Salesforce.com’s Development Platform Could Become a Major Force

-2.99%
Downside
125
Market
121
Trefis
CRM
salesforce.com

Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM) is a pure cloud computing player offering a number of cloud-based products including customer relationship management (CRM) software as well as its development platform Force.com. Salesforce.com competes with SAP (NYSE:SAP), Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and IBM (NYSE:IBM) in the CRM software market.

Force.com is a development platform and infrastructure for corporate IT departments and independent developers to build business applications. It provides an environment to develop custom applications beyond CRM applications.

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We estimate that CRM software and other cloud computing products account for around 66% and 26% of our $116 price estimate for Salesforce.com stock. Our price estimate stands about 5% below market price.

Force.com Prospects Looking Brighter

Salesforce.com’s presence in the cloud computing space outside of the CRM software market is currently small, with few meaningful revenue opportunities until now. But given that the cloud computing market could see rapid growth in the near future, even a small presence should provide notable upside.

Cloud Computing Market Share (Excluding Cloud-Based CRM Software) –

See our full analysis and $116 price estimate for Salesforce.com

To increase its presence in the cloud computing market, the company has started to increase focus on popularizing products like Force.com, AppExchange and Database.com. Management was most bullish on Force.com’s prospects during the company’s most recent earnings conference call. [1] Management noted:

“We see momentum building in the platform as a service category as companies demand more social, mobile and open applications to serve their employees and customers. We have the only platform for building quality applications that is a trusted, proven solution for the enterprise. And with our strategic news towards an open multi-language, multi-develop strategy in the last 90 days, we believe Force.com is positioned to be a long-term leader in the platform as a service category” [1]

Management also stated:

“Force.com achieved some truly impressive milestones. This year, we attracted an additional 100,000 developers creating a global customer community of more than 340,000 developers writing on the Salesforce.com platform.” [1]

These statements both point to upside in Salesforce.com’s cloud computing market share. The interactive chart above illustrates how changes to Salesforce.com’s cloud computing market share outlook (excluding cloud-based CRM software) could affect the company’s stock value.

Notes:
  1. See SeekingAlpha: Salesforce.com FY Q4 2011 earnings conference call transcript, February 2011 [] [] []