Munich: Our Latest Stop on the Cloudforce Train

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending Cloudforce in Munich, Germany, where around 1500 Salesforce.com customers, partners and other companies gathered to discuss the emergence of the social enterprise and hear from local legend and former German minister of foreign affairs, Hans-Dietrich Genscher.

This was our sixth stop of seven this year – from Cloudforce Minnesota, to Chicago, New York, and then Dreamforce in San Francisco, to London, to this week’s Cloudforce Munich, and next on to another New York stop. While all these events have been buzzing about the utilitarian benefits of sales force automation, talk of cloud computing and social media was more restrained in Germany. It was clear to me that businesses there are at a much earlier point in both of the cloud and social adoption curves. Many Cloudforce participants shared their caution related to the strict German and EU data privacy laws and were simply not yet interested in adopting social media into their business workflows.

Even in this pragmatic setting, folks are working to connect their cloud apps to their on premise systems of record, so they can create a solid bridge between the cloud and ground. The integration opportunity is definitely universal – both for Salesforce.com customers and for local ecosystem partners offering useful tools to extend Salesforce, such as data mining, data quality, credit scoring, etc.

We had a great time catching up with IT leaders at companies like BMW and Vodafone, as well as partners like ITBConsult, a visionary technology services firm that sees big value in using a modern connection architecture to integrate across the Salesforce ecosystem.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth.  We’re looking forward to our next stop at Cloudforce New York on November 30th!