Here's What To Expect From Software Renegade Marc Benioff Tomorrow

Marc BenioffMarc Benioff

Photo: Flickr/thekenyeung

Tomorrow morning, CEO Marc Benioff will speak live to some 90,000 people attending his company’s annual Dreamforce conference in San is the biggest, best-known player in cloud computing—software for businesses that’s delivered over the Internet rather than installed on expensive server hardware—and Benioff has cast himself as the outspoken leader of a movement that’s reshaping enterprise software.

Naturally, he’ll be making some new product announcements and Business Insider will be there to cover them (so stay tuned here).

But from the scuttlebutt surrounding the show, here’s the stuff coming up that everyone is already chatting about:

A touch interface called Salesforce Touch: Last year, Benioff introduced Salesforce Touch (here’s the promo video). It lets developers easily bring their apps to smartphones and tablets. We’re hearing that Benioff will be talking about Touch again this year as a big theme.

New file-storage tools. Benioff last week talked about adding file-storage features to Chatter, its tool for in-house collaboration that’s similar to Yammer, the company Microsoft bought earlier this year for $1.2 billion. The file-storage tool is called ChatterBox—an apparent dig, or nod, at upstart competitor Box. As of last month, Chatter had 150,000 “active networks,” on Chatter and it launched a “communities” tool, which let its users open up their Chatter streams to people outside their companies. So we expect to hear a lot more news about Chatter.

New security tools. Salesforce Identity is a service that allows companies to manage employees’ usernames and passwords for all cloud services in a centralized way. It makes it easy to add employees when hired, or subtract them when they leave. This is broadly similar to what cloud security vendors Okta and Symplified offer now.

Social media management: has made five acquisitions in 2012, including the $689 million buy of Buddy Media, one of the biggest makers of social-media tools. That deal closed in August, and at the time, Benioff said the Buddy Media team would be joining the Salesforce Marketing Cloud, which at that time was built on a previously acquired company, Radian6. We expect more details on that to come.

Social project management: Last week Marc Benioff was talking up, a product that competes with startup Asana. (Asana is the enterprise app launched by Facebook cofounder Dustin Moskovitz and early Facebook employee Justin Rosenstein.) was built on technology from Salesforce’s 2011 acquisition of Manymoon and just nabbed a big customer: Google.

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