Philly's Matthew Botos, Salesforce MVP and independent consultant, sees the world beyond Salesforce as well

Tom Paine

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Salesforce’s lead in the Software as a Service (SaaS) market has been orchestrated by CEO Marc Benioff, but also fueled by evangelistic, independent external entrepreneurs like Philadelphia’s Matthew Botos. He’s been a Salesforce MVP since 2012, a prestigious designation held by only 90 professionals worldwide. While he's completely on board with Salesforce's direction, he's not hesitant to go his own way and question it.

A South Jersey native who literally studied rocket science at Cornell, Botos started his career at Lockheed Martin in Valley Forge. His seven-year Salesforce career has included stints with Mavens, Salesforce itself, and Cloud Sherpas (recently acquired by Accenture). Mavens was an early consulting partner of Veeva Systems, whose Salesforce software tailored for pharmaceuticals led to its successful IPO, and it was called “one of the most efficient SaaS companies in history” in terms of capital use by a leading SaaS VC. He currently heads his own Salesforce consulting firm in the Philly suburbs, Alvorden.

Until recently, Botos also led the PhillyForce community, the preeminent Salesforce technical user group in the Philadelphia area. During his 3-year tenure, membership grew from 200 to 800 local Salesforce professionals. Diverse and opinionated speakers ranged from Salesforce executive Peter Coffee to IDC analyst Michael Fauscette. While the group counts many Salesforce fans, discussions often highlight how Salesforce both helps and hinders external developers.

While showing obvious leadership and organizing skills, Botos is also an iconoclast. He has a vision of how things should work and is intent on fulfilling it. While he's completely on board with Salesforce's direction, he's not hesitant to question it and point out shortcomings. He’s developed open source tools to solve Salesforce software testing gaps, edited an independent Salesforce certification book, and recently published his own eBook of 10 Salesforce Survival Tips.

Botos says he's delivered over 30 complex Salesforce integration projects over the past 7 years. He describes himself as a 'Salesforce Integration Consultant', with integration and deep Salesforce technical expertise as the key words. His projects show experience with a broad range of software and SaaS offerings, and the tools to integrate them with Salesforce. Traditional tools have been custom web services code or expensive integration middleware from Informatica and Boomi (started in the Philadelphia suburbs and acquired by Dell). But as the generic Salesforce integration market saturates, he sees a demand for more industry-specific solutions and services.

For now, Botos is happy running his own show at Alvorden in a manner he prefers. He's developed a broader range of business skills from the experience, he told me in an interview. Though he likes the independence of consulting, he has a keen knowledge of which markets don't have a Salesforce solution yet. The first on his list is integrating complex supply chain data in Salesforce with a standard set of consulting projects.

Links 12/30: Ian Murdock dies; Uber/Lyft rival Sidecar says Bye; OLED in iPhones closer to reality (Reports)

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Debian founder and Docker employee Ian Murdock has died at 42 (VentureBeat)

Salesforce to pivot with Steelbrick acquisition? (Diginomica)

The (Very Contradictory) Year in Unicorns (Fortune)

Apple Taps LG, Samsung For OLED iPhone Displays, Report Claims (Information Week}

Apple Talks For New iPhone Display Boosts Universal (Investor's Business Daily)

Sidecar, a Pioneer of Ride-Hailing, to Stop Services (NY TIMES)

Moving into Center City, where the tech talent is (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Data Center startup Steel ORCA files for bankruptcy

Tom Paine

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Steel ORCA, which had plans to build a huge data center in Bucks County, filed for bankruptcy this month, Data Center Knowledge reported, according to documents it discovered online. It was a Chapter 7 filing in New Jersey, which usually means distribution of assets.

Steel ORCA had ambitious plans to build a data center in the former Fairless Hills Steel Works, somewhat analogous to Keystone NAP's plan, although Keystone NAP, which launched in 2014 at the same site, chose a modular approach which may have significantly reduced upfront capital outlays.

Steel ORCA later changed plans to a former Pfizer plant in Monmouth Junction, Middlesex County (NJ). Information about that facility is shown on its website though its not clear at this time how much of the buildout was actually completed. The website Data Dynamics reported seeing the completed first stage of the buildout in July of this year.

Steel ORCA is in no way related to Keystone NAP, although Keystone NAP's president once represented Steel ORCA as an attorney. Attempts to reach Steel ORCA by phone resulted in busy signals.