Take-up of Salesforce.com's software as a service customer relationship management software has reached 10,000 customers in Europe.
As the company kicks off its European Cloudforce conference at ExCel in London, Salesforce.com has reported a 70% increase in the take-up of its service, compared to the first quarter of last year.
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Globally the company has 55,400 customers, including Allianz Commercial, Dell, Dow Jones Newswires, Japan Post, Kaiser Permanente, KONE and SunTrust Banks.
Bruce Francis, chief strategy office at Salesforce.com, said the economic climate and the growth in services like the Amazon EC2 cloud has led many CIOs to look at Salesforce.com. The company's growth has been fuelled by its low initial outlay and quick implementation times. Francis said, "We deliver return on investment quicker than traditional software. We focus on adoption so customers can be up and running in weeks or months."
This has been particularly relevant during the recession.
"The economic crisis has caused many CIOs to look at alternative computing models," Francis said. "They have no capital, their budgets are squeezed, their operational expenditure has been squeezed and they are paying expensive maintenance." He said many were beginning to question the value of the high annual maintenance fee they pay for traditional software and seeking alternatives like Salesforce.com.
Separately, the company unveiled its Mobile Lite platform, which allows iPhone, Blackberry and Windows Mobile users to access Salesforce.com from their smartphone devices. Francis said there have been 70,000 downloads of the iPhone version to date. The company released a version of Blackberry AppWorld last week. Although the Symbian smartphone platform as used by Nokia, is not supported. Francis did not preclude support at a future date. "We have an interest in delivering Salesforce to everyone."
Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO at Salesforce.com, said, "We want our customers to take the cloud with them wherever they go. By delivering mobile access to our cloud, for free, we are accelerating adoption of the cloud and delivering value to customers in times when they need it the most."