Cloud

Salesforce.com Makes A Bundle

Darryl K. Taft covers IBM, big data and a number of other topics for TechWeekEurope and eWeek

Salesforce.com has had a record quarter while all around is gloom. Could this be vindication for the cloud model?

Bucking the trend  of falling revenues from many in the technology sector, cloud computing powerhouse Salesforce.com saw a 34 percent jump in revenue to a record of  $290 million (£204 million) for its fiscal fourth quarter, which ended 31 Jan, and more than $1 billion (£0.7 billion) in revenue for the entire year.

Subscription and support revenues were $266 (£187) million, an increase of 35 percent over the same period last year. And professional services and other revenues were $23.5 (£16.56) million, an increase of 15 percent over the same period a year ago.

Meanwhile, the company posted net profits of $13.75 (£9.69) million for its fourth quarter and revenues of $1.077 (£0.76) billion for the full fiscal year.

“Salesforce.com is proud to be the first billion dollar cloud computing company,” said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, Salesforce.com, in a statement. “At a time when capital is precious, big-ticket software purchases just don’t make sense.”

Salesforce.com officials also said the amount of net paying customers the company has rose approximately 3,600 during the fourth quarter and approximately 14,400 during the year to finish at approximately 55,400. Net paying subscribers rose to greater than 1.5 million, an increase of approximately 400,000 from the prior fiscal year end.

The positive quarterly results help bear out Salesforce.com’s contention that the departure of former president and chief strategy officer, Steve Cakebread, and others would have no impact on the company. Indeed, Salesforce.com officials say with the recession, companies that deliver SAAS (software as a service) will tend to do better than pure software companies because SAAS providers eliminate hefty infrastructure and maintenance costs.

In addition, Salesforce.com officials said revenue for the company’s first fiscal quarter is projected to be in the range of approximately $304 (£214.2) million to approximately $305 (£214.9) million. Salesforce.com also updated the full year revenue guidance it provided on 20 Nov 2008, with revenue now expected to be approximately $1.3 (£0.91) billion to approximately $1.33 (£0.94) billion.

Moreover, Salesforce.com officials said the company handled more than 12 billion transactions in the fourth quarter alone. There were 100,000 custom applications built on Force.com, there are 166 native applications available via the Force.com AppExchange, and there are 124,000 Force.com developers.

In addition, Salesforce.com launched Force.com Sites, which led to the launch of 1,500 sites, 130 million hits and 15 million total page views. The company also launched the Service Cloud, enabling customer service organisations to join and manage customer service conversations in the cloud.