Salesforce Chatter’s Misleading Ad

The ad below has run on the front page of the Wall Street Journal on a number of occasions, and it’s one I find very misleading.  Salesforce compares itself to Lotus Notes and SharePoint, and  undercredits SharePoint’s features.  In my career, I’ve implemented SharePoint 2003 and 2007 from bare metal servers to fully functioning portals, and I’m and end user on our SP 2010 portal.  Here’s where I disagree:

Social Networking

In SharePoint 2007, Microsoft introduced a number of features that we take for granted in today’s social media, most notably friends, likes and alerts.  These features aren’t implemented exactly like Facebook or Twitter, but they have the same result—end users can self-build their social circles and easily stay in touch with the people around them.

Cloud Computing

This is patently false, and has been for several years.  See SharePoint Online at  Add in the other BPOS offerings, and you have a cloud suite that has been adopted by an impressive customer list.


This might be truth-by-degrees.  Notice they don’t list Windows Phone 7?  WP7 and SP 2010 are a pretty good match, and I’ve used my Droid with SP 2010—that could be better.

Development Tools

I doubt Salesforce has a richer development environment than SharePoint.  From building native web parts in Visual Studio, to a market of pre-built web parts, to InfoPath, there are many options to expand SharePoint, all of which leverage existing Microsoft development skills (which is a large pool of talent).

What did Saleforce skip?

When it comes to ads, oftentimes the silence is deafening.  Since it’s their ad, Salesforce doesn’t have an obligation to list areas where they are weak and SP is strong.  I’d include seamless network authentication (meaning users don’t have to remember additional passwords), workflow, and translation services as some big features SharePoint has that Salesforce left off.  And let’s not forget integration with Exchange and SQL Server Reporting Services.  In these features, I think we can assume at least parity between the two, perhaps SharePoint leading.


Lotus Notes, you’re on your own here.  Other than Ray Ozzie being involved, I know very little about the platform.

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