Salesforce CEO Bullish on the Future - Page 2

While were on the subject of analysts, Erin Kinikin at Forrester Research continues to maintain that hosted CRM [customer relationship management] services like are still a department-level phenomenon and that eventually CIOs will exert control over use of them and its not going to have the growth were seeing now.

This isnt the first time weve heard this. Dont forget, a year ago, how many customers did I have with more than 1,000 users in their implementation? Zero? So in the last year, Ive been able to add five customers who have more than 1,000 users with us, and Ive got one customer with more than 3,000 users live.

Who else in the CRM space has closed five significant CRM deals that theyve been willing to talk about and put you in front of those customers? I would suggest nobody. In the last year, I think were the only ones whove closed deals of consequence that I know of. So when I look at ADP, when I look at SunTrust Bank, when I look at SunGard Data Systems, when I look at Cisco, when I look at these customers, I think its extremely interesting that these large transactions—ADP is a significant implementation. You can call [them] and ask them why would they chose over Siebel or any of these other products. You could ask them if they already own the other products and could they not get them going.

My comeback is always: Talk to the customers. The analysts are always going to be having a solid view of the past. Its our job as a thought leader vendor to give you a view of what the future could look like in the technology area. And we believe in this democratization. That small companies can be successful with this, medium companies can be successful with this, and large companies. And small installations, medium installations and large installations. And weve seen that more than not, a true democratization.

How many enterprise software companies have been successful with the same product, in the small, medium and large-size space? Even in the on-demand space, we have competitors, but how many deliver true democracy in their implementations? That is what is very unique about our technology. Weve been able to have this small, medium and large success.

When you come to our analyst day and our product launches and that kind of stuff, we always make sure that there are customers there because we are constantly fighting the rhetoric from the status quo that this somehow is not possible.

Has the whole experience of going public changed the way youre going to run

Not really. Of course, we have to do more work in areas associated with being a public company like quarterly reporting and Sarbanes-Oxley. But weve already done a lot of that work. We got ourselves really public-ready over the last 12 to 18 months. Weve been running our company pretty consistently.

Next Page: Resolving the SEC probe.