Salesforce.com, one of the largest public cloud companies in the world, has strongly denied that there has been any trust repercussions with enterprise customers after the revelations regarding the US' mass surveillance programme, PRISM.
Both Salesforce's CEO Marc Benioff and the company's EMEA President, Steve Garnett, persisted that there hasn't been security concerns raised by customers after whistleblower Edward Snowden, one of the NSA's contractors, revealed the details of the US government's spying.
Benioff said that the programme wouldn't concern data held by Salesforce.
“Obviously there has been a huge amount of PR and constant unfolding, but at the end of the day it is really outside of our world,” he told journalists during a Q&A session at Dreamforce in San Francisco this week.
“It just isn't kind of what we do and it's not the type of thing we would be involved in – it's not the kind of information we are managing. We are managing a different type of information.”
He added: “It hasn't been a major issue for us. I think mostly it's an unfortunate situation.”
A European Perspective
Computerworld UK asked Steve Garnett, the company's President for Europe, what concerns customers in the region had raised post-PRISM.
“Has anything changed? No. I think new prospective customers look at the existing customers and how we run our customers' most sensitive data. We run their sales pipelines, their sales forecasts, their customer complaints, their product information – and when you look at the customers we have they have very significant security departments which always come out and have a look at what we do,” said Garnett.
He also noted that all Salesforce customers benefit from security features that are pre-requisites for some of the most privacy-concerned companies in the world.
“Customers go back and say that their data is much more secure with Salesforce than in their own data centres. They can't invest the amount of money we can,” said Garnett.
“Every time we add a security feature for a Barclays, or a JP Morgan, or whoever it may be, everyone else gets security feature that for free anyway.”
He added: “We will continue to have a total focus on trust and part of that is data security”
Garnett also confirmed to Computerworld UK that the company's recently announced European data centre is likely to go live in the second quarter of next year.