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Salesforce Inc.
Type Public
Traded as NYSECRM
S&P 500 Component
Industry Software
Founded 1999; 15 years ago (1999)
Founders Marc Benioff
Parker Harris
Headquarters The Landmark
San Francisco, California, US
Key people Marc Benioff
(Chairman & CEO)
Parker Harris
(Exec. VP of Technology)
Products Sales Cloud
Service Cloud
Marketing Cloud
Services Cloud computing
Social enterprise solutions
  • Increase US$ 4.071003 billion (2014) [1]
  • Increase US$ 3.050195 billion (2013) [1]
Operating income
  • Decrease US$ -0.286074 billion (2014) [1]
  • Decrease US$ -0.11071 billion (2013) [1]
Net income
  • Decrease US$ -0.232175 billion (2014) [1]
  • Decrease US$ -0.270445 billion (2013) [1]
Total assets
  • Increase US$ 9.15293 billion (2014) [2]
  • Increase US$ 5.528956 billion (2013) [1]
Total equity
  • Increase US$ 3.03851 billion (2014) [2]
  • Increase US$ 2.317633 billion (2013) [1]
Employees 12,000 (2013)[3]
Footnotes / references
As of April 2013.[4][5]

Salesforce Inc. is a global cloud computing company headquartered in San Francisco, California. Though best known for its customer relationship management (CRM) product, Salesforce has also expanded into commercial applications of social networking through acquisition.[6] Forbes magazine ranked it the most innovative company in America in 2012,[7] and it ranked 19th in Fortune magazine's 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2013.[8]

It is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the S&P 500 index.


The company was founded in 1999 by former Oracle executive Marc Benioff, Parker Harris, Dave Moellenhoff, and Frank Dominguez as a company specializing in software as a service (SaaS).[9] Harris, Moellenhoff and Dominguez, three software developers previously at Clarify, wrote the initial sales automation software.

In June 2004, the company went public on the New York Stock Exchange under the stock symbol CRM, raising US$110 million.[10] Marc Benioff and Magdalena Yesil were the initial basic connection investors and board members.[citation needed] Other early investors include Larry Ellison, Halsey Minor, Stewart Henderson, Mark Iscaro, and Igor Sill of Geneva Venture Partners, as well as Nancy Pelosi.

In July 2012 Salesforce applied to trademark the term "Social enterprise" in the US, EU and Jamaica where the term was in widespread use to describe businesses with a primarily social purpose. This was successfully challenged by a campaign called #notinourname which was launched by Social Enterprise UK resulting in withdrawing their trademark application and agreeing not to use the term in their future marketing.[11]


The following is a list of acquisitions by

  • Sendia (April 2006) – now Salesforce Classic
  • Kieden (August 2006) – now Salesforce for Google AdWords
  • Kenlet (January 2007) – original product CrispyNews used at Salesforce IdeaExchange and Dell IdeaStorm – now relaunched as Salesforce Ideas
  • Koral (March 2007) – now Salesforce Content
  • Instranet (August 2008) for $31.5 million – now re-branded to Salesforce Knowledge
  • GroupSwim (December 2009) – now part of Salesforce Chatter
  • Informavores (December 2009)[12] – now re-branded to Visual Workflow
  • Jigsaw Data Corp. (April 2010),[13] – now known as
  • Sitemasher (June 2010) – now known as
  • Navajo Security (August 2011)[14]
  • Activa Live Chat (September 2010) – now known as Salesforce Live Agent[15]
  • Heroku (December 2010)[16]
  • Etacts (December 2010)[17]
  • Dimdim (January 2011)[18]
  • Manymoon (February 2011) – now known as[6]
  • Radian6 (March 2011)[19]
  • Assistly (September 21, 2011) – now known as[20]
  • Model Metrics (November 2011)[21]
  • Rypple (December 2011)[22] – now known as
  • Stypi (May 2012)[23]
  • Buddy Media (May 2012) for US$689 million[24][25]
  • ChoicePass (June 2012)[26]
  • Thinkfuse (June 2012)[27]
  • BlueTail (July 2012) – now part of[28]
  • GoInstant (July 2012) for US$70 million[29]
  • Prior Knowledge (December 2012)[30]
  • EntropySoft (February 2013) for an undisclosed sum. The French firm was founded in 2005 and sold software to improve interoperability between big-name ECM systems, used to manage unstructured data, such as documents and email, often required for compliance or e-discovery.
  • (May 2013) for US$12 million[31]
  • ExactTarget (announced June 4, 2013) for US$2.5 billion[32]
  • EdgeSpring (June 7, 2013)[33]
  • RelateIQ (July 10, 2014) for US$390 million [34]

Operations[edit] is headquartered in San Francisco, with regional headquarters in Morges, Switzerland (covering Europe, Middle East, and Africa, Singapore), India (covering Asia Pacific minus Japan), and Tokyo (covering Japan). Other major offices are in Toronto, Chicago, New York, London, Sydney, Dublin, Hyderabad, San Mateo, California and Hillsboro, Oregon.[35] has its services translated into 16[36] different languages and as of July 31, 2011, had 104,000[37] customers and over 2,100,000 subscribers.[38]

Standard & Poor's included, at the same time as Fastenal, into the S&P 500 index in September 2008, following the federal takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and their removal from the index.[39] was recognized as one of Fortune '​s 100 best companies to work for in 2013 at rank #19,[40] up from 27th spot in 2012 and 52nd in 2011.[41]

IT infrastructure and operations[edit] migrated to Dell servers with AMD processors running Linux from Sun Fire E25K servers with SPARC processors running Solaris in 2008.[42] The company uses the Momentum platform from Message Systems to allow its customers to send large amounts of email without encountering deliverability problems.[43]

In 2012, announced plans to build a data center in the UK to handle European citizens' personal data.[44]

In 2013, and Oracle announced a 9-year partnership in which will use Oracle Linux, Oracle Exadata, Oracle Database, and the Java platform to power's applications and SaaS platform.[45]


In November 2007, a successful phishing attack on a employee compromised contact information on a number of customers, which was then used to send highly targeted phishing emails.[46][47][48] The phishing breach was cited as an example of why the CRM industry needs greater security for users against such threats as spam.[49]


The Foundation donates 1% of the company's resources (defined as profit, equity and employee time) to support organizations that are working to "make the world a better place."[50] It was officially launched at an event featuring former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell in 2000, less than a year after the company’s formation.[51] Salesforce provides a full-featured ten-seat user license available to nearly all United States 501c3 non-profit organizations or overseas equivalents.[52] Additional licenses are deeply discounted for public interest groups.[52] As of March 2014, the Foundation has donated 580,000+ volunteer hours, supports 20,000+ higher education & non-profit customers, and $53+ million in grants.

A discussion panel at Salesforce's Customer Company Tour event that focused on customer relationship management's customer relationship management (CRM) service is broken down into several broad categories: Sales Cloud,[53] Service Cloud,[54] Data Cloud[55] (including Jigsaw), Collaboration Cloud[56] (including Chatter) and Custom Cloud (including, with over 100,000 customers.[57]

The Sales Cloud[edit]

The Sales Cloud includes a real-time sales collaborative tool called Chatter.[58]

The Service Cloud[edit]

The Service Cloud provides companies with a call center-like view that enables them to create and track cases coming in, and automatically route and escalate what’s important. The Salesforce CRM-powered customer portal provides customers the ability to track their own cases, includes a social networking plug-in that enables the user to join the conversation about their company on social networking websites, provides analytical tools and other services including email, chat, Google search, and access to customers' entitlement and contracts.[59]

The Custom Cloud[edit]'s platform as a service (PaaS) product is known as The platform allows external developers to create add-on applications that integrate into the main application and are hosted on's infrastructure.

These applications are built using Apex (a proprietary Java-like programming language for and Visualforce (an XML-like syntax for building user interfaces in HTML or Flex).[edit], previously Rypple, is a social performance management platform. It is marketed as a solution for sales performance, customer service, marketing, and as a service that can be employed by human resource departments for broad use across an organization. service facilitates collaboration and shared contribution to individual, team, and organizational goals, and facilitates the exchange of feedback anonymously and publicly between peers and managers. Rypple was acquired by in 2011[60] and was re-branded as in September 2012.


Launched in 2005, AppExchange is a marketplace for cloud computing Web application built for the community.[61] As of March 2014, it features 2,213 applications which have driven a total of 2,268,253 installs.[62]


Salesforce users can configure their CRM application. In the system, there are tabs such as "Contacts," "Reports," and "Accounts." Each tab contains associated information. For example, "Contacts" has standard fields like First Name, Last Name, and Email. Configuration can be done on each tab by adding user-defined custom fields.[63]

Configuration can also be done at the "platform" level by adding configured applications to a Salesforce instance, that is adding sets of customized / novel tabs for specific vertical- or function-level (Finance, Human Resources, etc.) features.

Web services[edit]

In addition to the web interface, offers a SOAP/REST Web service API that enables integration with other systems.

Sales Performance Accelerator[edit] launched a new product called Sales Performance Accelerator in July 2013. It combines the CRM with the performance management application as well as customer lead information from[64]

Venture capital fund[edit]

The company announced in September 2014 that it had set up a venture capital arm to fund start-ups creating apps primarily for mobile phones.[65]


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External links[edit]