The Customer Is Sometimes Wrong: "The Case: In 1999, when former Oracle executive Marc Benioff founded Salesforce.com, companies bought software and ran it on their computers. The idea of handing customer data to another company and then renting access to software running on its servers sounded insane. But today, "software as a service" is a viable business led by Salesforce, whose best early decision disappointed many customers.
Salesforce has attracted believers who say that as long as Benioff is in charge, the company has a shot at the big time. 'Without question, his personality and his will to make this company grow and validate this space have been absolutely critical,' says Nick Blozan, a senior vice-president at OpSource, a Santa Clara, CA-based company that manages software delivery for software-as-a-service providers. 'He's the right guy at the right time. He's pointing out that there are fundamental dissatisfactions with the old model, and I think you'll continue to see all of this accelerate.'"
I have a hunch, given the current competitive environment among IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP, that Salesforce.com won't be independent much longer.