With steady growth, more than $1Bn in revenue
As the New York Times‘ Ashlee Vance put it this week,
[Salesforce CEO Marc] Benioff describes himself as ‘the Billy Graham of cloud computing.’ And last week, he began a revival tour, to evangelize Salesforce’s technology to a few hundred people at a time in hotels around the country.
‘Revival’ may be a little strong, but there’s certainly a big market to capture from competitors such as SAP, and the margins on that $1Bn could always be better.
The pseudonymous CRM application still lies at the heart of the company’s cash generation today, and they are clearly continuing both to innovate on the core product and to increase the perceived cost of switching away from Salesforce by nurturing an ecosystem of supporting services via the AppExchange.
A longer-term play, and one that may eclipse the SaaS side of the company far sooner than many anticipate, is Salesforce’s aspiration to provide a horizontal Platform upon which third parties may build and sell applications of their own. Force.com is not simply a way to tinker around the edges of a CRM offering, and could be considered in the same context as Google’s AppEngine and Microsoft’s Azure.
In order to gain more information on the company’s plans I recently spoke with Adam Gross, VP of Developer Marketing at Salesforce.com, and the result has just been released as a podcast.
Have a listen, and see what you think.
Image of Adam Gross © Salesforce.com.