Ex-U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra Becomes Salesforce.com's Cloud Evangelist

Salesforce.com hired former U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra to lead the cloud computing provider's expansion into government and other markets overseas.

Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) Jan. 16 said it has hired former U.S. Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra as its new executive vice president of emerging markets, snapping up the cloud computing connoisseur fresh off of his teaching fellowship with the Kennedy School and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

Kundra oversaw more than $80 billion in technology investments as U.S. CIO. He spearheaded the country's mission to get federal agencies to migrate their computing infrastructure from local software to computing solutions hosted by software makers and provisioned to employees  through a Web browser.

As the CTO for the District of Columbia in 2008,Kundra inked a contract worth $500,000 a year to give 38,000 government employees Google Apps as an alternative to Microsoft Office.

Two years later, under the cloud first policy Kundra created as U.S. CIO, the General Services Administration migrated to Google Apps after using IBM (NYSE:IBM) Lotus Notes on-premise software for years.

Kundra now takes his cloud-oriented mindset to Salesforce.com, which has spent the last decade-plus fomenting cloud computing software and is a leader in emerging, so-called social enterprise. In this model, enterprise applications are imbued with social tools to enhance collaboration between employees, customers, and partners.

"Vivek Kundra is an amazing technology visionary who opened the eyes of millions to the transformational power of cloud computing," said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, salesforce.com. "His disruptive leadership is just what the industry needs to accelerate the social enterprise."

As his title and experience indicate, Kundra will help develop Salesforce.com's strategy to serve Web-based enterprise apps to governments in other markets, such as Asia-Pacific and Europe.  

This article was originally published on 01-17-2012
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