Salesforce.com makes profit and expands offerings

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Salesforce.com makes profit and expands offerings

CRM software supplier Salesforce.com has become profitable in its first financial quarter.

In its first quarter, Salesforce.com generated approximately 1% profit on revenue of more than $18.8m (£11.7m) compared with $9.6m for the same period the previous year and $15.9mn for the fourth quarter of 2002, the company said.

The company is private and is not subject to the US reporting requirements that cover publicly held companies.

"Salesforce.com has proven that the software service model is profitable, sustainable and bankable," said company chief executive officer and chairman Marc Benioff.

"[Salesforce.com] customers such as AOL can afford any type of software they want, but they have heard about the system-implementation horror stories," Benioff said.

What attracts customers of all sizes to the concept of hosted applications is the relatively short amount of time required to get them running and make use of hosted software, compared with implementing applications in-house.

By the end of its first quarter, Salesforce.com had more than 86,000 users in 6,400 accounts, running the system in 10 languages, in 110 countries.

New accounts included Pearson Packaging Systems, advertising and marketing software maker Engage and online document production service Mimeo.

During the first quarter, the Salesforce enhanced its Enterprise Edition, including features designed for large businesses, which includes improved activity management, easier ways to update sales lead information and the ability to view attachments and hyperlinks in the self-service portal feature.

Salesforce.com confirmed that it would expand its line of software to include ERP programmes.

Salesforce.com is internally running its own order management, contract management, and billing and invoicing software modules, and will release them to external customers by the end of the year, he said. Over time, the company will offer the variety of software modules that major ERP companies such as SAP offer.

In the hosted CRM market, Salesforce.com competes with companies such as UpShot, Salesnet and NetLedger.


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