posted on 2/25/2011 11:33:05 AM
The cloud-based provider of customer relationship management (CRM) applications notches a 27% increase in sales to close its fiscal year, and says it will pass the $2 billion mark next year.
Customer relationship management pioneer Salesforce.com announced on Thursday that it had passed the $1.5 billion revenue mark in fiscal 2011, and vowed to eclipse $2 billion in sales in fiscal 2012.
For the year ended Jan. 31, 2010, the cloud-based CRM provider realized a 27% sales increase, reporting nearly $1.66 billion in revenue. That total exceeds fiscal 2010’s tally of $1.3 billion by 27%. Net income, meanwhile, slipped to $64.5 million from $80.7 million in fiscal 2010, mainly on an increase in stock-based compensation expense.
Salesforce.com added nearly 20,000 customers during the year, bringing its total to more than 92,000. In just the fourth quarter, the cloud CRM purveyor signed two eight-figure deals and more than 30 seven-figure contracts, CEO Marc Benioff told analysts on a conference call Thursday to announce the results.
Its momentum in the CRM market inspired the company to predict more than $2 billion in revenue this fiscal year, which will end in January 2012.
Helping Salesforce.com surpass $1.5 billion in sales this past year was a diversified portfolio that it said allows for multiple entrance points with prospective customers. The company now offers four core CRM-related products: Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Collaboration Cloud, and Platform Cloud.
Asked by an analyst how Salesforce.com will manage growth as it pursues these disparate technology paths, Benioff said observers shouldn’t think of the individual brands as separate clouds; they’re one big code base, he said.
The premise of all the Salesforce.com offerings remains fairly simple, according to Benioff. “We…help our customers to manage and share all their customer information in the cloud. At the end of the day, that’s our vision.”
He said the CRM company stratifies its offerings into brands “mostly…because that’s what customers usually expect from other vendors. They get a server or multiple servers, and they’re independent code bases.”
Among Salesforce.com’s user base, customers often begin with small bites and then expand into larger CRM deployments. “It’s very often that a Sales Cloud user will start to integrate and start to use Knowledge Management from the Service Cloud, or a Service Cloud user will start to use contact and accounting functionality from the Sales Cloud,” Benioff said. “And both of those guys…are going to draw from the Platform [Cloud] to customize and to build that Apex code that provides that referential integrity, the stored procedures.”
The new Chatter application personifies Salesforce.com’s Collaboration Cloud, and is a standout component of the company’s concept of Cloud 2, which it defines as a more social, mobile, open, and collaborative CRM experience. Benioff called Chatter a “private and secure corporate social network,” and said that type of business-based social computing represents a “new enterprise category.”
At the close of the fiscal year, he said Salesforce.com had 80,000 users running Chatter. That particular CRM tool is “deeply integrated into [the company’s] services,” he said. "It’s in the database, it’s in the platform, it’s in the apps, and it’s its own independent app.”
New Chatter customers in the fourth quarter included Analog Devices, Avaya, McAfee, 3M, and Citrix.