Salesforce.com was founded in 1999 it underwent a continuous growth of customer from the foundation to 11,200 in 2007 with an compound annual growth rate of 220.74% the growth of subscribers is even faster. From the foundation the subscriber base increased to 454,000 with a compound annual growth rate of 409.49%.
Figure 2: Salesforce.com Growth-Rate
But it is not just that tremendous growth of the user-base which makes the success story of Salesforce.com so impressive but also the extremely fast growth in sales (85% 5-YR Sales Growth) and earnings per share growth (40%) which brought-in salesforce.com the distinction of the Forbes Magazine – second rank in America’s Fastest-Growing Tech Companies in 2007. (John, 2008)
Which factors leveraged this success? Salesforce.com had an excellent management from the start-up phase of the company. Marc Benioff was already an experienced Oracle Manager when he founded the company.
Furthermore, there are several technological steps which leveraged, in our opinion, the growth of the company.
Salesforce.com launched its wireless capability in 2002. This opened another access channel for salesforce.com customers. In 2007 the Force.com Platform launched. From there on, it was possible for independent developers, companies or partners of salesforce.com to develop their own applications and services on top of the salesforce.com basic products using Salesforce.com APIs and tools. To distribute these applications Salesforce.com launched an centralized portal called AppExchange where users can exchange their Applications either for free or for an specified amount of money.
Figure 3: Key Numbers