Tag Archives: salesforce

Cloudforce 2012 Rocked in Atlanta


Attended Cloudforce in Atlanta, held at the Georgia World Congress Center on Thursday, November 1st. I’ve attended all of the past Cloudforce events in Atlanta and I have to say this year was the best and the biggest! I have no idea how many attendees were there but it must have been thousands…well 2000 at least. The marketing extravaganza at Cloudforce is always amazing…but this year was taken to a new level…blowing off the doors with glitzy videos and music pounding out a message…of what I’m not sure…but the effect was awesome…I was pumped!

There were keynotes on different product lines, Cloudforce expo with a couple dozen 3rd party vendors on display ready to answer questions and demo products, numerous break out sessions, and the main keynote featuring Vivek Kundra, former chief information officer for the USA, now a senior VP at Salesforce.

At the Cloudforce main keynote I learned about new products and features like the ipad app, Chatterbox (file sharing), Desk.com, Work.com, and Chatter Communities. But the thing that always impresses me most at these Cloudforce events is the customer testimonies. We heard from GE, Toyota, E-Trade, Coca-cola, Virgin Airlines, and Commonwealth Bank (largest bank in Australia) just to name a few. Most memorable was the Toyota “social car”  which they termed the “iPhone of cars” and Coca-cola’s freestyle machines where you can create your own custom drink and then share it with friends.

Two  breakout sessions I enjoyed were “Social in Government” and the Salesforce Platform keynote. In the government session we heard from GSA’s region 4 IT exec on how the GSA used Force.com to consolidate 1700 legacy applications into 15 and then built 26 new applications in less than 6 months. All 17,000 GSA employees and contractors are on Force. We also saw examples of how Salesforce platforms are being used throughout the CDC, FDA, and New Jersey Transit Authority. In the Salesforce Platform keynote we heard from the Intercontinental Hotel Group and Home Depot where both companies built field inspection applications with Force.com. In viewing the demos I also picked up a cool new feature I didn’t know about called schema builder…not to mention two free books.

The most exciting thing I learned overall at Cloudforce was the new Salesforce Touch platform, which drives Salesforce mobile apps and allows enterprises to build their own mobile applications for Android and iOS platforms in either native or HTML5 hybrid modes. One of the free books provided to attendees of the Salesforce Platform keynote was the mobile development guide for the touch platform. I’m looking forward to giving this a try ASAP!


SaaS Based Electronic Health Record System (and it’s free)

I’m pretty excited to find out about a SaaS based EHR system, Practice Fusion, that is also free…completely free including support.  And unlike most “free” SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions they don’t have a “lite” version that’s free while trying to up-sell you to the “professional” version for a fee.  According to their website “There are no hidden charges, consultant fees, software costs or support subscriptions. Licensing, hosting, training and support are all included. Your practice always retains ownership of its data and you can export any time if needed.”

News flash! If you have a medical practice that qualifies for $44,000 in economic stimulus incentives for adopting an EHR as specified in the HITECH Act…and you adopt a “free” EHR package…then obviously you get to pocket the entire $44,000.

Practice Fusion runs on Salesforce.com‘s cloud development platform, Force.com, the Cadillac of cloud app development platforms. And recently Dell, Inc. announced a partnership to bundle hardware with Practice Fusion’s SaaS solution including zero interest financing (for 3 months) for medical practices.

Unlike on premise client/server solutions a SaaS (Software as a Service) solution runs completely in the cloud. So you don’t have the expense of servers and even more importantly the people resources that are necessary to support the servers. Your annual savings with a SaaS solution can easily be 10’s of thousands of dollars over what you would pay for a solution requiring on premise hardware maintenance and support.

I took advantage of Practice Fusion’s academic program to signup for an account and have been reviewing their extensive library of youtube training videos.   The availability of these videos make learning Practice Fusion’s features a snap.

So who’s using a SaaS EHR solution? On their website they claim that over 30,000 physicians and practice managers in 50 states currently use Practice Fusion’s Electronic Health Record which sounds pretty impressive to me.

So what’s the catch? How do these guys make money? Well Practice Fusion is an ad-supported product. On their website they say “medical advertising placements are non-intrusive, completely private and never pop-up.” And if you really can’t stand the ads then  you can switch to an ad-free version for a $100 a month per practitioner at any time.

Given that  the top driver for slow adoption of Electronic Health Records is misalignment of costs and benefits then Practice Fusion stands to make a significant impact in this market.

CloudForce Tour

Salesforce held the first 2009 CloudForce seminar in Atlanta at the Intercontential Hotel Buckhead on March 5th from 2:30 until 5pm with a reception from 5 until 6. I always enjoy catching up on the latest salesforce features and success stories as I’m a big admirer of Salesforce as an early entry into cloud computing and the success they have had. At this event I didn’t really hear alot of new information. It was more of a refresher to remind Atlanta customers and potential customers of the value and opportunities available from the Salesforce platform. I get very excited about Force.com as a development platform along with appexchange to provide an easy vehicle for commericalizing applications.

I do wish Force.com would reduce their monthly subscription fee to be more in line with other cloud application development platforms. But as always I get fired up hearing about the success of force.com from customers…who represent very large as well as very small companies. Which points to a major characteristic and advantage of cloud computing…the smallest company has access to the exact same technologies that are available to the very largest companies for creating innovation and value.

As usual the reception from 5 to 6 was fantastic with free beer and wine and hot h’ordeurves. I love Salesforce receptions.