The bears have been piling on to Salesforce (NYSE: CRM) as of late, and shares are trading down 48% so far this year. Pressure is mounting on the cloud software pioneer to pay more attention to profitability, and a number of executives have headed for the exit. Such things tend to happen at the end of an era -- in this case, an end to the easy-money economic policy era, as the U.S. Federal Reserve aggressively increased interest rates to try and fight inflation.
As ugly as 2022 was, though, the past thesis for why Salesforce was a buy is still valid for 2023 and beyond. Here are three reasons why.
Like many other software companies, Salesforce's growth was throttled by two related forces this year: the rapid rise of the U.S. dollar, and global economic uncertainty.
The record run-up in the dollar versus other currencies effectively lowers the value of a sale when that money is brought back to the U.S. for reporting purposes. In the last quarter, Salesforce reported year-over-year revenue growth of 14%, or 19% when excluding the effects of currency exchange.
For Q4, growth is expected to slow to 8% to 10% year over year, or 11% to 13% excluding currency exchange. Growth rates are decelerating because businesses around the world are getting cautious before shelling out cash right now. Inflation is still hot, there's still a war in Europe, and the Fed is still hiking interest rates.
The cloud is far from spent, though, and could dramatically pick up pace again later in 2023. According to researcher Gartner, total end-user spending on cloud computing could grow nearly 21% next year and surpass $590 billion in value. Where's that growth coming from? Well, IT sector spending overall is still a growth market, forecast to be up 5% in 2023 -- to $4.6 trillion. Basically, the cloud is taking a share of legacy IT overall.
Salesforce is huge, hauling in revenue of $30.3 billion over the last 12 months. Perhaps its days of consistent 20%-plus sales growth are over. But the pioneer of cloud software will still benefit from the rising tide that is the cloud for years to come. 2023 should be no exception.
I recently wrote how some key leadership is leaving Salesforce, including co-CEO Bret Taylor. Slack, which was acquired over the summer of 2021, is also losing its co-founder and CEO. Media outlets played up these departures, with some even claiming Slack was a disastrous takeover (which is utter nonsense -- Slack revenue just grew 46% year over year in the last quarter to $402 million).
To be clear, losing high-profile executive leadership isn't a good thing. However, such things happen, especially during times of big macroeconomic shifts like we experienced in 2022. Ultimately, the most important executive still leads the company: co-founder Marc Benioff. Chief Financial Officer Amy Weaver, who took over the role in 2021, is also still there and leading Salesforce into a new era where profit margins are given more attention (more on that in a second).
And though Salesforce is losing some of its younger executive talent, that doesn't mean the company will stop innovating. Benioff recently spoke about his commitment to continue delivering innovation to the Salesforce ecosystem. During that event, the CEO announced that Tableau (acquired in 2019) is now powering the Salesforce Data Cloud, making it easier for companies to visualize their information and helping reduce data storage costs for users.
This type of added IT flexibility and cost savings is why the cloud is overtaking overall IT spending, and I believe Salesforce can continue capitalizing on cloud industry expansion with Benioff still in the lead.
Over the past decade, I've always focused on Salesforce's free cash flow generation -- and in particular its stellar free cash flow growth on a per share basis (which factors in dilution from employee stock-based compensation and acquisitions made using new stock).
However, with the Fed ending super-accommodative money policies with its interest rate hikes this year, even free cash flow-per-share started to struggle. Plus, the market's focus turned to unadjusted net income (free cash flow is an adjusted profitability metric from GAAP, or generally accepted accounting principles). Even at this stage of its life, Salesforce generates a very small net profit. I've always believed Salesforce could meaningfully grow this metric when the time came to do so, and that net income would begin to converge with free cash flow. The time to do so is now.
I'm not alone in this belief. Equity investor and activist investor Starboard Value recently took a stake in Salesforce, citing its belief that unadjusted profit margins could meaningfully improve. Salesforce itself is also taking profitability more seriously as well, and is predicting profit margin expansion over the next three years. This year Salesforce started providing profit margin targets for the first time. It also initiated its first-ever share repurchase program, which returns excess cash to shareholders by reducing overall share count. Shares currently trade for just under 24 times trailing 12-month free cash flow.
Given these factors, Salesforce remains a core holding in my portfolio for the cloud software industry. The narrative has turned against the company, but I'm still a buyer for 2023.
10 stocks we like better than Salesforce
When our award-winning analyst team has a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.*
They just revealed what they believe are the ten best stocks for investors to buy right now... and Salesforce wasn't one of them! That's right -- they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.
See the 10 stocks
*Stock Advisor returns as of December 1, 2022
Nicholas Rossolillo and his clients have positions in Salesforce. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Salesforce. The Motley Fool recommends Gartner. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
Salesforce, Inc. (NYSE:CRM) put up a solid earnings card for its third fiscal quarter of FY 2023. Salesforce's revenue growth slowed compared to the previous quarter, but the company's core business segments are growing at double digits and the CRM applications provider confirmed its revenue outlook for FY 2023. Salesforce has also started to execute on its stock buyback, which could help stabilize the stock price in the coming quarters!
Salesforce generated $7.84B in revenues in FQ3'23, showing 14% year-over-year growth with solid growth extending to all of the firm's core product categories. However, Salesforce's consolidated revenue growth slowed down from the previous quarter, which is when the CRM company saw 22% year-over-year revenue growth.
The disaggregation of Salesforce's revenues shows that Platform revenues once again grew the fastest in the last quarter. Salesforce's Platform business chiefly supports customers in creating scalable, custom-build applications. The segment saw its revenues grow 18% year-over-year to $1.5B, a record for the company and it likely won't be the last one.
Salesforce's Sales and Service segments generated 12% year-over-year revenue growth each and they remained, from a total dollar contribution perspective, the two largest segments for Salesforce. Given the momentum in the Platform segment, however, I believe it will overtake the other segments in the next 1-2 years and become Salesforce's fastest-growing and biggest core business.
Although Salesforce's top-line growth is slowing due to customers delaying software purchases due to growing economic uncertainty, the long-term growth outlook for the CRM industry is highly attractive. This is especially true for Salesforce because the company is the uncontested market leader in its business: the company had a CRM market share of 23% in the first half of 2022 and is far ahead of even its closest rival.
Salesforce's total addressable market ("TAM") is expected to grow to more than $290B by FY 2026, which reflects a growth rate of approximately 13% annually from FY 2022 onwards. All major categories of Salesforce's business -- Sales, Services and Platform -- are set for sustained growth in the coming years and even a slowdown in the broader economy is unlikely to change this trajectory. This is because customers are adopting Salesforce's product suite rapidly to scale their digital transformations and offer their customers a personalized experience.
The guidance for FY 2023 -- which ends at the end of January for Salesforce -- was confirmed this week. Salesforce lowered its revenue forecast in FQ2'23 because it was taking customers longer to make software purchase decisions. Salesforce reduced is FY 2023 top line forecast from $31.7-31.8B to $30.9B-31.0B in FQ2'23 and the confirmed revenue guidance for FY 2023 implies 17% year-over-year growth.
Salesforce announced the authorization of a $10B stock buyback in FQ2'23 -- which is the first-ever stock buyback for Salesforce -- and the company has started to execute on this. In FQ3'23, Salesforce repurchased $1.7B worth of shares, and more buybacks are set to follow in the coming quarters. I believe this is a good time for Salesforce to commit to stock buybacks, largely because the stock has revalued 42% to the downside in 2022, so every dollar in stock buybacks has more value for investors than a comparable buyback last year would have had.
Salesforce operates in a rapidly expanding addressable market, has a leading position in the industry, as shown above, and is profitable. Additionally, shares of the CRM company are trading at a P/E ratio of 26.1 X, which is about 24 % below the 1-year average P/E ratio of 34.2 X. Since Salesforce is expected to grow its top line near-20% this year, I believe the risk profile at this valuation is still skewed to the upside.
Salesforce currently has two big commercial risks: (1) The firm's top line growth is slowing and may continue to slow going forward as Salesforce's customers delay software purchases during a recession; and (2) The strong USD has taken a bite out of Salesforce's top line growth.
A strong USD is making non-USD profits less valuable for U.S. companies. However, the USD has most recently shown signs of weakness which could provide relief to Salesforce's revenue growth. In the last quarter, the strong USD took 5 PP off of Salesforce's top line growth. Since the company generates 32% of its revenues outside of North America, a weakening USD could actually result in stronger consolidated revenue growth going forward.
Salesforce is a top growth stock and although the company's revenue growth is slowing down after the pandemic, the CRM applications provider is set to continue to grow going forward, just not as quickly as it used to. Two positives in Salesforce's FQ3'23 earnings sheet were the start of stock buybacks and the confirmed guidance for FY 2023. For long term investors, I believe Salesforce's expanding TAM and strong core business momentum, especially in the Platform business, are good reasons to buy the stock!
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is climbing Tuesday morning with shares of Salesforce and Microsoft seeing positive gains for the index. Shares of Salesforce and Microsoft have contributed around a quarter of the index's intraday rally, as the Dow was most recently trading 278 points (0.8%) higher. Salesforce's shares have climbed $4.91 (3.7%) while those of Microsoft are up $7.56, or 3.0%, combining for a roughly 82-point boost for the Dow. Other components contributing significantly to the gain include Home Depot Chevron and Goldman Sachs A $1 move in any one of the 30 components of the index equates to a 6.59-point swing.
(Bloomberg) -- The US Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal by Salesforce Inc.’s Slack unit in a case that could bar some shareholders from suing over company statements issued as part of a direct listing.
Most Read from Bloomberg
The justices said they will review a federal appeals court decision allowing a suit by Fiyyaz Pirani, who contends a 2019 Slack registration statement failed to disclose extent to which the company would have to provide credits to customers over service disruptions. Salesforce acquired Slack in 2021.
Salesforce argues that Pirani lacks legal standing to sue under Sections 11 and 12 of the 1933 Securities Act because he bought unregistered shares, rather than the shares registered under the allegedly misleading statement.
In seeking to overturn the ruling by the San Francisco-based 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, Salesforce and its allies say courts traditionally require investors to “trace” their shares to the allegedly misleading registration statement.
The 9th Circuit ruling “will engender widespread uncertainty in capital markets because of the potential for dramatically more expansive Section 11 liability,” the US Chamber of Commerce and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association argued in support of the appeal.
The Securities and Exchange Commission authorized direct listings starting in 2018, letting companies go public without selling shares through an initial public offering. A direct listing lets early investors sell their shares — both registered and unregistered — on a public exchange.
In a brief supporting Pirani, 11 institutional investors said Salesforce and its allies are seeking to create a loophole that would let companies circumvent important safeguards.
“Allowing public offerings of securities without the risk of liability if investors are not provided the complete and accurate disclosures required under the act would chill investment, harming both the capital markets and investors,” the institutional investors argued.
Slack’s registration statement covered 118 million of the 283 million shares that became eligible for sale on the market. The other 165 million shares were exempt from registration under an SEC rule.
The case is Slack Technologies v. Pirani, 22-200.
Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek
©2022 Bloomberg L.P.
Salesforce (CRM 2.85%) posted its latest quarterly report on Nov. 30. For the third quarter of fiscal 2023, which ended on Oct. 31, the cloud-based software company's revenue rose 14% year over year (and grew 19% in constant currency terms) to $7.84 billion and surpassed analysts' estimates by $10 million. Its adjusted earnings increased 10% to $1.40 per share and also cleared the consensus forecast by $0.18.
Salesforce's growth rates seemed stable, but they didn't impress the bulls. Its stock remains down nearly 40% this year and continues to trade at a discount to many of its cloud-based peers. Is it finally time for investors to take the contrarian view?
Salesforce operates the world's largest cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) platform. It also provides additional cloud-based marketing, commerce, analytics, and data visualization services.
For many years, Salesforce benefited from the digitization of large businesses. It locked in its customers with sticky subscriptions and its own proprietary apps, and it repeatedly expanded by gobbling up smaller companies. Its business model remained resilient during the pandemic, which drove companies to accelerate their digital transformations and accommodate the shift toward hybrid and remote work.
That's why Salesforce's revenue and adjusted earnings per share (EPS) rose 24% and 65%, respectively, in fiscal 2021 (which ended on Jan. 31, 2021). In fiscal 2022, its revenue grew another 25%, but its adjusted EPS dipped 3% against its bigger investment-related gains in the previous year.
However, Salesforce's year-over-year revenue growth decelerated throughout the first three quarters of fiscal 2023 as it faced two major challenges.
First, macro headwinds caused large companies to rein in their spending and postpone big software deals. Second, the rising dollar -- which was bolstered by higher interest rates -- generated tough currency headwinds.
As a result, Salesforce expects its reported revenue to only rise 17% for the full year, as its adjusted EPS grows 3%. That slowdown isn't disastrous, but it raises some questions regarding the company's long-term goal of generating $50 billion in annual revenue in fiscal 2026. To achieve that goal, it would need to grow its top line at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17% between fiscal 2023 and 2026 -- which assumes its deceleration this year won't lead to a deeper slowdown.
But analysts aren't as optimistic. They expect Salesforce's revenue to rise 17% in fiscal 2023, 14% in fiscal 2024, and 16% in fiscal 2025. We should be skeptical of those expectations, but that slowdown could certainly occur if the current macro headwinds lead to a full-blown recession.
The bears will also point out that Salesforce still faces lots of competition from Microsoft's (MSFT 3.08%) Dynamics CRM, as well as Adobe's (ADBE 2.44%) e-commerce and marketing tools. They'll also claim that Salesforce's heavy dependence on acquisitions could "diworsify" its business and squeeze its margins. Co-CEO Bret Taylor's latest decision to leave Salesforce, which will leave founder Marc Benioff as the only CEO, raises additional questions regarding its future.
However, the bulls will argue that Salesforce's latest acquisitions -- including Tableau, Mulesoft, and Slack -- have increased the overall stickiness of its cloud-based ecosystem. They'll also claim that economies of scale are boosting its margins as it expands: Salesforce expects its adjusted operating margin to expand 200 basis points to 20.7% for the full year, and to exceed 25% by fiscal 2026.
Lastly, Salesforce's stock looks fairly cheap at 31 times next year's earnings and four times next year's sales. Its smaller healthcare-oriented CRM peer Veeva (VEEV 2.92%), which is growing at a similar rate, trades at 40 times forward earnings and 12 times next year's sales. ServiceNow (NOW 4.02%), the cloud-based digital workflow company which is growing slightly faster than Salesforce, trades at 43 times forward earnings and 10 times next year's sales. That's probably why the value-oriented activist hedge fund Starboard Value acquired a significant stake in Salesforce this October.
Salesforce will likely remain in the penalty box until the macro situation improves and its revenue growth accelerates again. That said, I'm still optimistic about Salesforce's long-term prospects as large companies continue to digitally optimize their operations.
Therefore, I believe Salesforce is still a good long-term investment at these levels -- but investors shouldn't expect the bulls to rush back until some of these near-term headwinds dissipate.
Leo Sun has positions in Adobe, Salesforce, and Veeva Systems. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Adobe, Microsoft, Salesforce, ServiceNow, and Veeva Systems. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long January 2024 $420 calls on Adobe and short January 2024 $430 calls on Adobe. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
Salesforce is losing a number of key execs in the wake of Bret Taylor's departure.
Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield is also departing, along with some other product-focused execs.
The departures come as Salesforce's growth has slowed and it's facing tough questions.
Salesforce is in the midst of a serious brain drain at the highest levels. Last week, co-CEO Bret Taylor made the surprise announcement that he'd be departing the company.
Shortly afterwards came the news that Mark Nelson, the CEO of Salesforce subsidiary Tableau, and Steven Tamm, a CTO at the cloud tech giant, are also departing. In November, the company also said Gavin Patterson, the company's chief strategy officer who had previously been its chief revenue officer will depart at the end of January.
Then, earlier this week, Insider reported that Stewart Butterfield, CEO of Slack — the workplace chat app that Salesforce acquired in 2021 for $27.7 billion —will be leaving the company in the new year. Tamar Yehoshua, Slack's chief product officer, is also resigning, as is Slack senior VP of communications Jonathan Prince.
It's not clear if the timing of all these departures is anything more than coincidence: In a memo to employees, Butterfield wrote that his plans to depart have nothing to do with Taylor's, as Insider earlier reported.
Still, it comes at a critical moment for Salesforce and its now-sole CEO Marc Benioff. The company's stock is down some 48% from the beginning of the year, as the larger tech downturn takes its toll on the markets. Salesforce has warned investors that a slowing economy is making it more difficult to close deals as IT spending stalls out, even as investors push Benioff to demonstrate a commitment to improving its profit margins.
And the specific executives who are hitting the exits represent some of Salesforce's biggest bets on the future. Taylor himself was seen as a product visionary who would help Salesforce break into new markets, as seen when he masterminded the Slack acquisition. Indeed, Slack and Tableau represented Salesforce's two largest acquisitions in its history, as it invested in new lines of business.
The departures of Taylor, Butterfield, and Nelson come as Salesforce's strategy comes under the microscope on Wall Street.
With Slack and Tableau, Salesforce already had a lot to prove. Wall Street thought that the $27.7 billion it paid for Slack and the $15 billion for Tableau was far too steep given the company's financial situation. The scrutiny hasn't stopped.
"Growth has been slowing for years," Bernstein analysts wrote in a latest note to clients. "But that has not been readily apparent due to the cadence of large acquisitions which generate a multiyear tailwind to growth due to acquisition accounting."
Taylor, who had been COO of Salesforce before becoming co-CEO in 2021, championed the two as key to a strategy of building the company's platform into an all-in-one tool for sales, to service, to marketing and commerce, to data analysis. Slack would be the "digital HQ" where work gets done, while Tableau helps customers crunch the massive amounts of data stored in the Salesforce platform and turn it into useful insights.
Neither Slack nor Tableau is going anywhere. Salesforce has already said that Lidiane Jones, an executive VP, will take over for Butterfield as Slack CEO. She'll be working with Cal Henderson, Slack's CTO and cofounder, who remains in his role. And Salesforce has said that in the wake of Nelson's departure, Tableau will be rolled more closely into Salesforce's engineering organization.
What it does mean, however, is that Salesforce, Slack, and Tableau are all losing the biggest champions of the integrated product strategy right as the company faces hard questions.
Amid the chaos, however, some on Wall Street thinks there may be an opportunity.
While some of Salesforce's most experienced execs remain on Benioff's leadership team, including CFO Amy Weaver and COO Brian Millham, analysts think Benioff needs to recruit new leadership.
Now could be a good time to recruit talent from a smaller rival or startup, Jaluria told Insider. The relative stability of Salesforce compared to a smaller startup during an uncertain economic environment would be a major draw.
"You need leadership that's focused on the next chapter of Salesforce and the way things should be done, not necessarily the way things have been done from the get go," RBC analyst Rishi Jaluria said last week at the time of Taylor's announcement.
Read the original article on Business Insider
‘MSPs are where the real rubber hits the road. MSPs working with Salesforce already understand customer need and the gaps in the coverage. MSPs are still a small part of the overall Salesforce channel ecosystem, but it is the fastest-growing part. Salesforce has an MSP program to support that motion. We felt we should take advantage of the MSP wave,’ says Matt Morris, Odaseva’s vice president of alliances.
Odaseva, a developer of enterprise data protection technology for the Salesforce ecosystem, recently launched its first MSP partner program aimed at helping channel partners provide new services for their Salesforce customers.
Odaseva is an ISV partner in the Salesforce ecosystem with a focus on data lifecycles, backups, and business continuity filling what has become a big gap when it comes to customers working with Salesforce, said Matt Morris, vice president of alliances for San Francisco-based Odaseva.
“Salesforce customers assume their data is protected in the cloud, and it is,” Morris told CRN. “But there’s no backstop if an administrator deletes a file. Also, Salesforce is often set up outside a customer’s corporate IT infrastructure. And the Salesforce platform is unique with idiosyncrasies that we understand.”
[Related: CDI Bets Big On Salesforce, ServiceNow With Candoris Buy ]
The move to build an MSP partner program is important for Odaseva and its channel, Morris said.
“We recognize that every company we go to has channel partners embedded in them,” he said. “The partners understand those customers well. We built our platform as a way for MSPs to add to their toolbox. We know partners are the way to go. We want to make it easier for them.”
While up to 60 percent of Odaseva’s business is touched by or influenced by, the company previously had no formal channel program, and realized that it really does need one, Morris said.
“MSPs are where the real rubber hits the road,” he said. “MSPs working with Salesforce already understand customer need and the gaps in the coverage. MSPs are still a small part of the overall Salesforce channel ecosystem, but it is the fastest-growing part. Salesforce has an MSP program to support that motion. We felt we should take advantage of the MSP wave.”
Odaseva, whose name combines “oda” from the French word “audace,” or bold and daring, with “seva,” a Sanskrit word meaning “selfless service,” reflects the French-Cambodian ancestry of the company‘s CEO and founder, Sovan Bin. The company, founded about 10 years ago, in early 2019 received an $11.7 million investment from Salesforce.
Salesforce, and protecting data in the Salesforce ecosystem, is by no means a niche market, said Scott Richmond, Salesforce alliance and relationship lead at UST, a $2.5-billion Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based solution integrator and ISV with a focus on the vendor.
“Salesforce customers are their own data repositories,” Richmond told CRN. “Salesforce doesn’t keep their data. We specialize in healthcare, where there’s almost a breach a week, according to Becker’s Hospital Review. And healthcare companies pay a lot for ransomware or clean-up.”
Salesforce offers a data protection technology called Salesforce Shield, but Odaseva goes far above and beyond the Salesforce offering, Richmond said. “Odaseva is much more comprehensive,” he said.
While Odaseva has the product, it is looking for implementation partners, Richmond said.
“We have strong expertise in this area, and have the necessary resources on-shore and off-shore,” he said. “I can put a team together in three to four weeks to implement a project for a client.”
Odaseva is focused 100 percent on the Salesforce market, Morris said.
“There’s a lot of room for growth in this space,” he said. “Salesforce is a nuanced platform, and so requires a degree of expertise. And it’s hard to find a company of significant size that doesn’t have Salesforce.”
Odaseva’s new MSP program is a global program with no cost for MSPs to enter, Morris said. The company is offering MSPs a straightforward learning path.
“We’re not teaching partners how to do specific things,” he said. “We’re offering a string or processes to help partners support specific use cases for their customers.”
On Dec. 22 , C3.ai's (AI 1.74%) stock closed at an all-time high of $177.47, boosting its market cap to $17 billion. At the time, many investors were dazzled by C3's stellar revenue growth and the disruptive potential of its enterprise artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms -- which can be integrated into an organization's existing software infrastructure to cut costs, optimize workflows, Improve employee safety standards, and detect fraud.
But today, C3's stock trades at about $12.50 a share with a market cap of $1.4 billion. Investors fled as its growth cooled off and its losses widened, while other red flags -- including its customer concentration issues, the hiring of three CFOs in just two years, and an abrupt shift from subscriptions to usage-based fees -- hinted at an existential crisis.
Those issues also cast doubts on the notion that C3.ai could disrupt entrenched tech giants like Salesforce (CRM 2.85%), the world's top provider of cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) services.
C3's founder and CEO, Tom Siebel, has frequently compared his company to Salesforce, and he once even dismissed the CRM leader's integrated AI tools as "all marketing and very little technology." Yet Salesforce remains much larger than C3. It has a market cap of about $150 billion, and it's expected to generate nearly 120 times as much annual revenue as its tiny industry peer this year. So could C3 still evolve into the next Salesforce over the long term?
Siebel's previous company, Siebel Systems -- which was acquired by Oracle in 2006 -- notably created the first digital CRM platform in 1995, long before Salesforce launched its first cloud-based CRM services. However, C3 is a very different type of company and approaches the enterprise software market in a more flexible manner than Salesforce.
Whereas Salesforce locks users into its walled garden of cloud-based CRM, sales, marketing, and analytics services, C3 provides AI algorithms that can be plugged in to a wide range of software. For example, C3's CRM platform integrates its AI algorithms into Microsoft's Dynamics CRM platform and Adobe's Experience Cloud (marketing, analytics, advertising, and commerce tools) to create an AI-powered alternative to Salesforce. Alphabet's Google Cloud also integrates C3's AI algorithms into its own services. C3 even provides its AI algorithms as pre-built stand-alone applications.
C3 initially charged recurring subscriptions like Salesforce, but it pivoted to a usage-based model earlier this year. Salesforce's subscriptions are sticky, but C3's approach is more flexible and gives customers more options if they aren't willing to commit to subscription-based contracts.
Salesforce went public in 2004. Between fiscal 2005 and fiscal 2022 (which ended this January), its annual revenue soared from $176 million to $26.49 billion, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 34.3%. It grew so rapidly for four reasons: It established a first-mover's advantage in the cloud-based CRM market, it benefited from the long-term digitization of businesses, it expanded through acquisitions, and it locked in its users with sticky services and subscriptions.
C3 doesn't boast those same strengths. It's carving out a niche market instead of establishing a mainstream one, it's building open software solutions instead of walled gardens, and it doesn't have enough cash to make big ecosystem-building acquisitions yet. It also has a customer concentration issue: It generated 30% of its revenue from a joint venture with the energy giant Baker Hughes last year -- and that crucial deal will expire in fiscal 2025.
To make matters worse, C3's growth is already cooling off. Its revenue surged 71% in fiscal 2020 (which ended in April 2020), but rose just 17% in fiscal 2021 as the pandemic disrupted the energy and industrial markets.
Its revenue grew 38% to $253 million in fiscal 2022 as those headwinds dissipated, but it anticipates just 1% to 7% growth this year as the macro headwinds prompt enterprise customers to curb their spending. By comparison, Salesforce -- which faces many of those same headwinds -- still expects its revenue to rise 17% to about $31 billion this year.
Siebel believes C3's annual revenue growth will "revert to historical annual growth rates" of over 30% in fiscal 2024 "and beyond," but that's a tall order for a company that has repeatedly missed and reduced its own guidance over the past year.
It's highly doubtful that C3 will evolve into a tech titan like Salesforce. Instead, it will likely remain a niche provider of AI algorithms that is tightly tethered to the macro-sensitive energy and industrial markets. Investors who are looking for a long-term play on the digitization and automation of businesses should simply stick with Salesforce instead of betting on a poorly diversified AI software developer like C3.
Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Leo Sun has positions in Adobe Inc., Alphabet (A shares), and Salesforce, Inc. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Adobe Inc., Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Microsoft, and Salesforce, Inc. The Motley Fool recommends C3.ai, Inc. and recommends the following options: long January 2024 $420 calls on Adobe Inc. and short January 2024 $430 calls on Adobe Inc. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
Veeam’s customers can now benefit from a NEW Veeam solution which offers access and control of Salesforce data and metadata, enabling quick recovery from data loss scenarios
COLUMBUS, Ohio, November 30, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Veeam® Software, the leader in Modern Data Protection, today announced it has launched the NEW Veeam Backup for Salesforce on Salesforce AppExchange which eliminates the risk of losing Salesforce data and metadata due to human error, integration issues and other data loss scenarios.
Integrated directly with Salesforce, Veeam Backup for Salesforce is currently available on AppExchange at https://appexchange.salesforce.com/listingDetail?listingId=a0N3u00000PuyFpEAJ&tab=e.
Veeam Backup for Salesforce
This new solution from Veeam — a market leader in Modern Data Protection — enables organizations to deploy a backup environment either on-premises or in the cloud, providing access and control of Salesforce data and metadata. It also provides powerful, rapid-recovery capabilities for IT departments and Salesforce administrators, including granular and bulk data recovery of Salesforce records, hierarchies, fields, files and metadata. This new offering builds on the success of Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365, extending Veeam’s enterprise-grade platform to another industry-leading SaaS environment.
Whether a mistake with a script, data loader or an integration issue, the simple and easy-to-use user interface (UI) of Veeam Backup for Salesforce helps users resolve issues and retrieve data in just a few clicks — without executing additional backups, running long, full-backup comparisons or causing duplicates.
Key capabilities of Veeam Backup for Salesforce include:
Salesforce native: Purpose-built to create backups and restore Salesforce data and metadata
Fast and flexible recovery: Restore Salesforce records, hierarchies, fields, files and metadata
Secure data: Run a backup environment anywhere — on-premises or in the cloud (AWS, Azure, etc.)
Custom scheduling: Set granular backup schedules and retention settings at the object level
Simplified management: Manage several Salesforce instances from one console
Incremental changes: Continuously create backups with incremental sync and flexible scheduling for Salesforce data
Simple and easy-to-use UI: Run backup policies and restore jobs in minutes
See and compare: See versions of records and metadata and quickly compare with production
Restore hierarchy: Granularly restore linked objects to any record, including parent/child records
Conducted on Veeam’s behalf by an independent research firm, the Veeam Salesforce Protection Trends Report 2022 surveyed 800 unbiased IT leaders and implementers around the world. This report found that the majority of IT professionals acknowledge that the most important reason to protect Salesforce data is the potential for a bad import or ingest of data. The remaining reasons are consistent with the same breadth of risks that face other IT platforms, including: best practices and regulatory mandates, cyber security concerns and errors caused by users, the application(s) or the data repositories (corruption).
Veeam is also releasing a FREE version of this solution: Veeam Backup for Salesforce Community Edition. Community Edition provides fully functional FREE backup and recovery of Salesforce data for organizations with 50 Salesforce user licenses or less.
Veeam Backup for Salesforce is a separate standalone product that is a new addition to the Veeam Platform. Available today from our 35,000+ technology partners, it’s sold in one- to five-year annual subscriptions per user. Veeam is currently offering two 12-month introductory packages:
Up to 300 users for $2,000 USD
Unlimited users for $10,000 USD
Comments on the News
"With so many companies’ employees now working in a hybrid model, protecting cloud and SaaS data is more important than ever," said Danny Allan, CTO and senior vice president of Product Strategy at Veeam. "In fact, the Veeam Salesforce Protection Trends Report 2022 showed that 97% of respondents understand the criticality and need to protect top SaaS applications like Salesforce and Microsoft 365 data, yet backup of these applications has historically been the most overlooked by IT, resulting in vulnerabilities, security risks, data loss and corruption. In truth, there is a shared responsibility between any cloud application and the business using SaaS applications — but it is the company’s responsibility to be in control of their data. With our NEW Veeam Backup for Salesforce, we’re ready to support our customers and partners to ensure their business is reliably protected with intelligent backup powered by Salesforce APIs."
"Veeam Backup for Salesforce is a welcome addition to AppExchange, as they power Digital Transformation for customers by providing the ability to back up and recover Salesforce data and metadata in the cloud and on-premises," said Woodson Martin, GM of Salesforce AppExchange. "AppExchange is constantly evolving to connect customers with the right apps and experts for their business needs."
"Our research clearly shows that there are many ways to lose mission-critical SaaS data. Due to a SaaS application backup ‘disconnect’ among end users, many organizations are not in a position to reliably and consistently recover this data. An innovative product offering that provides a reliable SaaS backup and recovery for Salesforce is critical to allow organizations to be in control of stringent data protection service-level agreements across the business." – Christophe Bertrand, Program Director, ESG
"There is no denying the fact that there is no state of absolute data protection. Salesforce backup is another superlative initiative from Veeam. If critical information is safe, the better it is for any organization. I am personally immensely excited, as Veeam Backup for Salesforce will allow smooth integration scenarios and integrity of metadata." – Aleh Sadaunichy, Infrastructure Solutions Architect, Lyreco
About Salesforce AppExchange
Salesforce AppExchange, the world’s leading enterprise cloud marketplace, empowers companies, developers and entrepreneurs to build, market and grow in entirely new ways. With more than 7,000 listings, 10 million customer installs and 117,000 peer reviews, AppExchange connects customers of all sizes and across industries to ready-to-install or customizable apps and Salesforce-certified consultants to solve any business challenge.
Salesforce, AppExchange and others are among the trademarks of salesforce.com, inc.
About Veeam Software
Veeam® is the leader in Modern Data Protection. The company provides backup, recovery and data management solutions through a single platform for Cloud, Virtual, Physical, SaaS and Kubernetes environments. Veeam customers are confident their apps and data are protected from ransomware, disaster and harmful actors and always available with the most simple, flexible, reliable and powerful platform in the industry. Veeam protects 450,000 customers worldwide, including 81% of the Fortune 500 and 70% of the Global 2,000. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, with offices in more than 30 countries, Veeam’s global ecosystem includes 35,000+ technology partners, resellers and service providers and alliance partners. To learn more, visit https://www.veeam.com or follow Veeam on LinkedIn @veeam-software and Twitter @veeam.
View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20221130005054/en/
Director, Global Public Relations
Heidi Monroe Kroft, 614-339-8200 x8309
Amid Salesforce's leadership shakeups, increasing pressure to make sales goals, and the influence of an activist investor, employees told Insider they're bracing for another round of layoffs.
"People are afraid it could come at any point," one employee told Insider.
Salesforce declined Insider's request for comment.
The company laid off hundreds of employees in November and has since enacted what some insiders called unrealistic new mandates primarily for salespeople, like making daily in-person meetings throughout the holiday season and returning to working in the office despite Marc Benioff's public statements saying workers were just as productive at home.
Rumors are swirling inside the company that more layoffs could come as soon as this month.
Some employees who spoke to Insider speculated much of these internal pressures might be related to the activist investor Starboard Value, which disclosed a significant stake in Salesforce in October, just before the layoffs. A person familiar with the matter told Insider the firm has pushed for cost-cutting measures since first approaching the company this summer.
Employees said these changes were indicative of a larger cultural shift at Salesforce. Where once the company was rated one of the best firms to work for, they said, its welcoming "Ohana" culture is being replaced by a ruthless prioritization of metrics and sales targets. Perhaps fittingly, even its most latest layoffs were referred to internally as a "performance management event."
Are you a Salesforce employee or do you have insight to share? Contact Ashley Stewart via email (email@example.com) or send a secure message from a nonwork device via Signal (+1-425-344-8242).
Read the original article on Business Insider