Don’t Entrust Your Business to Cloud Providers

This goes double if you’re in the gun business. I should say, you should never entrust any critical business function to the cloud. We use some cloud services, but if they disappeared tomorrow they could be replaced quickly without great pain. doesn’t want retailers using its e-commerce technology to sell automatic and semiautomatic firearms.

The software giant recently changed its acceptable-use policy to prohibit its customers from selling a range of weapons and some gun parts, including “magazines capable of accepting more than 10 rounds” and “multi-burst trigger devices.”

They cut off Camping World. Hopefully Camping World does the right thing and tells SalesForce to go to hell. If they cave, I’ll never shop there.

This is a big reason I keep our club on QuickBooks Desktop, despite them having a cloud version. I could not replace QuickBooks easily. But at least with the Desktop software, they can’t cut me off.

SalesForce is a shitty company anyway with a shitty product. To be honest, even before this, I never would have done business with them.

14 thoughts on “Don’t Entrust Your Business to Cloud Providers”

  1. One lesson I teach others is “Never outsource your core business.”. Do that and eventually someone else will take it over.

    In IT that means you keep the thing that makes your business work inside your own walls or under your direct control and not at the mercy of someone else.

    Apparently there are different colors of money in the Salesforce world. Oh well, just makes it easier to not give them business.

    1. Absolutely. Our CIO decided to do this, and its been a clusterbeverage. Its so stupid to outsource things like this. It doesn’t save money, its not better, and its not easier.

  2. I am amused that they see a moral equivalence between something as bog-common as a 1911 and as exotic and limited as a drop in auto-sear.

    It’s also… interesting that this Assault Weapon’s panic has expanded to /all/ self loading rifles, and is now to /all/ self-loading firearms.

    So much for the post-Heller assurances of “No one wants a handgun ban.”

  3. Salesforce has so much penetration into the market (I can’t compare it to other products, but we live and die by it) this has to affect a lot of big customers.

    We should be pushing them to 100% enforce this and see how long they can live with that.

  4. I worked as a solutions engineer for two companies that deal extensively with Salesforce as ISV’s, and my wife is a salesforce admin. So I’m familiar with their culture.

    The company is a pain in the ass. The virtue-signaling aside, Benioff has had a number of embarrassing outages that didn’t get messaged to customers properly. People can complain a lot about Dynamics, but Microsoft knows how to operate an enterprise cloud.

    Past that, the perniciousness of variable T&C’s will scare other companies, too. Today, it’s semi-auto firearms. Tomorrow, will it be parts? Parts suppliers? Will US Steel have to validate that it’s not sending any forgings to a US weapons manufacturer if they wish to keep their SFDC alive?

    Or, what about major polluters? Oil and gas companies? 3M loves them some SFDC, and also owns Cogent, which is the primary vendor for most fingerprinting systems in the US, many of whose systems are used in prisons and other social-justice focal points. Dupont uses SFDC, and manufactures a lot of gunpowder.

    Within the bowels of SFDC, some account manager is now looking at a million-dollar hole in his quota and is going to say “Screw this, I’m done,” and he’s going to jump ship to MS or SAP. When he gets there, he’s going to brain dump the rest of the inanity SFDC has up its sleeves.

    The cost of this will spread well beyond just a single vendor. Pretty much everybody that’s got ITAR-related sales motions is going to be looking at switching to Dynamics, because MS really doesn’t care what you do.

    1. I worked for a company that provided a plug-in for SalesForce, to extend the functionality of their platform. I remember when they unilaterally decided to ban browser frames, and refused to provide us an extension to remove them from our product (since we used them extensively). Some of our software engineers had to work overtime to remove them.

      We couldn’t help but be convinced that they did this in no small part because they saw us as a competitor, and wanted to make things as difficult as possible for us.

      (We provided our product as a separate service as well as a plug-in to SalesForce, so if they had cut us off, it wouldn’t have been a complete disaster, but it would have been deeply annoying for some of our customers as well.)

  5. While I’m nominally against government action, I’m 100% behind using the current rules to stop this. They should be sued for restriction of trade.

    1. Let’s not be hasty. I’m sure the Laissez-faire free market invisible hand will resolve this issue.

  6. The tech oligarchs are a clear and present danger not only to the 2A but also the 1A and many other parts of the Constitution. Break them up.

  7. To add to Matt’s comment (above), people seem to ignore the fact that “cloud” is pleasant shorthand for “someone else’s computer system” and you don’t really know who that someone is. Amazon’s or Google’s or Acme’s name may be over the door, but that’s just an easy-to-erect facade; you’re not allowed to know who’s actually inside the building making stuff work, but you will eventually get to know their quirks, foibles, and idiosyncrasies, frequently good and hard.

    1. I can’t help but think that a good rule of thumb is to have a certain core infrastructure hard-wired in co-locations you have access to, and only use the cloud as overflow, when you have more traffic than you typically get.

      If you are regularly using the overflow, you know you need more servers; otherwise, you don’t have to build up your infrastructure for peak times that don’t happen regularly.

    2. Telling someone to just handle their own IT infrastructure is one of those things that sounds awesome if IT is your thing.

      But most small and medium sized businesses don’t want to waste the time, money, or effort to handle those things, especially now that it’s easier and more secure to simply outsource that stuff to someone like Amazon or Microsoft.

      I’m sympathetic to that argument, but just telling some small business to do it yourself is a lot harder than you claim.

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