First off, a disclaimer. This is not intended to be a commercial for Salesforce! But there is so much to admire about them, or at the least about their messaging.
Starting out as a SaaS CRM player, moving on to PaaS territory, and establishing an app marketplace, the company has become sweeping in its scope. Perhaps it should not take a whole lot for Salesforce to add a pure-play IaaS offering. Leading to full convergence across IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS categories.
Today Salesforce appears to have everything: sales, service, marketing, social network, sales performance management. Well, almost everything. If something looks like it is missing, that could be the fulfilment piece.
Let’s call it the Fulfilment Cloud for now. Here’s the way I see it. This will enable enterprises to connect with their customers and deliver the exact products/services that were requested. Rapid customization of fulfilment processes should become easier to achieve. And I am not just referring to ERP, which does have a distinct manufacturing flavor to it. Indeed, there are cloud ERP providers available in AppExchange today.
Instead what I am talking about is an entire suite of industry specific fulfilment offerings that form part of Salesforce. Covering sectors like financial, healthcare, media, and life sciences; and possibly even sub-verticals within these. Of course this is an enormous space and it will likely take a long while to check off all the boxes. But clearly even an initial fulfilment entry should be transformative.
Perhaps there are in the works unbeknownst to some of us…
Adding this Fulfilment Cloud should complete the puzzle. And enable Salesforce to provide its customers with an IT platform that enables a truly customer centric enterprise. That aligns fulfilment processes with customer touch points. That integrates social collaboration. And that moves away from the emphasis on transactions and resources inherent to ERP systems in the past. Bringing in that much needed external focus on the customer relationship.
Perhaps this could come about through one or more acquisitions. Or it could be organic development. Anyways it should represent a remarkable value proposition for customers.
Add the several apps in AppExchange and you have just such a powerful positioning. The enterprise application world will likely be never the same again.
Though, I am not sure if the name Salesforce would be appropriate any longer. How about Customerforce?