Salesforce.com has no ERP offering in the pipeline

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Salesforce.com has no ERP offering in the pipeline

Kathleen Hall

Cloud provider Salesforce.com claims to have no current plans to move into the enterprise resource planning (ERP) space currently occupied by incumbents SAP and Oracle.

Salesforce.com founder Parker Harris said it is often asked why it does not have an ERP product. "We are already doing so many things. We have no ERP work underway,” he said.

“We are looking for more partners to grow in that space. We are yet to see providers at the scale of Oracle or SAP,” said Harris at the company’s conference in London.

He said cloud ERP systems would eventually become available, but added they were not there yet. 

“We are going through a painful Oracle financials upgrade and it reminds me how much I don’t like software,” he said.

The company also said it still had a commitment to opening a datacentre in the UK and had narrowed it down to two providers.

Chief financial officer Graham Smith said Salesforce.com’s current market strategy was to focus on front-end systems.

“We have $3bn in revenue this year, with aspirations to be a $10bn company. When scaling systems there is unfortunately no cloud company that has a record at that scale,” he said.

“My job is to make sure shareholders get the right information. So, reluctantly, we had to move forward with the upgrade on Oracle.”

During the keynote presentation, Salesforce chief operating officer George Hu appeared to emphasise the potential integration between Salesforce.com and SAP in enterprise architecture. He asked two separate companies how SAP as a back office tool fits with Salesforce products.

John Douglas, CTO of Burberry, said: “[They] are not mutually exclusive. We have Salesforce for the front and SAP for back office. If we join them together with the right architecture, then we feel we can lead the field.”

Ramon Baez, CIO of Kimberly-Clark, said: “We have been an SAP customer since the early 1990s. We are upgrading in the US to ERP 6.0, which the rest of the world is already on. We are taking [that] incredible platform and integrating it with Chatter.”

However, Salesforce.com's relationship with Oracle appears to be more antagonistic, with chief executive Marc Banioff having compared the company's founder Larry Ellison to an oppressive dictator at Oracle's conference last year.


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