TechCrunch  6 hrs ago  Comment 
 French startup OpenDataSoft just raised a $5.4 million Series A round (€5 million) to make it easier to manipulate huge sets of data. Aster Capital and Salesforce Ventures invested in today’s round, with existing investor Aurinvest also...
TechCrunch  Oct 21  Comment 
 Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff took the stage at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing today to talk about diversity and equality. This comes just weeks after Salesforce brought on board Tony Prophet, its first-ever Chief Equality...
Forbes  Oct 20  Comment 
Twitter‘s stock has been on a roller coaster ride over the past month, mirroring the rumored acquisition interest from several major players, including Salesforce , Disney and Alphabet . The company’s stock price rose about 40% in the last...
TechCrunch  Oct 20  Comment 
 Salesforce has a history of staying close to the cutting edge of technology, so it shouldn’t be surprising that it announced an artificial intelligence initiative recently, it dubbed Einstein. We caught up with some key members of the...
Clusterstock  Oct 19  Comment 
A leaked Colin Powell email from May shows Salesforce had 14 public companies on its acquisition target list, including Adobe, which now has a bigger market cap than Salesforce itself, according to The Wall Street Journal's Rachel King. The...
Wall Street Journal  Oct 19  Comment 
Benzinga  Oct 17  Comment 
The following are the M&A deals, rumors and chatter circulating on Wall Street for Friday, October 14 through Sunday October 16, 2016: Salesforce CEO Rules Out Twitter Bid The CEO Interview : Salesforce (NYSE: CRM) CEO Marc Benioff...
Forbes  Oct 17  Comment 
Nick Taranto, co-founder of Plated is one. Paige Craig, managing partner of Arena Ventures is too. So is Ann Weeby, director of workforce innovation at Salesforce. They look just like any other person in the the startup world. But the truth is...


Salesforce.com provides enterprise cloud computing applications such as customer and collaboration relationship management (CRM) to businesses of various sizes and industries.[1] By providing subscription-based CRM applications to record, track, manage, and analyze data concerning sales, customer service and support, and marketing operations, Salesforce.com's CRM applications provide customers the ability to build these systems without investing in new software, hardware, and other infrastructure.[2] Salesforce.com's main products and services include CRM applications, the Force.com, AppExchange, and related consulting and maintenance services. Salesforce.com has over 92,000 customers worldwide and derives more than 30% of its revenue from overseas sales. While providing a potential less expensive platform, Salesforce.com faces heavy competition from large business customers who have greater resources and entrenched customer relationships with larger businesses.[3] As these businesses compete for cost conscience customers , profit margins continued to remain depressed.[4]

Business Growth

Through the acquisitions of InStranet in 2008 and Jigsaw in 2010, Salesforce.com has increased its offerings of software-as-a-service, or SaaS, and expanded into adjacent markets.[5] Salesforce.com has developed business applications beyond CRM applications that are designed to attract larger businesses as well.[6]

Trends and Forces

High-degree of competition threatens Salesforce.com's market share and profitability

With greater resources and established relationships with large business customers, large enterprise software companies like SAP and Oracle (ORCL) are a significant threat to Salesforce.com's ability to grow into new markets.[7] In addition, these companies have the ability to develop large research and development facilities, which put pressure on Salesforce.com to develop and market new products and services. In response, Salesforce.com has expanded its product lines through key acquisitions in 2008 and 2010.[8]

Salesforce.com's cloud-based platforms also face competition from cloud-computing rivals like Google (GOOG) and Microsoft (MSFT) as well as from open-source alternatives like SugarCRM.[9] These companies are market similar platforms to those marketed by Salesforce.com that have similar price-advantages that attracted small and medium-sized businesses to Salesforce.com.[10]

Salesforce.com declining 2011 profitability margins partially reflect increased competition in the CRM space as software providers compete for cost-sensitive contracts.[11] In addition, many of Salesforce.com's SaaS competitors have the potential of taking away clients and revenue from the Company.[12]

Salesforce.com needs growth to keep pace with high customer acquisition costs

Salesforce.com's marketing expenses represent almost half of the Company's revenue. While marketing expense represent one type of cost, it illustrates how critical scale is to the Company's profitability.[13] Compared to those of its competitors SAP AG (SAP) and Oracle (ORCL), Salesforce.com operating margins are below industry average.[14] With larger deals, Salesforce.com lowers its customer acquisition costs. In response, Salesforce.com has launched products designed to increase investment in the Company's services. Force.com and Chatter Cloud both represent newly-launched products designed to attract customers to a "suite" of Salesforce.com offerings.[15]


Within the CRM-space, Salesforce.com's competitors offer open-source, SaaS, and traditional software solutions.[16] Competition is high,which has led to relatively diminished margins for Salesforces.com. Its key competitors include:

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