Benioff Finds Force in Numbers

Benioff touts big numbers for Salesforce and Force's Cloud movement, but will developers fawn over or flag what some call just one more proprietary code?

SAN FRANCISCO-After outlining his company's concept of exactly what software as a service means to multitenant architecture and subscription-based services-CEO Marc Benioff dazzled the audience of mostly developers at the company's Tour de Force campaign kickoff Jan. 17 with a dizzying array of statistics.

Throughout his keynote address Benioff ticked off milestones-impressive by any standard for a 9-year-old company:

  • 24 major releases in the last eight years; in excess of a billion dollars in revenue by the next fiscal year
  • 38,000 customers; one million subscribers
  • 130 million transactions a day at the average speed of 2.5 milliseconds
  • 160,000 SQL statements every second
  • 24 billion API calls (that's customer's computers accessing's computers 1.6 billion times a month)
  • 79,000 workflow rules written
  • 1.6 million lines of Apex code written. And it's only been in production for six months.

Given the company's massive push into the platform-as-a-service world with 50 percent of Salesforce developers spend their time enhancing the company's flagship CRM (customer relationship management) software while the other 50 percent build out the platform-Benioff wants to make sure is moving in the right direction.

"We're working hard to become the first billion dollar SAAS company," Benioff said. "Our third quarter was outstanding and we've given guidance that next year we will exceed one billion dollars [in revenue]. This is important. We want to show that SAAS is real; it's here and we are a success."

"We now have more than 38,000 customers and more than one million subscribers," he said. "It's an important time. And the reason this has all happened is because of you, our customers, partners, ISVs. We recognize that every day. What we want to hear from you is do you like it? Are we are on the right track? The only way we will be successful is by listening to our customers."

Benioff said the questions he and his cohorts at get asked the most are essentially the basics: What's next? And what Internet trends will impact SAAS? "We're asking these questions internally," he said. "It's one of the reasons we're going on the road-to find out what you want us to focus on."