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August 20, 2009updated 19 Aug 2016 10:06am

Podcast: SuccessFactors on clouds, competition and enterprise social networking

Update: The podcast two years before SAP bought SuccessFactors for $3.4bn

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This is a podcast of an interview I did with Paul Albright, SuccessFactors’ general manager of SMB and also their chief marketing officer. In it, I ask him why he believes SuccessFactors’ software-as-a-service (SaaS) approach to what it calls talent management helped it record 44% revenue growth in its latest quarter despite the down economy.

We go on to discuss the difference between cloud computing and SaaS, internal versus external clouds and why Albright argues that SuccessFactors would not have been possible were it not for social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Finally, I ask him whether the company has ambitions to broaden its cloud platform to third party applications providers, as salesforce.com has done with its Force.com platform. As you’ll hear, Albright claims his firm will take a rather different approach to openness than salesforce.com has.

If you’re wondering why I ask the question, you might recall that salesforce.com has faced criticism in the past for failing to make Force.com a completely level playing field.

Online apps provider Zoho even claimed that salesforce.com’s CEO Marc Benioff used strong-arm tactics such as trying to buy the firm in a bid to prevent it competing with salesforce.com’s own applications; Zoho CEO Sridhar Vembu wouldn’t sell the company, and Benioff wouldn’t let Zoho put its apps on Force.com even though it had spent time on integration work before Benioff pulled the plug.

It was perhaps a little ironic then — or perhaps just a sign of Benioff’s cheek — that he left the stage after his keynote at his firm’s Cloudforce event recently to the sound of the Rolling Stones’ hit Get off of my Cloud.

Stream my podcast with SuccessFactors’ Paul Albright in Windows Media format by clicking here (right-click to download) or if you prefer it’s in MP3 format here.

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