Dreamforce Has Made A Splash, But How Does It Measure up to Oracle OpenWorld?

Needless to say, Dreamforce made a big splash this year with the announcement of Salesforce Chatter, to be launched next year. But how is Dreamforce shaping up in comparison to Oracle’s OpenWorld?

For one thing, attendance at Dreamforce pales in comparison to that of last month’s OpenWorld conference—there are about 19,000 at Dreamforce, while OpenWorld drew almost 20,000 more attendants. Oracle Corporation is much bigger than Salesforce.com, so that could provide some explanation for the disparate attendance records. It is perhaps a little surprising the Dreamforce doesn’t have at least a commensurate attendance record, since cloud-computing has been a hot button topic this year, and Salesforce is pretty much the go-to source for cloud computing trends.

In terms of announcements, the declaration of Salesforce Chatter, which is being described as “Facebook for enterprise,” trumps Oracle’s announcement of Fusion Apps.  Oracle also announced a commitment to incorporating social networking into their CRM platform, but they didn’t present an offering that caused a stir the way Salesforce Chatter did—and it did cause quite a stir, cracking Twitter’s top ten with “#df09” as a trending topic. There is also speculation that Chatter is the new Salesforce cloud—Benioff alluded to four clouds in his keynote, naming Sales Cloud 2, Service Cloud 2, and Custom Cloud 2, and leaving the fourth a mystery (to be revealed tomorrow).

Some attendants of both conferences lamented the long-winded keynote speech, even though most have been enthusiastic about the announcement of Chatter. And Sam Diaz at ZDNet noted that Dreamforce didn’t offer the same caliber of celebrities as OpenWorld: San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom joined Benioff during his keynote, while Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and The Who’s Roger Daltrey attended OpenWorld. Diaz also noted a sense of “showboating overkill” in the speaker introductions.

We won’t be able to really assess the overall success of the conference until the end of the week, but is one of these companies doing “the convention” better?

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