Let’s talk about innovation and its payoff. Salesforce was ranked the world’s most innovative company of 2011. As a Salesforce developer, it is certainly motivating to be working with the winning team. There was a time, however, when Salesforce was just an ambitious startup. In its early days, Salesforce was a simple CRM tool in the cloud - satisfying the very basic definition of Software as a Service and offering only the most basic of CRM functionality.
The Salesforce business model didn’t have to change and they could have continued by simply improving their core product, aiming to be the best darned CRM tool on the market. Rather than taking the easy road, however, they chose to chase loftier goals and made investments in new areas. They added new product offerings, including The Sales Cloud, The Service Cloud, and their most significant investment, the Force.com Platform.
Looking back, years later, were these new products worth the company’s investment and divided focus? Absolutely. A new article by Forbes sheds some interesting stats on Salesforce’s growth and revenue streams. You should definitely check it out. They report that “40% of Salesforce’s new business came from non-CRM offerings”, referring to the non-core products mentioned above. To support new products and new clients, the article reports that Salesforce hired an additional 2,500 employees last year alone, a staggering increase of 47%.
Because of their innovative, forward-looking attitude and the fan-like community they foster, Salesforce has been pulling both large companies and growing startups away from their current solutions, including Hewlett-Packard, Facebook, Electronic Arts, and Zynga. As evidence of this, the Forbes article reports that Salesforce’s revenue stream is up to an estimated $3 billion in 2013 from $1 billion three years ago, which couldn’t have happened unless they were pulling this business away from competitors.
A final impressive statistic in this article is the number of Force.com developers around the world - 480,000. Salesforce has a significant international presence and is still growing in Japan, India, and European countries, which makes this number more understandable. With all these developers, there should be no shortage of custom development assistance for its clients, which should continue to spin the fly-wheel of Salesforce’s growth.