Salesforce.com Preaches Computing Power for Rent (Salesforce.com reza por poder computacional por aluguel)

Salesforce.com, a empresa que praticamente inventou o PaaS (Platform as a Service), e implantou um atrativo modelo de negócios na web, está avançando. Receitas já ultrapassaram US$ 1 bilhão, como aponta este post do New York Times!

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Salesforce.com Preaches Computing Power for Rent

 

Published: March 22, 2009

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Ten years ago, Marc Benioff was a visionary, seeing vast potential in selling business software as a service over the Web.

Today, he’s just another executive selling so-called cloud computing, the bandwagon du jour in the technology industry.

Mr. Benioff, the animated chief executive of Salesforce.com, helped revive the idea of having businesses lease time on computer servers rather than buy the equipment and software.

This pitch has paid off for Salesforce, based in San Francisco, which just celebrated its 10-year anniversary and crossed the $1 billion mark in annual revenue. Now, just about every major technology player, including Microsoft, Google, Oracle and Amazon.com, offers computing services on a rental model.

Mr. Benioff describes himself as “the Billy Graham of cloud computing.” And last week, he began a revival tour, to evangelize Salesforce’s technology to a few hundred people at a time in hotels around the country.

“I am sure there are C.E.O.’s who are not willing to do this or are afraid to do this,” Mr. Benioff said. “I feel a need to do this.”

During a gathering last week here in Silicon Valley, Mr. Benioff took the stage at a Marriott hotel in front of current and potential Salesforce customers. A bear of a man at a full-figured 6-foot-5, Mr. Benioff looked more like an agitated linebacker than a software advocate, traipsing back and forth across the stage with his arms flailing and voice booming as he delivered a sermon about cutting capital costs during a down economy.

True to his “one convert at a time” mentality, he was not afraid to do a little laying on of hands.

One customer popped on stage to demonstrate how his business had tweaked Salesforce’s software to suit its needs. When the man struggled to get the software working, Mr. Benioff held him by the shoulder and called an employee up to fix the problem. Mr. Benioff then jumped into some patter about Salesforce’s 24-hour customer service and gave out his e-mail address.

His message seems to resonate with businesses during these tumultuous times. In February, Salesforce reported a 34 percent rise in fourth-quarter revenue, to $290 million, and net income of $14 million, up from $7.4 million in the same period last year. The sales and earnings figures beat analysts’ expectations.

NetSuite, a smaller competitor, last month reported a 31 percent jump in fourth-quarter revenue, to $41 million.

Salesforce and NetSuite face a raft of competition from some of the largest technology companies around, including Oracle and Microsoft, which have lumbered into the software rental game. Meanwhile, companies like Amazon and Sun Microsystems sell access to their data centers on a pay-per-use model.

Mr. Benioff welcomes such competition, saying that such rivalries only raise the credibility of the business model.

“Every time someone buys a server, a switch or a data center, I have failed,” he said.

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