Global HQ: San Francisco, California, US Website: www.salesforce.com
Global leader: Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO
Local leader: Steve McWhirter, president, Asia-Pacific
Core activity: Customer relationship management, cloud computing
Revenue: US$1.1 billion (FY08-09 ended January 31)
Key customers: Telecom New Zealand, Dell, AAPT, Acer, Millennium and
Copthorne Hotels, Vodafone New Zealand, TelstraClear, Fairfax, Trademe, Dow
Jones Newswires, Mission Australia, Sun Microsystems, Viocorp, Litesteel
Salesforce.com, a pioneer of the software as a service cloud computing model, became the first billion-dollar baby in that sector this year, but it’s now having to mature quickly as Oracle, Microsoft and others are out to steal its toys.
Early in 2009, Salesforce.com was rated by Forbes as the third fastest growing tech concern, just behind Google. The 44 percent hike in sales revenue this year shows it’s clearly on the money.
Many companies that have overhauled their back-end processes are now looking at front office, including on-demand software for real-time customer relationship management.
In a sense, the decade-old firm has paved the way for its competitors, with a range of industries eager to embrace cloud computing applications that empower sales, marketing and services teams without having to invest in big IT infrastructure.
Salesforce.com’s expansion into call centre, self-service portals and applications for smartphones, including the iPhone, are promising pointers for the future. Keith Newman
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