On the strength of its latest earnings, which placed Salesforce’s revenue run rate at $6 billion annually, Fortune magazine came calling with another accolade for the cloud software maker—membership in the prestigious Fortune 500. That’s the list of the 500 largest companies in America. There are other lists that take a more global perspective but this is a good place to start.
The announcement has been long anticipated—I had been writing about its seeming inevitability for a couple of years. But when it happened, there was not much fanfare beyond a blog post on the company’s site dated June 5, and you’d be forgiven if you missed it. I did. Perhaps I’d become immune to the awards piling up that include,
- “Most Admired Software Company” Fortune Magazine, three years in a row
- “Best Companies to Work For” Fortune Magazine, seven consecutive years
- “World’s Most Innovative Company” Forbes, four consecutive years
And, for the third consecutive year, Salesforce was named the #1 CRM software provider in Gartner Inc.’s latest worldwide CRM market share report, entitled “Market Share Analysis: Customer Relationship Management Software, Worldwide, 2014.”
But there it is, the Fortune-five and at $6 billion, the company is more than half way to its goal of becoming the first $10 billion cloud company.
From this vantage point, the company does not appear to be easing up. The current Marketing Cloud show in New York is bursting with product announcements and tutorials on best use.
Salesforce has a bright future but also a few challenges. It has raised the level of competition by bringing a sometimes skeptical and reluctant marketplace into cloud computing and it has applied social media, mobility, and analytics technologies to great effect. Its next challenge appears to be getting customers to see the value of using all of its products and services—including its platform—in concert rather than settling on one or two solutions to specific old school problems.
The company’s formula for success in getting to this point has involved a great deal of persuasion through marketing, events, and leveraging all media and channels at its disposal to get past old school gatekeepers, along with a touch of humor. Continuing on this path should get the company to its goal but it will also continue to significantly reshape the marketplace including other vendors and the customers who use their products.