Salesforce.com Among Cloud Top 500

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Salesforce.com Strengths, Domain Expertise, and Key Differentiators

Salesforce shored up its presence in the enterprise applications market during the pandemic as it became the de-facto Customer 360 champion because hundreds of thousands of its customers that have already adopted its Sales Force Automation as well as Customer Service and Support apps found themselves doubling down their investments to fully automate their digital operations with help from Salesforce.

At the same time, Salesforce acquired Slack to expand into the Collaboration apps market in 2021. The acquisition further intensifies its rivalry with Microsoft, whose Teams chat and video service compete heavily against Slack as the two are battling in a number of other areas from CRM to analytics. In 2016, both companies tried to buy LinkedIn, but Microsoft ultimately succeeded. Salesforce is the dominant player in customer relationship management software and Microsoft is a distant challenger. With last year’s purchase of Tableau, Salesforce jumped into the data visualization market, taking on Microsoft’s Power BI. The companies also go head-to-head in productivity software, though Microsoft’s Office suite controls the market along with Google. Salesforce acquired Quip in 2016 but hasn’t picked up much momentum against Microsoft and Google. The appointment of Quip co-founder Bret Taylor as co-CEO of Salesforce in November 2021 could reignite the productivity apps market push at Salesforce.

Riding on the popular Salesforce platform, the vendor has seen burgeoning sales of its core products like Sales Cloud and Service Cloud with considerable contributions from the add-ons that are becoming increasingly critical to the long-term successes of these implementations.

The add-ons include Salesforce Shield, a Security Bundle (includes Event Monitoring, Field Audit Trail, and Platform Encryption), an almost must-have for customers when deploying an increasing number of Salesforce instances where security and encryption are considered pivotal.

Salesforce Lightning, the new UI for most Salesforce products, is another component for Salesforce to bolster average selling prices as well as total contract value. Lightning is sold in three versions - Platform for administrator, Starter for professional users and Console for apps like Sales Cloud. Its pricing is also based on number of custom objects that users can access. Generally, Platform accounts for 5% of total spend when customers need to upgrade from its Classic UI to Lightning and Starter contribute to 75% and Console covers the remaining 20%.

In 2019, it revved up its expansion by acquiring Tableau for $15.7 billion in 2019, a little over a year after it bought MuleSoft for $6.5 billion. However, Salesforce would also see license revenues rising sharply to more than $500 million, a big chunk for any Cloud-native vendor. The upside is that Salesforce will be able to leverage the business intelligence and data visualization products from Tableau to augment its analytics offering.

Both Einstein Analytics and Einstein AI are complementary to Tableau and provide rich capabilities to customers. Einstein is a layer of intelligence, spanning the entire Customer 360 Platform that allows you to discover insights, predict outcomes, recommend actions, and automate workflows. Einstein includes out-of-the-box AI features for Sales, Service, Marketing, and Commerce, as well as, programmatic and declarative AI services for admins and developers (like voice, vision, and language). Salesforce users will benefit from the API capabilities of MuleSoft to better connect their different Cloud and non-Cloud applications, while fundamentally changing the way they manage their own customers using Tableau's BI tools to generate interactive reports, discover new trends and improve how decisions are being made.

In September 2019, Salesforce launched new insurance-focused enhancements that enable insurers to build stronger, more personalized relationships with policyholders. As an extension to Financial Services Cloud, insurers now have a unified, 360-degree view of their policyholders -- including household relationships, life events and more -- across all lines of business.

Salesforce.com Recent Developments

In November 2021, Salesforce named Bret Taylor as its co-CEO running the company with founder and co-CEO Marc Benioff. Taylor was president and COO for two years after becoming chief product officer in 2016 when his company Quip was acquired by Salesforce.

Salesforce has been anxious to regain the upper hand in Cloud applications through expensive acquisitions such as buying Tableau for $16 billion for on-premise and Cloud analytics in 2019. In December 2020, Salesforce offered to buy Slack for chat-based collaboration at a steep price of $28 billion, $2 billion more than what Microsoft paid for LinkedIn. Slack’s fiscal 2021 revenues jumped 43% to $903 million, compared with a 57% increase to $630 million in the year-earlier period. By comparison, LinkedIn’s run-rate was about $3.7 billion in 2016, growing at 29%.

In its 3QFY22, Salesforce split out the revenues of Mulesoft and Tableau as its Data unit with $900 million in revenue, while Slack goes under Platform with $1.3 billion in revenue. Marketing and Commerce topped $1 billion, while Service Cloud surpassed Sales Cloud by $120 million to reach $1.6 billion in revenue for the quarter.

At Dreamforce 2021, much of its focus was on Slack's integration into Salesforce Customer 360, making its way across the Salesforce stack. Most notably was the Slack Connect feature that allows salespeople running Sales Cloud to generate conversations with colleagues on Slack for best practices. Additionally, Salesforce launched Health Cloud 2.0 for covid-care services from vaccine management to contact tracing.

Along with its rapid-fire acquisitions of Tableau, MuleSoft and ClickSoftware in 2019, Salesforce has strengthened its core CRM offerings. In particular, its Service Cloud has grown from half the size of Sales Cloud in 2015 to its current position as the No. 1 single brand within Salesforce, thanks to its successful pricing strategy to push log-in/member subscription fees. with "

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Salesforce.com Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) Activities

In July 2021, Salesforce completed its acquisition of the business communication platform Slack for $27.7 billion. Slack will serve as the new interface for Salesforce's Customer 360 platform. It will enable employees across different departments using different Salesforce clouds to communicate with each other through a single interface. This is Salesforce's largest acquisition ever, topping the $15.7 billion purchase of Tableau in 2019. Slack will continue to operate under the Slack brand, driving forward a continued focus on its mission, customers, and community.

In 2020, Salesforce also acquired: Evergage, which offers personalization and a customer data platform; Mobify which will provide Salesforce Commerce Cloud with a modern storefront solution that will allow brands to customize their commerce experiences faster and more frequently and deliver an enhanced shopping experience across any channel, and the member-based community of CMOs and marketing leaders - The CMO Club.

In February 2020, Salesforce finalized its $1.3B acquisition of Vlocity. Vlocity is a CRM vendor for industries built natively on the Salesforce CRM platform. By enabling Salesforce to branch out further into vertical industries, the Vlocity acquisition will likely have a strategic payoff.

In June 2019 Salesforce acquired Tableau for $15.7 billion, its biggest purchase to date. The deal happened one year after completing its acquisition of MuleSoft for its API integration products.

Over the past year, Salesforce has also made a number of other important acquisitions including Bonobo AI, MapAnything, Griddable.io, Rebel, Datorama, CloudCraze, Attic Labs, ClickSoftware, Vlocity, Evergage all in hopes to bulk up in areas such as marketing intelligence, artificial intelligence, location-based workflow, and field service management. Apparently, Salesforce is eagerly stepping into the role of a consolidator when many of these partners and upstarts are motivated to sell before the window closes." with "SAP bought Emarsys for omnichannel customer engagement platform to complement its Customer Experience offerings. In early 2021 Qualtrics went public after SAP spun it off by retaining majority ownership.

Salesforce.com Customers in ARTW Customer Database

Leveraging a rigorous data-centric research methodology, APPS RUN THE WORLD asks the simple question: Who’s buying Salesforce.com applications and why? And we provide the answers – supported by decades of research – to our clients around the world. Our Customer database has over 100 data fields that detail company usage of Salesforce.com and other enterprise apps by function, customer size, industry, location, implementation status, partner involvement, Line of Business Key Stakeholders and IT decision makers contact details. List of Verified Salesforce Commerce Cloud Digital, Salesforce Community Cloud, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Salesforce Sales Cloud, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Salesforce Quote-to-Cash, Service Cloud, Salesforce Wave Analytics, Salesforce Financial Services Cloud, Tableau customers.

Salesforce.com Key Enterprise and Cloud Applications

Salesforce Commerce Cloud Digital, Salesforce Community Cloud, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Salesforce Sales Cloud, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Salesforce Quote-to-Cash, Service Cloud, Salesforce Wave Analytics, Salesforce Financial Services Cloud, Tableau

Salesforce.com Revenues, $M:

Type/Year20202021YoY Growth, %
Total Revenues, $M Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe
Enterprise Applications Revenues, $M Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe
Cloud Applications Revenues, $M Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe

* Enterprise Applications Revenues = License + Support & Maintenance + SaaS
** All revenue figures are estimates based on public records, Cloud and Non-Cloud business models in Apps Run The World's vendor database, and annual survey results including vendor feedback.

Salesforce.com Revenue Breakdown By Type, $M:

TypeLicenseProf. ServicesHardwareSupport & MaintenanceSaaSPaaSIaaSOther (Non Enterprise Application Revenues)Total
% of Total Revenues Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe 100%
Revenues, $M Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe

Salesforce.com Revenues By Region, $M

Region% of Total Revenues2021 Total Revenues, $M2021 Enterprise Applications Revenues, $M2021 Cloud Applications Revenues, $M
Americas Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe
EMEA Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe
APAC Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe
Total Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe

Salesforce.com Direct vs Indirect sales

RegionDirect SalesIndirect SalesTotal
Type % Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe
Revenues, $M Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe

Salesforce.com Customers - Breakdown by Geo, Size, Vertical and Product

List of Verified Salesforce.com Customers


No. of Salesforce.com Customers: 250000

No. of Salesforce.com Enterprise Applications Customers: 25000

No. of Salesforce.com Cloud Customers: 240000

No. of Salesforce.com Cloud Subscribers: x


By acquiring Slack, Salesforce is not only bolstering its portfolio of enterprise applications and filling out its broader software suite as it seeks new areas of growth, it is directly adding over 130,000 paying customers.

The acquisition of Tableau added 86,000 customers to Salesforce's current base of 150,000 accounts. While there are overlaps between the two, it's fair to assume that the purchase will allow Salesforce to increase its wallet share among its clientele.

Additionally, the MuleSoft purchase has already added at least 1,200 customers, while the August 2018 deal to buy Datorama for its marketing intelligence products provided access to another 3,000 customers including PepsiCo, Ticketmaster, Trivago, Unilever, Pernod Ricard and Foursquare.

What's noteworthy is the size and evolution of Salesforce's installed base. Six years after its founding, Salesforce's customer count topped 10,000 in 2005, broke the 100,000 barrier in 2012, then setting in at around 150,000 in 2015. After refraining from disclosing customer growth metrics for an extended period of time, Salesforce disclosed the current count of 150,000 when it announced its purchase of Tableau in June 2019. Clearly, there has been 10% attrition among many of its customers coupled with changes in its approach by selling more through its ISV partners and third-party channels.

By contrast, both Oracle and SAP have been touting the steady growth of their installations from under 100,000 to a milestone of nearly 500,000 customers each over the past decade. The acquisition of Tableau underscores strategic shifts as Salesforce starts embracing the on-premise model while forging ahead to boost its wallet share and market reach by targeting hundreds of thousands of customers around the world.

Salesforce.com Market Opportunities, M&A and Geo Expansions

Salesforce is building on its success in CRM with the acquisition and integration of Slack for the convergence of collaboration and all aspects about sales. One of the use cases is Deal Room where Salesforce users will be conducting in-depth discussion with other salespeople on deal approval, workflow and other sales opportunities over Slack. Other enhancements include video and audio clips searches within Slack that allow for easier collaboration across structured and unstructured content.

Following the August launch of new Slack integrations across Sales, Service, Marketing, and Analytics (Tableau), in September 2021, Salesforce launched integrations across the majority of its products, including Commerce, Experience, Platform, Trailhead, MuleSoft, and Quip, and its industry clouds and products including Sustainability, Corporate and Investment Banking, Healthcare and Life Sciences, Philanthropy, Nonprofit, and Education. The intention of Salesforce is to create a comprehensive modern workspace, that enables collaboration, communities, communications, CRM functionality, customer experience, and AI in an ecosystem that will welcome other integrations to extend enterprise functionality.

Salesforce's purchases of Tableau and Datorama are the latest examples of the CRM champion wanting to extend its reach into the data world by making it easier for its customers to better manage, manipulate and visualize data. The Tableau purchase was easy to understand given Salesforce's heavy investment in Wave and later Einstein, all of which now form the basis of a slew of analytics and visualization tools for customers to drive better sales, eCommerce, marketing and customer service and support outcomes.

The Datorama deal is meant to put all performance, outcome and investment data sources that cover everything from online advertising to survey data all in one place in order to boost marketing intelligence, according to Ran Sarig, CEO of Datorama. In other words, it's another way for Salesforce to help customers harness the rich data sources they are confronted with every day through the use of algorithms. Datorama said its customers can unify hundreds of data sources into a single narrative for running better marketing campaigns for marketers, billing and finance executives.

MuleSoft is another important investment by Salesforce. With MuleSoft, Salesforce now provides one of the world's leading platforms for building application networks that connect enterprise apps, data and devices across any cloud and on-premise whether they connect with Salesforce or not.

It remains to be seen how Salesforce is tapping into the data-driven market opportunities, almost a decade after buying Jigsaw, which was one of its major forays into data services market. That did not get Salesforce to dominate a space that has spawned hundreds of data providers. What Salesforce is counting on is that it would like to provide more tools to manage the onslaught of data. Its recent acquisition of MapAnything for managing location-based workflow is another example.

As Salesforce continues to expand its product portfolio, the August 2019 purchase of ClickSoftware for its field service management applications suggested that Salesforce is doing everything possible to automate the common business processes within the confines of CRM sales force automation, marketing and customer service. Now the challenge is to deliver the ability to make sense of every bit of data that gets captured across the entire customer lifecycle.

Salesforce.com Risks and Challenges

In its 3QFY22 Slack contributed $280 million in revenues for the first full quarter after becoming part of the company in July. That was no much different from the $273 million in total revenues it reported when it ended its last reported period on April 30, 2021. In the prior quarter, Slack reported $251 million in revenues, or a 9% sequential growth. The modest sequential growth in the latest quarter may stem from revenues not being recognized after the acquisition for accounting reasons. Salesforce also emphasized that Slack was included among the four out of the top 10 deals during the period. The number of customers on Slack who spent over $100,000 was up 44 percent in 3Q22 over 3Q21. What that suggests is that it will take a few more quarters before Slack becomes a catalyst for incremental growth. One inhibitor to growth lies in adding Slack to the Salesforce apps stack could backfire because of its intrusive nature with incessant pings and constant notifications. With increased use of AI and better personalization, it will not be long before Slack can prove itself to be indispensable to help boost productivity for Salesforce users.

Another challenge lies in the deceleration of Mulesoft disclosed during the 3QFY22, which could be a matter of concern as API integration remains one of the fastest-growing markets. In fact, Salesforce touted Mulesoft's progress just two months earlier with the highest current growth rate of 44% among its recently-acquired properties. Similarly, rivals like Boomi, Celigo and Jitterbit all reported robust results during the pandemic as Boomi was being spun off by Dell for about $4 billion. While the deceleration of Mulesoft may extend into FY23 given the nature of these mostly license-based integration projects, the big unknown is whether the slowdown would bleed into other Salesforce products, perhaps unwinding some of those bundle sales that drove its growth.

Salesforce is unfazed as it projects to log another 20% growth in its top line for fiscal 2023, a remarkable feat that only a few big software powerhouses like AWS and Microsoft Azure have been able to accomplish over the past few years. The question is whether Salesforce could ride another back-to-back 20%+ annual growth rates year after year without resorting to more big-ticket acquisitions as the number of moving parts continues to multiply across a sprawling product portfolio.

The explosive growth of Salesforce's Service Cloud underscores the transformation of the vendor as it relies more on selling log-in/member subscription fees, essentially monetizing the consumption of its content, data, interactions between licensed users and any one else that needs to access the systems.

Similarly, the acquisitions of Mulesoft and Tableau will bolster sales of Salesforce's API calls and dashboards, rendering the per user per month pricing model less impactful in the long run. The question is whether customers will push back on such transaction-based systems that are more procedural and routine from a toll taker, rather than from a software innovator like Salesforce.

The other risk facing Salesforce is its considerable exposure to the customer experience marketplace, which will have its own reckoning in 2020 and beyond. While the meaning of customer experience will evolve even as the public health crisis comes to a close, the world of customer relationship management will change as well.

There is no easy answer for Salesforce, but the burden is now on for the incumbent vendor that has pioneered Cloud CRM or fashioned itself as the Customer Company to help its users - particularly those in hospitality, travel and retail sectors - not necessarily return to the old ways of serving and delighting customers, but rethink how best to stay relevant in the post-pandemic world.

Salesforce.com Ecosystem, Partners, Resellers and SI

In August 2020, Abrigo launched Salesforce Platform API Integration to maximize relationship management at financial institutions. The integration with the Sageworks Lending and Credit Risk Solution. The integration with the Salesforce platform creates a centralized repository of borrower information, giving teams within the institution access to the same customer and loan data for faster customer service.

Salesforce is expanding in UK in Fall 2020. The expansion will double the company's original commitment to train 500 people and will train an additional 500 people over the next three years to a 1,000 total.

The Salesforce Military Alliance, an initiative of the Salesforce Military program, is aimed at accelerating the hiring of veterans and military spouses for Salesforce ecosystem roles. Through the alliance, Salesforce partners and customers commit to automatic interviews for any Salesforce Military member who earns an admin certification and/or commit to offering reskilling opportunities to their current veteran or military spouse employees through the Salesforce Military program.

Salesforce AppExchange, the world's leading enterprise cloud marketplace, empowers companies to sell, service, market and engage in entirely new ways. With more than 4,000 solutions, over 7 million customer installs and 90,000+ peer reviews, it is the most comprehensive source of cloud, mobile, social, IoT, analytics and artificial intelligence technologies for businesses. The AppExchange includes 74 applications categorized for ERP. The evolving Salesforce ERP ecosystem remains a moving target. For example, Veeva, a long-time ERP Service and Operations Management ISV partner, represents $500 million in sales for Salesforce under a 10-year deal through 2025.

Since 2017, Salesforce might have had second thoughts by signing a series of deals with IQVIA, Veeva's archrival in the life sciences industry, to sell each other's products into the same vertical. At one point, Salesforce was rooting for manufacturing ERP partners including Kenandy, which saw lackluster results before its recent merger with Rootstock. The same applies to its 2015 partnership with Sage, which has yielded a Cloud ERP product called Sage Live, which recently has been renamed Sage Business Cloud Financials. That follows Sage's 2017 acquisition of Intacct, which appears to be the focal point of its Cloud accounting strategy. Amid disappointing Cloud results, Sage ousted its CEO Stephen Kelly, who was instrumental in its partnership with Salesforce.

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Data used in research reports are derived from publicly available documents, continuous surveys of applications vendors, customers, resellers, Independent Software Vendors, systems integrators and other verifiable sources.


Vendor shares and market forecast results are based on a combination of existing databases as well as demand side and supply side research conducted throughout the year with validation from vendors, customers, channel partners and documentations such as earnings releases and 10Q and 10K filings, vertical industry studies, regional and country-level statistics from public and private institutions(i.e. colleges, universities, government agencies and trade associations).


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