This morning I was greeted by this email from SugarCRM (actually two emails):
Marc Benioff has a few zingers for SugarCRM in his new book Behind the Cloud:
“We knew that we had truly emerged as the market leader in the eyes of the industry when we arrived at Dreamforce 2006 to find that a handful of employees from a small CRM company had set up a mock protest outside the convention center. I’m not really sure what they were protesting, and it was a small, low-budget, and poorly executed rip-off of the types of tactics we had invented, but that wasn’t the point. The point was that we knew not to get ruffled.” - Page 65 of Behind the Cloud by Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com.
SugarCRM is sorry they disappointed Marc during their first visit to Dreamforce in 2006. Marc even challenged them to “step up the innovation”:
“We did not want this company to get free PR on our coattails! Ignoring this escapade worked well. A blogger asked a Dreamforce attendee if she had seen what was going on outside when she arrived, and she replied that it must have been some kind of Salesforce.com stunt. (Note: if you are going to compete with someone at his or her own game, always remember to step up the innovation.)” - Page 65 of “Behind the Cloud” by Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com
Marc was right. Game on.
In continuing its long love affair with the industry’s most down-to-earth CEO and its commitment to staging “small, low-budget, and poorly executed rip-off [tactics]”, SugarCRM is currently distributing 1,000 copies of “Behind the Smokescreen: The Untold Story of How Salesforce.com Still Manages to Sell 1999 technology 10 years later” at Dreamforce today.
With an endorsement from North Korean leader Kim Jong II (“A great guide for any entrepreneur, CEO, or Head of State looking to promote openness and freedom”), Behind the Smokescreen is a response to the magical Salesforce.com marketing that has transformed the company’s service from .com ASP to On-Demand SaaS to Cloud Computing without changing its architecture
[note: the version of this email from Chris Harrick of “The Sugar Team” says, “to Cloud Computing without being apple to run its service on Amazon EC2, Microsoft Azure or other cloud services.” – Hey Chris, those are other platforms. Salesforce is NOT SUPPOSED TO RUN on those. But it could integrate quite well!]
You can read the full book here: www.sugarcrm.com/smokescreen.
To celebrate the release of the book, SugarCRM is offering a free data migration for Salesforce.com users through the end of the year. Registrants will have a chance to win a free Motorola Droid.
SugarCRM hopes that the publication of this book “step[s] up the innovation” in Marc’s eyes. Please let us know if you’d like to speak with someone from SugarCRM about this campaign.
Lisa Holden on behalf of The SugarCRM Team
I’m not sure what they’re trying to do, but they’re certainly not making it look like they’re worth my time. The Kim Jong Il joke is pathetic (though a deeper look at the text shows that it’s actually “Kim Jong II” – as in Kim Jong the Second) and there is at least one blatantly inflammatory remark:
Here’s a tip for SugarCRM: Salesforce CRM and the Force.com Platform are NOT SUPPOSED to run on Amazon SC2 nor Microsoft Azure!
To be fair, since Benioff is well-known for his demonstrations outside Oracle OpenWorld a few years ago (his own demonstration to which he alludes in his page 65 quote), SugarCRM’s tactic is understandable – but hopefully our Fearless Forceful Leader takes this more as a compliment (imitation and flattery and what-not) than an attack.
That’s all. No need to pick up a physical copy of the book – it’s available for download. In fact, I propose that someone host a copy on another site for download so that SugarCRM believes that far fewer people have downloaded the file.
Back to your regularly-scheduled Dreamforce programming.