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Understanding SaaS business models in conversation with Adam Gross of Salesforce.com

Adam GrossSalesforce.com [CRM] is often held up as proof that the Software as a Service (SaaS) model works. Ten years old, and with over $1Bn in revenue last year, Marc Benioff’s company certainly shows that SaaS isn’t just a passing fad.

More recently the company has begun to diversify from its heritage as the provider of an on-demand CRM application, seeking to nurture an ecosystem of add-ons and enhancements through the AppExchange and offering third party developers access to the underlying Force.com Platform.

In an effort to understand the company’s views on the evolving SaaS and PaaS markets I recently spoke with VP for Developer Marketing, Adam Gross, and the result has just been released as a podcast.

Show notes available on TalisNodalities blog

Delivery of both application and platform could create significant tensions, as business decisions made to advance the application potentially cannibalise revenue from the platform ecosystem, and vice versa. We discuss some of these issues during the conversation, with Adam going so far as to suggest that ‘nothing would stop’ a third party using Force.com to build an application that competed directly with Salesforce itself.

Have a listen, and see what you think.

Image of Adam Gross © Salesforce.com

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Paul Miller works at the interface between the worlds of Cloud Computing and the Semantic Web, providing the insights that enable you to exploit the next wave as we approach the World Wide Database.

He blogs at www.cloudofdata.com.