I posted an article on TechCrunch last Friday. The title of the article was “How Will Salesforce Adapt to the Next Platform Shift: Mobile Computing?”
The purpose of the article was to point out that every decade or so a new computing platform emerges. Market leading incumbents typically have the most to lose when these shifts occur and typically have the most difficult time making the transition due to legacy architectures and revenue streams dependent upon preserving the status quo.
Apparently, the article seemed to generate a good amount of controversy – for and against. However, my major points were lost on some as they focused on an erroneous statement I made in the article. The problematic sentence was,
“The recently announced Salesforce Touch application development environment doesn’t support native iOS or Droid – it is HTML5.”
As many pointed out to me – some politely, others not as much – this isn’t true. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch this error until today after I finished reading several responses that were in reply to the article. The sentence should have read,
“The recently announced Salesforce Touch is HTML5, it is not native iOS or Droid unless you code your own application using their toolkit.”
I don’t know why I didn’t catch this in the editing process but I have since gone back and apologized “mea culpa” in the TechCrunch article to those who pointed it out. My sincere apologies to Salesforce and others who I offended.
So, as you can probably tell I stand by the central theme of the article.
I believe mobile computing is a major architectural shift and Salesforce’s Force.com platform is not optimized for offline (mobile). To their credit, Salesforce does have some mobile solutions – several in fact – but there are issues associated with each of them. And, the fact there are several solutions helps to make my case. If I am a Salesforce customer/user, which route do I choose? Will all the functionality I need be available irrespective of which direction I take?
And, for a company that has touted since its inception”No Software”, try reading the Touch Platform Guide - seems like a lot of coding is required if you want to create a Touch application with the full-functioned features of CRM you may need.
So, loyal readers, my question remains: Does this represent an opportunity for a new CRM company to emerge that is entirely mobile first? I would be interested in your comments.