Posted taken from NICK BILTON ,Published: April 30, 2012 , The New York Times
Salesforce.com, best know for its sales, customer service and collaboration software for business, is now entering the government cloud business with a suite of new product offerings that could help the government adapt to today’s social era.
The new product suite, called Government Cloud, will introduce a version of the Salesforce cloud infrastructure intended specifically to work with all levels of government – from local to federal – and will help government entities to adopt social and mobile technologies.
Vivek Kundra, the newly appointed executive vice president of emerging markets at Salesforce, plans to announce the new products Wednesday at the company’s Cloudforce conference in Washington.
In a phone interview Mr. Kundra, who was formerly the chief information officer for the United States, said Salesforce hoped to help government adapt to the ”social revolution that is taking place in the public sector.”
”There is a huge government divide between citizens and how the government talks to them,” Mr. Kundra said, noting that while Americans are now communicating with each other through social apps like Facebook and Twitter, they are unable to use these tools to communicate with government.
Another component of the Government Cloud will introduce a new ”AppExchange” for government, much like the app marketplace that exists in Apple’s iTunes Store. In the AppExchange, rather than selling Angry Birds, Salesforce will offer apps that help people navigate government infrastructure.
In a press release, the company said it would also introduce a Salesforce Government Partner Accelerator Program, which it says would train an army of 1,000 programmers by the end of 2012 to rapidly transform government information technology.
Mr. Kundra said these new government enterprise solutions were good for business, consumers and government.
”How do you build solutions for citizens so they are not focused on old channels like phones and fax machines, but instead employ social media to communicate with citizens?” Mr. Kundra asked. ”For the government perspective, it helps agencies balance budgets with drastic savings in terms of I.T. expenses.”
He cited a project the Department of Defense recently created that cost the government $1 billion, and was quickly shut down. If the government could use cloud technologies, he said, this project would have cost less and taken a portion of the time to create.
While the AppExchange for Government will be made available Wednesday, other aspects of the government software are scheduled to be available later this year.
This is a more complete version of the story than the one that appeared in print.