Tag Archives: SalesForce.com

How CEO Marc Benioff drives relentless forward thinking at Salesforce

Mark BenioffInnovation, like creativity, is an amorphous concept. It’s the holy grail of business, but achieving it—even merely explaining it—is lightning-in-a-bottle difficult.

In that way, Salesforce (CRM, -0.41%) is a major outlier. Despite the fact that its products are mundane business productivity tools, Salesforce has nevertheless managed to bake innovation into its very corporate fiber. It’s a company that was innovative in the way it started doing business, in how it sold its products, and in the articulation of its corporate mission.

Indeed, asking cofounder and CEO Marc Benioff, 53, to describe how Salesforce is innovative is a bit like asking Plácido Domingo to hum a few bars of a favorite aria. With little provocation Benioff will rattle off the three ways Salesforce has been a trailblazer since its inception nearly two decades ago. “I think our top three are a ­technology model which is now known as the cloud, the subscription business model, and our 1-1-1 model,” he says, referring to the company’s philanthropic ­commitment to give away 1% each of equity, products, and employee hours. Click here for more… (by Adam Lashinsky)

Inside Salesforce’s Quest to bring Artificial Intelligence to everyone

Salesforce EinsteinStarting two years ago, a band of artificial-intelligence acolytes within Salesforce escaped the towering headquarters with the goal of crazily multiplying the impact of the machine learning models that increasingly shape our digital world—by automating the creation of those models. As shoppers checked out sofas above their heads, they built a system to do just that.

They named it after the Transformers leader because, as one participant recalls, “machine learning is all about transforming data.” Whether the marketing department thought better of it, or the rights weren’t available, the Transformers tie-in didn’t make it far out of that basement.

Instead, Salesforce licensed the name of a different world-transforming hero—and dubbed its AI program Einstein.

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(author: Scott Rosemberg)