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CES: IT chiefs must track gadget trends, warns Salesforce boss Benioff

10 Jan 2013's Marc Benioff

LAS VEGAS: The growing number of connected devices and appliances in use is forcing businesses to pay more attention to the consumer electronics space, according to Salesforce chief Marc Benioff.

Speaking at the 2013 CES conference, Benioff told convention-goers that companies can gather useful data on their products and services by gathering customer data and understanding the way consumers interact with their products.

To do so, however, Benioff believes that companies need to become better connected with their customers.

He said that Salesforce, which makes customer relationship management tools, is finding that its own customers lack the proper connections with their customer base.

"When we talk to our customers, it's not a question of 'is your consumer connected?'. Are you connected? Is your product connected?" Benioff explained.

"For many companies, they have not made the change."

With those connections, however, comes a greater emphasis on trust. Benioff noted that in order for companies to connect with customers on a useful level, they will have to establish and maintain a trusted relationship with their customer base.

"If trust is not your number one value as a brand, it is over. Our customers have to trust us to do business with us. Trust and customer success has to be our highest value," he said.

"As all companies become cloud companies and connected companies, trust is the number one value."

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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