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Thu May 30, 2019, 01:36 PM

Tech giant brings software to a gun fight

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/05/30/tech-giant-brings-software-gun-fight/

On its website, Salesforce.com touts retailer Camping World as a leading customer of its business software, highlighting its use of products to help sales staff move product. A Camping World executive is even quoted calling Salesforce’s software “magic.”

But behind the scenes in recent weeks, the Silicon Valley tech giant has delivered a different message to gun-selling retailers such as Camping World: Stop selling military-style rifles, or stop using our software.

The pressure Salesforce is exerting on those retailers — barring them from using its technology to market products, manage customer service operations and fulfill orders — puts them in a difficult position. Camping World, for example, spends more than $1 million a year on Salesforce’s e-commerce software, according to one analyst estimate. Switching to another provider now could cost the company double that to migrate data, reconfigure systems and retrain employees.

The change in Salesforce’s acceptable-use policy shows how a technology giant that is mostly unknown to the public is trying to influence what retailers in America sell and alter the dynamics of a charged social issue. While Salesforce is hardly a household name, it is a dominant provider of software and services that help businesses manage their customers. With roughly 40,000 employees and a market value of nearly $120 billion, it has become a behemoth in San Francisco. Its branded skyscraper also towers over the city as the tallest building and a major landmark.

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Arrow 8 replies Author Time Post
Reply Tech giant brings software to a gun fight (Original post)
Recursion May 2019 OP
Alea May 2019 #1
discntnt_irny_srcsm May 2019 #2
Alea May 2019 #3
discntnt_irny_srcsm May 2019 #4
The Mouth Jun 2019 #5
discntnt_irny_srcsm Jun 2019 #6
samir.g Jun 2019 #7
friendly_iconoclast Jun 2019 #8

Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu May 30, 2019, 05:04 PM

1. Camping world should tell them to pound sand

Salesforce also has Government contracts so maybe the .gov will tell them to pound sand too. I don't see how salesforce can offer software to any company, allow them to invest millions to bring that software in to use in that company, and then coerce them to not sell any particular product. What's next? Here's an approved list of items you can sell since your using our software? Oh, you have a store in Alabama? You can't use our software unless you close your Alabama stores... lol

Hopefully it goes to court and at minimum salesforce will have to cough up the 3 million it will take for CW to change to another software platform. I wouldn't mind seeing trump doing something right for a change and cancel all SF's gov't contracts too. This is basically industrial/political blackmail or coercion.

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Response to Alea (Reply #1)

Thu May 30, 2019, 05:47 PM

2. I have to ask...

..."Stop selling military-style rifles, or stop using our software" OR WHAT?
Will Camping World be on double secret probation?

I personally hope word spreads quickly and most firearm retailers switch to a competitor.

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Response to discntnt_irny_srcsm (Reply #2)

Thu May 30, 2019, 06:42 PM

3. Yeah I don't see this going their way at all

$3 million is nothing to Camping World. If the software was purchased I don't see salesforce having a say in it until a contract runs out. I can't see any company, no matter what they sell, wanting to buy a business running software where the software company has a say in what they sell.

Apparently salesforce recently hired a "Chief Ethical and Humane use Officer" that will decide all this stuff. If this person is a super vegan will they tell Publix they can't sell meat anymore? Will they tell a financial company using their software they can't make loans to white people? Tell an automotive maker they can only sell electric cars? I guess it's ok if you buy their software knowing this going in, but to buy it, implement it into your company at great expense, and then be told you can't use it if you sell product X that our Chief Ethical and Humane use Officer doesn't approve of is crazy.

Companies already using it need to push back hard, and companies that may buy their software in the future may decide to buy another platform. If I owned a company, there is no way I would buy this knowing they had a say in what I sold. It seems like a software company would want to sell their software. They're doing well now but the bottom could drop out in no time with a policy like that.

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Response to Alea (Reply #3)

Thu May 30, 2019, 08:56 PM

4. Don't get me wrong...

...I don't have a problem with a business making a statement by deciding who they will or won't work with.

Frankly I'm kinda tired of the world operating on the basis of 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend'. Too many folks seem to think the best reason to build a friendship or establish an ally is so you can both unite against some person or group you both hate.

I'm even more disgusted with folks working harder to be against an "enemy" than they do to work with a friend. Enemies get your more press exposure so politically that's a losing battle especially with current clown in chief.

I'm off the soap box and into the pizza box. Good hearing from you.

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Response to discntnt_irny_srcsm (Reply #4)

Sat Jun 1, 2019, 11:26 AM

5. If you don't hate hate HATE teh gunz

you ARE the enemy.

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Response to The Mouth (Reply #5)

Sat Jun 1, 2019, 11:59 AM

6. Nothing unites folks like an enemy.

bravo

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jun 6, 2019, 05:00 PM

7. bankrupt Camping World for violating EULA if they don't comply

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Response to samir.g (Reply #7)

Thu Jun 6, 2019, 07:21 PM

8. Do you have any real-world legal experience, or is this just ITG bluster?

Personally, I think a reply to you by one of the hosts of the Gun Control Reform Activism group is on the money:

https://www.democraticunderground.com/126212690#post4

billh58 (6,172 posts)
4. Your call for the confiscation of legal firearms is straight out of the NRA "fear" handbook aimed at selling more guns, but thanks for your concern...

...I'm not sure if you're trolling this Group, or just horribly misinformed.




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