatter product, specifically;

  • Filters
  • The addition of a topic search (akin to hashtags on Twitter)
  • Recommendations of who to follow
  • Groups
  • An Adobe AIR desktop app
  • A daily report of Chatter activity
  • Rich search across Chatter

All undeniably good stuff but not significant enough to justify the “2” moniker.

Chatter Groups

So if we can discount major product announcements, what will salesforce pull out of the hat to win back some points from Oracle? In my briefing this morning I was told to watch out for the Benioff/Dell presentation this morning for some exciting news about product successes. Watch this space….

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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