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Salesforce CEO Benioff Lays Out Cloud, Mobile Strategy

NEW YORK (The Street) Salesforce (CRM) founder and CEO Marc Benioff says succeeding as a software and cloud computing company in the new world of mobile-centric business technology requires a keener focus on five areas: the customer, administrators, the company's own employees, partners and developers.

Benioff was speaking in New York Wednesday to kick off the world tour of the company's new Salesforce1 platform integrating social interfacing, mobile technology, and the cloud customer. The event takes place as Gartner rates the company no. 1 in the platform-as-a-service business and Forbes reiterates that Salesforce is the fastest growing software company of its size and scale in cloud computing.

#1: Developers. Developers are more important than ever, says Benioff. They'll need to build the next generation apps, so giving them the APIs that they require is crucial.

That's why at the Salesforce1 World Tour kickoff and the Dreamforce developers conference last November, Salesforce has been providing copious amounts of books and documentation to developers on how to build with the company's new APIs, he explained. "Developers need more power than ever, more education than ever, and they need to be shown how to build those next generation enterprise apps ... within our ecosystem so that they can be successful."

"We have to be able to bring 15 years of legacy where you can take your existing applications and all of a sudden they're running on your mobile phone."

#2: Partners. Benioff said that Salesforce is showing more and more commitment to its partnership program as reflected by its rapidly expanding ecosystem. And with Salesforce1, partners are finding it easier to publish their applications right inside of the Saleforce mobile app platform with just a single point of authentication.

#3: Salesforce's employees. Benioff says one of the most important beneficiaries of the progress made in the first two items is Salesforce's own employees, as they've been paving the way to a tremendously new and easier to use cloud computing environment where social interfacing and notifications can all be easily and quickly accessible through app stores as soon as the employee has their new mobile device.

#4: Administrators. Salesforce now offers the first admin-specific apps for administrators.

#5: The customers themselves. Benioff said that Salesforce's customers recognize that the world has changed; and as they use or roll out new applications and technology, they'll want them to look and feel as great as any other consumer service they're using.

That's why Salesforce has delivered its new Salesforce1 app, combining its core assets of sales cloud, service cloud and marketing cloud, and the map for Salesforce's app exchange; thousands of new Salesforce1 platform APIs; and the integrated Salesforce1 customer platform encompassing Force.com, Heroku, and ExactTarget Fuel in a cloud, mobile, socially connective world.

In an ExactTarget survey of more than 2,500 global marketing professionals conducted in Fall 2013, 80% of marketers who use mobile marketing say they believe mobile efforts do or will produce return on investments, and 35% have a dedicated mobile team.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

Follow @atwtse

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