Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff recounts a story where innovator Steve Jobs helped him create the vision for one of the first forms of cloud computing. Benioff told Business Insider he went to Jobs for advice. The late Apple co-founder gave three pieces of wisdom:
- Grow 10 times larger in two years or it’s over
- Get a huge client off the bat
- Build an “application economy”
At the time, Benioff had no idea what constituted an “application economy” and Jobs, in his mysterious, told Benioff he needed to figure it out for himself. He eventually decided to turn Salesforce.com into a platform and built an application store for the new revamp. Benioff registered the domain appstore.com and trademarked the name. He eventually changed his mind on the name and called it “App Exchange,” but when he saw Job announce the new “App Store” for the iPhone years later, Benioff knew he understood what the Apple CEO meant when they spoke.
From the first notion of application economies to modern cloud computing, businesses operate online in a way that is more complex and efficient than before. Some of the newer methods stick to tradition. Others are a bit more radical.
Xbox One for Business
Back in July, Microsoft pitched the idea that it’s next-generation gaming console was the perfect tool for the office. Absurd, right? A machine that is known for playing Call of Duty is supposed to double as a tool for conference calls?
But consider the capabilities of this new piece of hardware. The new Kinect, the attachable sensor and camera, has full Skype abilities. The software has access to Microsoft SkyDrive and can share documents with Windows PCs and tablets, which can also screen-share to the Xbox One using Wi-Fi Direct. And the Xbox’s OS uses Internet Explorer with the possibility for future third-party applications. Given the qualities businesses look for in an office PC, you can’t help but want one that also plays Halo. These multimedia machines could be a serious trend if the Xbox One takes off.
Enterprise Cloud Storage
Speaking of SkyDrive, cloud technology is revolutionizing the way businesses spend on servers, storage and maintenance. Companies like VMware and Mozy are rapidly adjusting business strategies to meet the needs of this new cloud demand. Online file storage from Mozy gives small businesses the chance to ditch servers and store data online while VMware is shifting from virtualization software to enterprise-level cloud technology.
Social Search Tools
Social networking has grown from consumer to big business over the last several years. Now that networks like Facebook and Twitter allow sponsored posts for advertisers, the tools used to target these audiences have grown too.
Graph Search for Facebook is a smart tool used to search for user information in almost any category. Facebook showed off the tool’s prowess by breaking down NFL loyalties by every county in the U.S. using only Graph Search. A company that sells football jerseys, for example, could make good use of this information when advertising to different areas of the U.S.
Image used with permission via Deviant Art user Pavelstrobl