San Francisco's real multi-billion-dollar war. Hint, it's not Amazon vs Google. Why isn't Techcrunch covering it?

If you read other tech blogs this morning you might get an idea that the next multi-billion-dollar war is over Google vs. Amazon.

Now that’s an interesting battle, but I believe it’s small potatoes compared to the real war that Marc Benioff started more than a decade ago: over how we all work.

See, Salesforce was the first to see weakness in Microsoft’s “install software everywhere” model and exploited that weakness to build a great San Francisco company.

But what did Salesforce do? It showed a raft of companies how to compete with Microsoft. Now it’s a full-blown movement that insiders are paying big attention to. Box.net has five million customers and is doubling every 14 months. Yammer won Techcrunch 50 and has hundreds of workers who are toiling to take enterprises away from Microsoft Sharepoint. Jive, SocialCast, SocialText, et al are on fire, too.

Come deeper into Silicon Valley and you’ll find one company that’s hiring all sorts of ex-Microsofties (I met one of Microsoft’s smartest strategists working there) among others and who today announced a new cloud app store for businesses: VMware. Don’t miss this company and what it’s doing.

GigaOm is right. VMware is the new Silicon Valley company to watch.

But don’t look at these companies one-by-one. It’s clear there’s a new movement and it’s radically changing how we work. Add in Google’s Docs and Spreadsheets, Sococo’s new virtual office, Twilio’s new phone APIs, amongst many other examples and you see this is the real San Francisco multi-billion-dollar war that hasn’t gotten good coverage in the tech press.

Why isn’t the tech press covering this San Francisco tech story?

Oh, sure, it’s Enterprise. Mike Arrington told me once he gets bored with enterprise companies. It’s not as sexy as anything Apple or Google are doing. Partly because VMware’s PR team isn’t interested in waking up the bears (Microsoft and other enterprise-focused companies) by shooting off Jason Calacanis style missives or playing PR games the way Facebook got caught doing last week. Nah, they are understated. They underpromise and don’t try to hype things up too much. That doesn’t fit how the current tech press can get onto the cover of Techmeme or Hacker News.

But don’t miss this battle. It’s way bigger than the battle over tablets or consumer app stores and will shift billions in revenue from Redmond to San Francisco.

Here I visit VMware to find out why they are buying startups like Sliderocket and Mozy, plus I get a look at their new single-sign-on cloud service management tool, Horizon, in a talk with Noah Wasmer, director of product management, advanced development. That announcement is covered more over on Building43.

Published by

Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, Scoble travels the world looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology for Rackspace's startup program. He's interviewed thousands of executives and technology innovators and reports what he learns in books ("The Age of Context," a book coauthored with Forbes author Shel Israel, has been released at http://amzn.to/AgeOfContext ), YouTube, and many social media sites where he's followed by millions of people. Best place to watch me is on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RobertScoble

Comments

  1.  TechCrunch will write about B2B on occasion, but they’re hardly getting any views/comments on those type of stories either :) It typically doesn’t engage people’s imaginations, rather, it makes most people’s eyes glaze over… B2B needs to tell better stories.

  2. The cloud isn’t going to gain corporate traction until it’s security is perceived as on par with physical assets. I work for a multi-state power company, and our firewall even blocks *gmail*! No way they’re going to let me store documents on the cloud.

    The PSN debacle isn’t lost on those who are responsible for security. Imagine if PSN been Citibank or Wells Fargo.

      1.  Service providers need to communicate the security risks being lower in a concise and definitive manner. There will be tendency by customer IT groups and CTO to overstate the in-house security for reasons beyond objective opinion. But on the other hand the other CxO’s need to be careful and not let service providers undermine the opinion of CTO.  

    1.  Roll your own cloud… That’s the future for enterprise. It’s costlier but more secure and has tremendous advantage to hosting a ton of physical servers.  

  3.  George – in all actuality, Yammer is one of Microsoft strongest partners in the ESN space.  Yammer helps to make SharePoint a relevant part of every employees everyday conversation, and ties disparate locations into single, easy to read threads.  Sounds as if you need to spend some time with the Yammer folks and get a deeper dive on what they have to offer.

  4. If you think that’s the same, I got a nice bridge to sell you in San Francisco. Office and Sharepoint is hardly the best-of-breed example in collaborative work space.

    1. The SharePoint business is booming, it is constrained because there arnt enough developers.

  5. I totally agree that the enterprise wars are under reported!

    One small correction: Yammer doesn’t see Sharepoint as a competitor but rather as a complement. We actually have a robust Sharepoint integration. 

  6. Q:  How do you get to 200 Billion revenue for your tech company?

    A: Start with 600 Billion, then add Steve Ballmer.