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Thought Leaders In Cloud Computing: Marc Ferrentino, CTA Of Salesforce (Part 11)

Posted on Thursday, Jul 28th 2011

By Sramana Mitra and guest author Siddharth Garg

Sramana Mitra: And we are building – now I am putting my computer scientist hat on and we are designing scalable distributed systems. So, we have One Million by One Million entrepreneurs from all over the world. This is a completely virtual program that we envision as something that is going to teach this kind of entrepreneurship to millions of people, and that is a very complex system to design, right?

Marc Ferrentino: Yes. I try to stay as close to the startup world as I can, without interrupting my full-time job. It is just an interesting place, there is so much inspiration and excitement and passion there, and one of the things that have been interesting to watch is what it takes to get a company off the ground. What is the composition of what a company even needs anymore? And I am starting to see this rising with cloud services, with tough indications, all the things we have been talking about for years. I found them to be very real of a sudden!

We have two companies, a company called Imperia. I think you might actually done an interview with Chris. What is amazingis that this is a $50 million company and they are a server list organization but they don’t have a single server, it’s incredible! They are organization that is highly distributed: Chris is in California, there is a CMO in Boston, and the CTO is down in Atlanta. There is no headquarters, in essence, for this organization and through cloud services they get to look like a big company. They are becoming a big company, but they were not at one point. But they look like a big company and they have the technology behind it, and it is kind of amazing!

SM: This has made our life incredibly, infinitely easier. We also don’t have a headquarters; I operate from my home, and we have 25 other people in different parts of the world working on different functions of the organizations, including people in Malaysia and people in Kenya. We have little jobs that need to be done; when you are running a company there are the big jobs, but then also tons of small tasks where you don’t need to hire people. We just use oDesk to find people, and we assign all those tasks and they get done! It is incredibly efficient.

MF: It is incredibly efficient; the days of a headquarters-centered company I think are starting to fade away as did mainframe servers.

SM:  For small companies it doesn’t make any sense to be tied to that; it is not necessary.

MF: Yes, but then on the other side I just want to have everyone in the same room with me, in the small company, the engineering team in the early stages. There is obviously a benefit to everyone’s being in the same room. I feel that if you start out that that the DNA of the organization will never transition into a distributed model . . .

SM: The other effect I think is a lot easier from a distributed model to  having more formal offices where more people work together, is I think is a lot easier than going, if the culture is set being very concentrated, going to distributed model is much harder.

MF: Yes, that is interesting! Good stuff! Well, I don’t know if you need any help with your One Million by One Million program, I think it is incredible, I would offer if you need any help, an advice, inside technology, I would be happy to offer up my services.

SM: I would very much like to have you involved, let me I will take you up on that offer. I was listening to you point to trends and opportunities, and we see cloud-based human capital management solutions and stuff like that. So, let me see wherever it makes sense to connect the dots.

MF: That would be great! I love this stuff; this is the stuff that keeps me fresh! [Laughs.] All right, thanks a lot!

SM: Thank you. Bye.

This segment is part 11 in the series : Thought Leaders In Cloud Computing: Marc Ferrentino, CTA Of Salesforce
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The detailed discussion on Cloud Computing has really showered all the information. Thank You!

Amartya Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at 12:27 PM PT