in major expansion drive has been on a tear this year with financial results exceeding Wall Street estimates; a massive expansion of its headquarters in San Francisco; a gift of $100 million to build a Children’s hospital; and now: luring JP Rangaswami, Chief Scientist at UK Telecom giant BT to assume the same position at Salesforce.

Larry Dignan, writing at ZDNet, reports: “…Rangaswami will contribute to the company’s product strategy and be an evangelist for cloud computing around the globe. Rangaswami will focus on European customers and preaching real-time collaboration.”

In a statement, CEO Marc Benioff said Rangaswami has “the rare talent of being able to see what the future should be, knowing what it takes to get there, and the enthusiasm to make it happen.”

Rangaswami’s Telco background should be useful to Salesforce as it seeks to expand its business. Telcos around the world are moving into offering cloud-based IT applications and services to enterprises.

Softbank, the Japanese Telco, recently made a deal to offer Broadvision’s cloud based Social Business suite to Asian corporations.

Giovanni Rodriguez, Chief Marketing Officer at Broadvision, said: “That’s a very smart hire by Salesforce, it will help expand the “social” side of its business. JP is very good at starting trouble and getting people to talk about key concepts.”

Rangaswami is a well-known blogger writing on confused of calcutta — a blog about information (and food).

He has also been spending considerable time in Silicon Valley because he is on the board of Ribbit, an innovative web telephony Silicon Valley startup that BT acquired in mid 2008 for $105 million.

He has driven innovation within BT by opening up the BT communications platform to third-party developers. Last summer I visited BT’s operations in London and met with key researchers.

Marc Benioff, the CEO and co-founder of Salesforce continues to do well in positioning the company on the commercial edge of the expanding wave of cloud computing growth and its acceptance by large enterprises.

He has built San Francisco’s largest technology company.



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