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Salesforce and “Social Enterprise”


August 8, 2012

Salesforce #fail?

Doug Hadden, VP Products

Salesforce helps enterprises to leverage social networking. But, does an enterprise that uses social tools a “social enterprise”? Salesforce is apparently attempting to trademark the term. Bad idea.

The notion reminds me of the “Charlie the Tuna” commercials from years past – Starkist wants tuna that tastes good not tuna with good taste. Using social in an enterprise does not make it a social enterprise.

There has been robust use of the term “social enterprise” (& #socent twitter hash tag) to mean non-profit or for-profit enterprises engaged in handling a social issue. This isn’t a mystery – one just needs to search on Google. Getting into a public relations and legal battle with the social enterprise ecosystem will damage the Salesforce brand.

This is particularly damaging to the brand because Salesforce has an excellent program for non-profits that provides up to 10 users for free.

Social is a business model – using social for customer support, partner coordination and ideation. It enables customer centricity. Social enterprises are naturally customer-centric (and should be customer-centric in order to succeed.) Social tools can enable customer centricity.

Salesforce can enable social enterprises but not all enterprises that use Salesforce social-oriented tools are social enterprises.


FreeBalance uses Salesforce products. I provide more content via Salesforce Chatter in our company.


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Doug Hadden

Doug Hadden

Executive Vice President, Innovation at FreeBalance
Doug is responsible for identifying new global markets, new technologies and trends, and new and enhanced internal processes. Doug leads a cross-functional international team that is responsible for developing product prototypes and innovative go-to-market strategies.

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