SmoothSpan Blog

For Executives, Entrepreneurs, and other Digerati who need to know about SaaS and Web 2.0.

Salesforce Bucks the Trends. Again.

Posted by Bob Warfield on November 20, 2008

Salesforce just reported they beat analysts estimates, had a good quarter, and grew another 43% versus the quarter a year ago.  Same growth the reported last quarter. 

I can’t tell you how many arguments I’ve been involved in where there was someone trying to say that SaaS is a very limited phenomenon, that it hasn’t impacted any large players yet, that it won’t ever go into very many markets (“just a few are suited to SaaS”), that it isn’t a megatrend in the same sense client-server or thin clients were, SAP grows as much as the whole SaaS industry’s total size every year, and on and on.  The last time I was in one of these I was told that I just sounded too “boring and desperate” to make SaaS seem like a winning strategy.

But here comes Salesforce wtih good numbers again.  Here came Concur again with good numbers.  Even NetSuite, which has to sell a whole ERP suite (one of the areas these anti-SaaS pundits seem to argue can’t be penetrated by SaaS) seems to be doing reasonably well against the backdrop of this economy.

Like so many paradigm shifts, SaaS seems to be analagous to a war time piece of advice:

Despite how loud artillery seems to be, you never hear the shell that lands in your own foxhole.

2 Responses to “Salesforce Bucks the Trends. Again.”

  1. […] Read the rest of this great post here […]

  2. darrellross said


    I just attended Adobe MAX and caught the session on Salesforce’s integration with Flex & AIR. The evangelist laid out their PaaS offering and walked us through how easy it was to hook a Actionscript call into the SF back-end. What really struck me is how broad their offering is – becomes your app server and db for your RIA. With the Sites offering launching soon, this will become a very interesting play for launching/maintaining public facing RIAs and eliminating some of the headache we face in maintaining Amazon EC2 instances.

    Despite the potential I see for this offering, I also have a few reservations:
    – The monthly per user fee for the base SF seat which has to be baked into my pricing model
    – The limited # of resources dedicated at SF for the Flex/AIR support (only one FT employee and one consultant)
    – Becoming locked into a very proprietary backend

    Darrell Ross

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