High profile sales in the public sector may be eluding Salesforce.com and perhaps this can be attributed to the concerns held by public sector CIOs about data sovereignty and the Australian Privacy Act.
With high profile breaches of shared service cloud data centres in the news, it suggests that the market has some way to go before the public sector will be ready to move sensitive data and IP to an overseas data centre run by a US or foreign owned company.
Some Australians like to think that all the big US public cloud providers will be establishing big data centres in Australia but this is unlikely for all, after many have invested heavily in the centrally located Asian centres closer to the where the real prize is in terms of potential APAC market share.
For Salesforce this is Japan and it has now been well over three years since the Australian newspaper reported an announcement of an Australian data centre for Salesforce and not long after I heard this announcement I followed up with my connections who then contacted their connections at One Market Street and the reply was that this was news to them and there was nothing on the drawing board for an Aussie data centre.
The sales executives at SFDC have been telling their prospects for some time that not having an Australian data centre “hadn’t been a barrier” and Jeremy Cooper, former regional vice president for marketing said back in September 2010 “its not about the zip code of your data centre”.
There are many organisations who are not concerned about off-shoring data, but for some “postcode” (not “zip code”) still remains an important consideration especially some public sector organisations facing tougher new privacy provisions.
After three years since the announcement of an Australian data centre it would be timely to hear from Salesforce again, one way or the other on this issue and they could answer this with the following: