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Below are key drivers of Salesforce.com's value that present opportunities for upside or downside to the current Trefis price estimate for Salesforce.com:
For additional details, select a driver above or select a division from the interactive Trefis split for Salesforce.com at the top of the page.
Salesforce.com offers customer relationship management (CRM) software, including sales and customer service software, as well as other cloud-based application, database and platform software to businesses. CRM software helps companies better manage customer data and information, which helps those companies to better serve their customers and increase sales. Salesforce.com's software is delivered remotely to its customers over the internet (from the "cloud"), making Salesforce.com one of the leading companies in the cloud-software space.
Salesforce.com uses cloud-based software to give its customers access to online software, with minor implementation and no on-premise installation or maintenance of software or physical servers.
Salesforce.com makes money mainly through subscription and support fees associated with its customers using Salesforce's applications. These applications give Salesforce.com's customers access to systems which can systematically record, store, and act upon business data. These applications are used to optimize different aspects of a company's business including sales, marketing, partnerships and customer service. The company’s CRM services primarily focus on sales-force automation, marketing automation, and customer service and support automation. In addition, it provides consulting and implementation services and training.
Salesforce.com is heavily invested in cloud-based application services and derived over 90% of its fiscal 2017 revenue from subscription and support fees associated with cloud services.
Salesforce.com has experienced a significant rise in customers in the last couple of years. Its customers are relatively evenly split across small business (fewer than 200 employees), medium sized businesses (200 employees, <$1 billion in revenue) and large businesses (greater than $1 billion in revenues). This higher proportion of SMB businesses presents Salesforce with significant risk of a decline in renewals. Additionally, enterprise customers tend to be stickier with their IT services, which reduces Salesforce's sales & marketing expenses and decreases the pressure on its margins.
In addition to cloud-based CRM software, Salesforce has a long-term opportunity to deliver other types of cloud-based software and services as corporate IT departments leverage cloud-based software instead of investing in additional hardware and on-premise software. The cloud computing market consists of Software as a service (SaaS), Platform as a service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a service (IaaS).
Salesforce.com offers Force.com, which is the application development development platform for corporates' IT departments and independent developers. It also offers AppExchange, which is an online directory that provides customers a way to browse, test-drive, share and install applications developed on Force.com platform.
It has also launched a series of other cloud based applications and services, including Chatter, an enterprise social network; Database.com, a cloud-based database offering; Data.com, a platform for sales professionals; Desk.com, a social customer support service, and Heroku, a Ruby application platform. It also launched the Radian6 Social Marketing cloud recently. In 2013, Salesforce acquired ExactTarget, a cloud-based digital marketing company, for $2.5 billion. With ExactTarget, Salesforce intends to transform into a complete cloud based company that caters to every industry.
Cloud-Based Customer Software is Salesforce.com's core and most valuable business. The division's value depends heavily on three main factors:
The CRM software market consists of two types of software: (1) On-Premise Software, (2) On-Demand (Cloud-Based) Software.
The overall CRM market has rapidly grown over the years. Salesforce.com has been the undisputed market leader for many years now and currently commands around 21-22% of the market share, which is more than double that of the nearest competitor.
Salesforce.com has been increasing its share in the CRM market at a consistent rate for the last few years. During the recessionary period between 2008-10, Salesforce was able to maintain its market share at around 10.5% despite the challenging IT environment. Subsequently, it's market share has increased from 10.6% in 2010 to about 22% in 2018. This growth is attributable in large part to the shift from on-premise CRM software to cloud-based CRM software globally from IT enterprises, which benefits Salesforce.com. Going forward, we expect Salesforce to continue with its strategy of investing heavily into sales & marketing and R&D activities to support a strong, double digit top line growth rate.
Salesforce's additional offerings comprising of development tools and data management suites provide a holistic product portfolio for small business and should complement the company's strong top line growth rate in the future.
Software as a Service (SaaS) is a subscription-based service where companies can access software online and pay only for the functionality utilized. This is often a cost effective solution for companies, and suits small and medium enterprises more, as they have low IT budgets. In this model, the software is generally hosted on the service provider's servers from where it can be easily accessed by users. As such, businesses can save heavily on costs and time involved with purchase and implementation of expensive software. We forecast an increasing trend towards "Software as a Service" adoption.
Large enterprises are sometimes reluctant to use cloud services over data security concerns. Since data in cloud-based software resides outside the company, the company must have confidence in the security of the data and the reliability of the data storage. For example, according to GTRA research, 75% of large companies feared cloud computing security breaches. However, cost considerations are forcing large enterprises to shed their existing on-premise deployments for leaner SaaS deployments that come without any hefty hardware costs. Going forward, we expect the number of SaaS deployments across business verticals to expand.