In launching our first company blog we thought it was a good opportunity to look back at 2011 with a couple of the people who lead our local business here in Australia and New Zealand, VP of Enterprise Sales, Tony Armfield and VP of Corporate Sales, Matt Loop. So I took a few minutes to interview him between appointments.
Q: So Tony and Matt, 2011 - how was it for you?
TB: Well it’s been an amazing year, certainly the most exciting year of my career! Salesforce.com is an incredible company to work for and the last twelve months have been breathtaking. We have transformed our company to really help our customers connect with and take advantage of the Social Revolution that is occurring. As the most Innovative Company in the world, as awarded by Forbes Magazine in July this year, we have helped companies such as Toyota, Groupon, Facebook, FTSE, Virgin Australia and Spreets to drive efficiency, revenue growth and social engagement through our Social Enterprise Cloud Computing technologies.
Also, from a community engagement perspective our staff in Australia donated XX hours of time to support causes such as Movember, The Horn of Africa appeal and Sydney Homeless Connect. I can certainly reflect back on year as one that is filled with both business and personal satisfaction.
Q: Can you talk a bit more about the Social Enterprise?
TB: Of course, before I explain what we do lets understand why companies need to embrace the Social Revolution.
The driving force behind this is the every increasing demand of customers and employees to connect to and engage with companies around products and services in an Open, Social and Mobile manner. They want to be part of a community that can address their questions and concerns in a collaborative and timely fashion.
Our Social Enterprise Cloud Computing technologies enable companies to create and connect to communities of customers and proactively manage the many and varied forms of Social Interaction in a way that enhances the customer experience, drives loyalty and improves revenue. It also enables companies to build a Social Profile of their target customer base such that future marketing can be better targeted and coordinated. We also extend our solution such that companies can create internal employee social networks that enable collaboration that drives greater efficiency, productivity and employee engagement.
Q: So how are you taking this message to the market?
TB: Well this blog is one important part of that, but we are also using other technologies like Twitter and LinkedIn to connect with our customers and spread the word. We are also working directly with our customers on building Social Enterprise Visions that provide a tailored roadmap for becoming "Social".
Q: What were some of the other highlights of the year?
TB: We have grown tremendously this year and remain on a very aggressive recruitment drive. The team is working well together and I’m lucky enough to be working with an innovative, passionate and dynamic team who are all striving tirelessly to help Australian and New Zealand organisations of all sizes transform and innovate their business in the cloud.
Together we’ve dome some great work at all ends of business. Spreets and Information Planet are two young and innovative new Australian companies using salesforce to grow quickly. While at the other end of town we have done some great work with organisations like The Commonwealth Bank and Medibank to help them better communicate with their customers while at the same time helping companies like Flight Centre Management and FTSE communicate better with their employees.
In September iTnews singled us out as the most integrated cloud provider, in October we won the Frost & Sullivan Software as a Service Award and in November we were finalists for the AHRI CSR award. ZDnet Australia put us at the top of their CRM market review and The Australian IT profiled both of our founders Parker Harris and Marc Benioff. But Cloudforce was a massive success for us. The atmosphere and buzz was so exciting and it’s great to see that customers are really enthusistic about the kind of success they can achieve with salesforce.com. And rocking out to Metallica at Dreamforce in San Franciso is also something I’ll never forget!
Q: ...and the lowlights?
TB: While in many ways 2011 was one of the best years I can remember, it did have some very low points. In September, we lost a dearly beloved colleague and friend in Helen Tamaki. Helen had been working with salesforce in Australia since the very earliest days and she will be missed by all of us. Also, the earthquakes in Christchurch had a profound impact on many of my team on both sides of the Tasman. What these events did demonstrate was the strength of our culture and how everyone worked together to help those in need.
Q: What are you looking forward to in 2012?
TB: I am so excited about 2012! It is going to be a record breaking year for our business because I know more and more companies will realize the benefits of our Social Enterprise Cloud Computing technologies. Me and my amazing team will be focused on delivering agile business innovation to companies at Social Speed!!!