09 Jun Member Spotlight: Salesforce
Member Spotlight: Salesforce
“It’s time to treat the client like an enterprise and not an account.”
Salesforce, founded in 1999 by Marc Benioff, Parker Harris, Dave Moellenhoff, and Frank Dominguez is currently one of the most highly valued software companies in the world. Although their origins of a customer relations management (CRM) tool is still widely applied, their business has evolved beyond it. Salesforce provides its customers with a customer engagement platform. They believe that the success of their customers is the success of the company. The success of the customer is supported by three different models; the technology model where the solutions are being offered via a subscription based model which leaves the customer flexible in up but also downgrading, the business model where they adopt also customers in their Ohana ( Hawaiian for family ) and the education model through which they learn their customers, partners and employees how to be successful, supported by the Salesforce ecosystem.
Their business started with the idea that customer relations could be well supported through a software system which doesn’t depend on hardware, but can be offered in the form of software as a service (SaaS). Back in 1999, internet was just taking off and ideas like the cloud were certainly not widely accepted They initially aimed their services to SMEs and startups, which couldn’t afford the systems sold by the incumbents. Salesforce has since then taken off, growing to serve more than 150.000 customers worldwide. Although the company is now employing 25.000 employees over the globe, it has nurtured the startup culture within its fast-growing organisation. This all comes back to the initial founders, who held clear philanthropic views when they started Salesforce, pledging to also give back to society, having a wider view than pure profit. The way Salesforce gives back to society is through pledging to offer 1% of all employee’s time to do volunteer work, 1% of their products to philanthropic organizations and pledge 1% of its equity to charities. This commendable culture runs through the veins of the company, according the Edwill Jansen, Regional Vice President for Financial Services in the Netherlands: new employees get familiar with volunteering work in their first week at Salesforce where they spend several hours on their first VTO activity. (Volunteering Time Off)
Through the years, Salesforce also developed their offering from CRM to Customer Engagement Platform. This platform supports all stages in the process from lead to cash. From marketing disciplines, to business development disciplines to sales en after sales (services) disciplines. All these offerings are built on one platform. A platform on which it’s easy for customers to build apps themselves (drag & drop instead of coding) and where third parties can expose their apps in the App Exchange.
Salesforce works closely together with many fintechs, either by supplying the platform for these companies to achieve success, or by allowing them to make third party applications within its software ecosystem. Many fintech startups share the ideology of creating a better world through wider support of stakeholders and sharing some of the success together, coinciding with plenty of the aspects of Salesforces Ohana. This is why Edwill is also looking to expand its view in the Netherlands by working together with companies who are looking to innovate for a better, more equal future.
Salesforce has also published its own FinTech report this year. For more information, click here.