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Home > Industry News Analysis, My Thoughts > Two things that customers want. And, Salesforce.com delivers.

Two things that customers want. And, Salesforce.com delivers.


Last night I got a mail from one of the followers of this blog asking me to give the reasons of salesforce.com’s success. I chose to put it in a very simple way: Salesforce.com is delivering what the customers want!

When salesforce.com won four of the ten awards at 2009 CRM Market Awards by the CRM Magazine, many were surprised. But not me! I had expected it to happen and it did happen.

Now the question is why and how did it happen? And the bigger question is what is it that the customers want?

Most of the success that SFDC has achieved has been in the SMB segment. The small businesses have two main concerns when it comes to IT systems implementation:

One: Affordability.

Two: Robustness.

Small businesses look for affordable solutions as they are not in a position to spare and spend multimillion dollar budgets for IT implementations. Also they look for a robust solution as they cannot spend on maintaining an in-house IT team.

It’s a fact that all the businesses need to optimize the use of their resources and have a seamless flow of information across the organization units and also with the partners and customers. All the EA products available before the arrival of SFD were either very costly to implement or maintain, or were suitable for only large enterprises. Small businesses had requirements but there was no product in the market to meet them. SFDC stepped in at the right moment to plug in the gaps that the giants like SAP and Oracle left.

According to the CVS survey for SMBs, on an average of $0.19 million is required for implementing an ERP system for a medium size business. The same capabilities can be delivered through SaaS at a cost of as low as $1000 per year. This makes a very strong case for SFDC. Also, post implementation, the maintenance and upkeep of the system is to be done by the provider. This eliminates the need for an in-house IT team for maintaining the system.

It’s as simple as that: SFDC provides what (it’s) customers want. That makes it successful.

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  1. Vijay Wadhwani
    January 25, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Harshdeep-

    Interesting article…. Jus like to add few points

    1. SFDC is successful not only with the SMB’s but with Large enterprises also. The concept of cloud computing offers cost benefits which are irrespective of size of business. In fact some of the features of SFDC like ADVANCE CURRENCY MANAGEMENT, TRANSLATION WORKBENCH( MULTIPLE LANG) are meant for large enterprises spread across the globe. In fact I would adoption of SFDC is more with large enterprises than with SMB’s

    2. The reason for SFDC’s success is (A) the concept of CRM On demand (B) availability of different editions like Group , Profession , Enterprise and Unlimited which serves different segments ( PRODUCT TARGETTING TO ALL BUSINESS SEGEMENTS)

    3. Cost savings is a tangible benefit of CRM on demand. SFDC also reduces the SDLC time from years to weeks whichis directly linked to faster ROI. Other reasons include Freedom from S/W maintenance , Low implementation cost and futuristic vision of Mark Beneioff ( Founder of SFDC)

    • harshie
      February 24, 2010 at 11:16 am

      Vijay,

      Agreed to all your points. In-fact our views are on the same lines. I wanted to stress that the Industry giants such as Oracle and SAP rose to prominence by providing solutions to big corporations and businesses. The small players could not afford these costly products. SFDC, instead of competing head on with the big players went the SME way. The SaaS model is very much scalable. The latest is that even companies like British Petroleum are experimenting with SaaS.

      Thanks for the feedback and sharing valuable inputs on the article.

  2. February 23, 2010 at 9:17 am

    @Harshie good article, but I will put across a challenging thought for both you and @Vijay. SFDC actually is not the most affordable when it comes to emerging businesses. Try scaling up the product and you will get to know that with every added feature, your pocket gets not proportionately but largely loose. Though not directly from the CRM domain, I am a first hand experienced entrepreneur, who has looked at various offerings (as competitive) in the market. From various companies, and I think SFDC needs to play smarter, rather than play rude, to counter the competition.

    My case in this regard will be Sage software, a direct competitor to SFDC and these guys are doing much better work. Just that not many have actually noted the same in India. I love their products (being a user). Have a look yourself and compare: http://sagesoftware.co.in/Customer-Relationship-Management-Crm-ERP-Payroll-Software-Company-India-ACT-By-Sage.aspx

    Also, @vijay, as per the comment upon being On Demand, well, there are many much smaller players from regions like Chennai and Bangalore, who are doing smarter work, all On Demand and almost everyone today is on the bogie!

    • harshie
      February 24, 2010 at 11:24 am

      Paritosh,

      Thx for the inputs.

      All I wanted to say was that one of the most important factor why SFDC is successful because it offers affordable solutions to businesses. There are many other On Demand applications which are much more easy on the pocket than SFDC. I myself am involved with http://www.wolfframeworks.com/ which offer very good on demand applications.

      Yes I agree that ever new module added in the SFDC kit costs a lot. But, the operating costs are still much lower than the On Premise solutions.

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