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Is SalesForce.com TRUSTWORTHY?


Link to Coronet Instructional Film 'Am I Trustworthy?' (1950)

Starting with this post I’m introducing a new theme, that of TRUST.

So the question I am posing today: Is Salesforce.com TRUSTWORTHY?

Now I don’t mean "Can you trust Salesforce.com to actually run their business well enough to stay online so you can use their system when you need it?" like when they launched this (IMO misnamed) website: http://trust.salesforce.com. (As with so many things Salesforce.com, its naming was disingenous. I would much rather have seen it named http://status.salesforce.com.)

In the past I have railed on Salesforce.com for their system being down, but let’s be real. I over-reacted; it was just a minor infraction. Problems like that pointed to either teething pains of SaaS or incompetent management and it seems it was the former. They’ve gotten their act together on the uptime issue although I’m sure they will continue to have hiccups in the future. I think uptime/downtime is more an issue of the industry learning about how to implement best practices in SaaS and then any and all of those issues will be history.

Instead what I am asking is can you trust Salesforce.com to:

  • Be a good business partner?
  • Act ethically and honorably?
  • Reasonably act in your best interests?
  • Reasonably consider your needs before theirs?
  • Look for way to increase the value they offer you?
  • Not just look for ways to increase your spending?

Ponder those thoughts, if you will, and within the next couple of days I’ll provide a URL to Saleforce.com’s website for your review to help you further ponder the questions I posit today.

11 Responses to “Is SalesForce.com TRUSTWORTHY?”

  • Rup responded:

    Hi,

    Can we trust salesforce.com not to hand over confidential data to a US judge (since the data is hosted in the US) upon request through a subpoena , without them warning the targeted client/user ?

    This is what has just happened with the SWIFT inter-bank messaging company which is Belgian, but handed over confidential customer data (banking transactions !) to the US without warning these customers.

    Handling of personal and confidential business data is viewed very differently in the US and in Europe, and this problem is a concern for european customers of US-hosted on-demand services.

    What do you think ?

    Rup

  • Mike Schinkel responded:

    See my response here: http://www.thoughtsonsalesforce.com/2006/10/european_custom.html

  • Thoughts on SalesForce.com responded:

    European Customers vs. US Subpoenas?

    Between a Rock and a Hard Place?Sculpture by Nancy Doran In a previous post I posed the question: Is SalesForce.com TRUSTWORTHY? Although I was a bit vague in that post, I had planned to follow up with numerous posts to

  • Tom Stefano responded:

    For the most part, yes you can, they are public. If you mean trusting them not to hand over your data tro government, then No you can’t trust them, it is the law.

    To avoid this, other CRM solutions offer hosting outside USA, such as Salesboom .com (http://www.salesboom.com which is hosted in Canada and optionally in USA.

  • Jim Miller responded:

    My salesforce.com account was stolen from us on December 18, 2006. We believe that an identity theft took place. A Police report #2006-02954 was filed with the Suwanee, Georgia police department. Salesforce.com was notified and has not assisted in any way. What are the ethical, not to mention the legal responsibilities of salesforce.com? While they have a comprehensive audit trail, why will they not provide it to the account owner. Is a subpoena really necessary? Is this any way for salesforce to treat its customers? Is salesforce.com truly trustworthy? Data is extremely time sensitive. Our company is likely to become bankrupt without help form salesforce.com.

  • Mike Schinkel responded:

    Jim: WOW, that’s awful. Can you explain what you mean by the accout being “stolen?” Do you mean they got into your account and then changed both the email addresses and the password on you, and now salesforce won’t help you get it back? Can you fax me a copy of the police report so I can confirm this? 404-474-8949 I’ll blog about it if so.

  • Jim Miller responded:

    We found out through salesforce technical support that someone got into our account by impersonating one of us, removed us as users and administrators and substituted other individuals. We are blocked out of our own accounts and have not been able to get account information from salesforce. A Mr. Kenneth Juster of Salesforce stated to us: “…the account has not been accessed or used since Decmber 18 so there’s no indication that any harm has been done”. The account was stolen on December 18, 2006. We would like to know how many times the account has to be stolen before Mr. Juster will agree harm has been done. I will have the police report on Friday, but it is available to the public at the Suwanee, Georgia police department for a small fee of (I think) $3.00. This is an outrageous crime and a more outrageous response from Salesforce.

  • Mike Schinkel responded:

    Jim; Just fax me a copy when you get it.

  • Jim Miller responded:

    Mike, We faxed a copy of the police report to you. Have you received it?

  • Jim Miller responded:

    As a follow up to my posted comment of January 8, 2007 and the theft of our salesforce account, we were finally able to have salesforce.com permit us to access our account. Our account was stolen on December 18, 2006, where we were removed as users and systems administrators until being reactivated on January 26, 2007. Our vital customer contact information and other proprietary information was unavailbale to our small company for over 1 month. It is unlikely that we will be able to recover from this disaster. The important point to users is that Salsforce.com was slow to respond. In one arrogant voicemail message received from Salesforce.com management, they stated that at the time of the call no additional access has been made to the account, so there’s no indication that any harm has been done. Salesforce, more than anyone else, knows that data only has to be accessed one time to be downloaded and distributed worldwide. We are outraged and would like to see similar stories or situations posted.

  • Mike responded:

    I am doing research about pros and cons of SaaS.
    Do you know any victims of SalesForce.com?

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