The bottom fishers are searching for stocks like Salesforce, Inc. (NYSE:CRM) as they approach their bottom. Portfolio managers were unloading CRM for over a year as it dropped from $312 to $130. Now it appears to be in the final stages of reaching the bottom, as executives bail out of the company. The final shoe to drop, usually creates what is called “exhaustion selling.” That happens when the last, long-suffering holders can’t take the latest bad news and just dump their shares on the market in disgust and finally move on.
Now the bottom fishers have become interested, as CRM finally hits bottom, providing a bargain price because their core business is still growing nicely. Usually as a stock hits bottom, the dead wood is gone and the successful operations are still attractive at what is now a bargain price.
What is that price for CRM? Let’s be generous and deliver CRM a P/E of 20 and based on next year’s projected earnings of $5.63 (listed on Seeking Alpha) that gives us a target of $113. As you can see, our calculated bottom is lower than where price is. Maybe that is why price continues to drop looking for a bottom.
The P/E of 20 is generous because CRM is not growing at 20%. The $5.63 in projected earnings by analysts is generous because of the bear market and executives exiting CRM. Usually executives stick around, if earnings are going to be great. Analyst projections usually drop during a bear market, so the projected earnings we are using may come down.
The Seeking Alpha quant ratings deliver CRM a “D+” rating for valuation. That is problematic in a bear market with revenue growth and earnings under pressure. For growth, CRM only gets a grade of “C” and that does not support a non-GAPP, high forward P/E of 27 vs 19 for the sector median. Revenues are projected to grow at only 11% next year. You can see that the high P/E is not supported by high growth. However, higher growth may return after the recession.
CRM only receives a “C-“ grade for momentum, but rings the bell with an “A+” grade for profitability and a “B+” for revisions. Bottom fishers will be interested in these high grades once price comes down and valuation improves. That will be the bottom for CRM. It is not there yet.
Here is our weekly chart showing all the technical sell signals. When these signals turn up, it will indicate the bottom fishers have started buying.
NOTE: Supply signals continue to take price lower until the bottom is reached. Then bottom fishing buyers come in and turn these signals up, as Supply switches to Demand readings on the chart.
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Salesforce cofounder and co-CEO Marc Benioff speaks during the grand opening of the Salesforce Tower, the tallest building in San Francisco, Calif., Tuesday, May 22, 2018.
Karl Mondon | Bay Area News Group | Getty Images
A series of executive departures at Salesforce (CRM) has spooked investors in accurate days, but we're sticking with the Club holding through the turnover and broader economic uncertainty because its enterprise software products remain integral to business in the digital age.
‘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.”
Why did a training firm founded by a celebrity media mogul move into the employee engagement and wellness space? For Thrive Global founder Arianna Huffington, who founded the company in 2016, it all started by listening to the needs of Fortune 100 clients and deciding to introduce an HR tech app that measures employee engagement and wellbeing and turning it into people data that can reveal the overall mental and physical health of an organization.
HRE recently spoke with Thrive Global’s Chief Product Officer Christopher O’Donnell, a veteran of HubSpot and other high-tech app firms, to hear why HR leaders need to know how employees truly feel, why employee burnout affects a surprising segment of workers and why Thrive Global is intent on building what it calls a human experience platform.
This interview has been lightly edited for precision and clarity.
HRE: Why did Thrive Global evolve from a leadership development firm to become an HR tech provider with its own employee wellness solution?
Christopher O’Donnell: We were very much brought into the wellbeing solutions space by our customers. The first chapter of Thrive Global is well known for leadership and development, live training and offering insightful and deep content as one would expect given the history of our founder. In the second phase, Arianna Huffington and her team were pulled into what I think of as a number of successful technology pilots where bespoke solutions were created. We built a Microsoft Teams app for a top consulting firm and a mobile app for one of the biggest retailers in the world. We built a Salesforce app for Salesforce, so you can see the pattern.
HRE: Why are clients interested in employee wellness?
O’Donnell: We’re selling to Fortune 100 companies and they have a real need for ongoing engagement. Also, many of these solutions are fragmented. We’re hearing from customers that there is a real need for what we think of as a human experience platform, [that is] one place where you get mindfulness, behavior change content and learning and development content. [Wellness will be a key syllabu at the 2023 HR Tech Virtual Conference from Feb. 28 to March 2.]
Basically, HR leaders have bought a lot of stuff and are not getting a lot of usage. CEOs are saying, we gave HR all this budget during COVID, but what am I getting out of it? That’s where we come in.
HRE: How does Thrive Global stand out in a crowded wellness solution space?
O’Donnell: There are three real components. One is Cultural Activation, which is starting with leadership and doing live events like webinars. We call that Thrive Live because it rhymes, and we have that embedded in the product now. It has learning resources and homework that you can do in the mobile app.
We also have Pulse Check, [a module] where Thrive takes your “pulse of wellbeing” every morning by asking one simple question. These questions are scientifically-backed because we’ve read through all the literature about workplace burnout, which is an genuine health condition recognized by the World Health Organization.
We ask an employee, for example, how often do you persevere through challenges that you face at work? That makes the person think about their attitude and role at work vis-a-vis challenges. Then, Thrive can deliver them a piece of content that’s relevant to where they are right now. If an employee says I’m in real trouble on a certain dimension, we will deliver them different content to help them based on where they are.
The third piece is people analytics. This daily question turns into the largest workplace wellbeing and behavioral data set that exists because we’re getting tens of thousands of data points a day. These are scientifically valid data points, which means that the charts that we show in customer quarterly business reports (QBR) could be publishable as research.
HRE: What are some of your most interesting findings?
O’Donnell: We’re starting to publish thought leadership where we found that an organization’s most energetic people are the ones who get the most burnout. They’re the ones who are so engaged that they actually start to be scared about coming to work for the workday because once they get into their work, their time flies.
HRE: Isn’t time flying at work a good thing?
O’Donnell: We ask them, does time fly when you’re working? Do you feel energized when you work? But we also ask, are you daunted on Monday morning? Those same people who are the most energized are also the most daunted on Monday morning.
HRE: Do clients come to you to fix an employee problem when it’s too late?
O’Donnell: It’s never too late. The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago and the second best time is now.
Registration is open for the HR Tech Virtual Conference from Feb. 28 to March 2. Register here.
Salesforce has always fashioned itself as a socially responsible company, and that includes working on a Net Zero carbon emissions goal. In fact, it launched Sustainability Cloud (now called Net Zero Cloud) in 2019, a product for tracking customer Net Zero goals. This year, they are taking that idea a step further with a new product that incorporates not only the environmental pieces, but also social and governance goals, all of which fall under the ESG umbrella.
Ari Alexander, GM for Salesforce Net Zero Cloud and Net Zero Marketplace, says the idea is to take advantage of the range of Salesforce tooling from MuleSoft for connecting to data sources to Tableau for data visualization to help companies better understand their progress towards ESG goals.
“ESG is a broad and very important trend where our customers are looking for help, direction and solutions, and increasingly we started hearing that they needed help with reporting, both voluntary and regulatory,” he said.
The amount of information required to build such reports can be a daunting task for those charged with the reporting requirements. “The solution needed to reach across their business to bring in data from many different sources and streamline their reporting. And so we decided it was time to kind of bring the full power of Salesforce to that problem and extend our Net Zero Cloud to broaden into a full ESG solution.”
ESG reporting is challenging in its current state, particularly because there is no common regulatory reporting framework for all of this data, other than for greenhouse gas reporting. “Whereas the E part of ESG has the Greenhouse Gas Protocol to guide it, that’s fairly well aligned as a global standard; when it comes to ESG reporting, that is very much still an alphabet soup of voluntary frameworks,” Alexander said.
What’s more, the regulatory bodies that are there are changing their requirements frequently, and it is expected that there will be in-country requirements in the not-too-distant future.
“So the specific kinds of data that we’re talking about, whether it’s emissions data, whether it’s diversity, equity and inclusion data, whether it’s data about suppliers and whether there are any kind of human rights flags or abuses anywhere deep in your supply chain, the kinds of things that companies are collecting or looking to put in one place and one single source of truth and report out on. There isn’t yet a clean and easy way to say this is good data or this is bad data on an unstructured dataset [like this],” he said.
He says the data can be reported to third-party auditors, however, and the tool is set up to allow that. “There is increasingly pressure on companies to take the data they’re reporting out more seriously, to provide some of the kinds of audit trails, so the Big Four audit firms can come in and look at enterprise data and have a point of view on whether the data that’s being shown to them is up to a certain standard when it comes to workflows and processes, transparency and being able to explain how you get to the kinds of numbers you report out on,” he said.
The full ESG reporting product is expected to be publicly available in the next couple of months.
Slack’s CEO is leaving the company and is set to be replaced with a Salesforce cloud executive, marking another high-profile leader to leave the Salesforce roster in the last few weeks.
Salesforce, Slack’s parent company, has seen a number of executives leave recently, the most notable of which was co-CEO Bret Taylor who announced at the start of December he would be leaving the company.
The exodus has now reached Slack, where the CEO and co-founder of the company, Stewart Butterfield, is set to leave. His successor will be Lidiane Jones, who is currently an executive vice president and GM of experience cloud, commerce cloud, and marketing cloud at Salesforce.
However, Butterfield isn’t the only executive leaving. In an internal message, he reportedly told Slack employees that the company’s chief product officer and its senior vice president of marketing, communications, and brand, are also leaving, according to the WSJ. Butterfield said that the timing is coincidental and isn't in connection with the co-CEO’s departure.
Tamar Yehoshua, Slack’s chief product officer, confirmed her departure yesterday. She’s set to be replaced by Noah Desai Weiss, the SVP of product at Slack, who has worked at the company for seven years.
“Thank you Stewart for what you've built and for trusting me with the most important role of my life,” said incoming CEO Jones. “Simply put, there would be no Slack without Stewart. He's built an incredible company that has redefined modern collaboration with a team grounded in humility and innovation.”
Jones has been at Salesforce for just over three-and-a-half years, working in the commercial cloud arm of the cloud giant. She also worked as a group product manager at Microsoft for more than 12 years and was vice president of software product management at Sonos for nearly four years.
It would have been more surprising if Butterfield had stayed on in his role for more than two years, said Jason Wong, distinguished VP analyst at Gartner. In the other Salesforce acquisitions of MuleSoft and Tableau, incoming CEOs were either removed from their posts, like Greg Schott, or took up a different position, which happened to Adam Selipsky.
"In various reporting of his resignation, it appears Stewart is leaving for family reasons, but the timing does sting with the departure of Bret Taylor and Tableau CEO Mark Nelson at the same time," Wong said. "More interesting is also the departure of Slack’s chief of products, Tamar Yehoshua, and head of branding and marketing, Jonathan Prince.
"It’s clear that Salesforce is taking Slack is a direction that is more aligned to extending and enabling their Customer 360 Platform, rather than Slack being a general productivity platform."
Co-CEO Taylor decided to resign from his joint leadership position only a year after taking it on. His last day is set to be 31 January 2023 where he’ll step down from his current role as well as his vice chair position.
He’s not the only executive to leave, however, as it was reported that Mark Carter, Salesforce’s cyber security executive, is also set to leave although it hasn’t been publicly announced.
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Cloud tech companies are facing a significant cloud skills shortage, making it hard to hire people and difficult to make sure their current workforce’s skills are up to date. Australia- and US-based Saasguru wants to narrow the gap with an edtech platform designed for new graduates and tech workers who want to become better at using cloud platforms like Salesforce or AWS. The company announced today it has raised a seed round of $4 million AUD (or about $2.7 million USD) led by Square Peg Capital, along with returning investors Black Nova and Antler.
Saasguru’s last funding was nine months ago, when it raised a pre-seed round of $1.3 million AUD. The company was founded in 2021 by Amit Choudhary, Atif Saad and Prateek Kataria. Choudhary and Saad sold their last startup SaaSfocus, a Salesforce consulting company, to Cognizant in in 2018.
So far, Salesguru has been used by 40,000 students in 20 countries, and has worked with 20 cloud consulting companies that want to train new workers, as well as refresh the skills of their existing teams. Its students range from new graduates who are starting their first jobs in cloud tech to professionals who want to earn more training certificates.
The search for people with cloud computing skills in the Asia Pacific region is urgent, with a report by AWS showing that workers needed will triple by 2025, going from 37 million workers in 2020 to 109 million. Saasguru wants to help its learners become ready for cloud tech jobs, while creating more talent at scale.
Choudhary told TechCrunch that the idea for Saasguru was planted while he and Saad were still working on SaaSfocus and struggled to compete for talent with large cloud consulting companies.
“This forced us to look at organic talent creation by hiring people from diverse non-technology backgrounds and upskilling them through a homegrown program tailor-made for Salesforce job readiness,” he said. “This became a bit of a ‘secret sauce’ for us and it helped us scale the business to over 360 consultants, with over 80% of them being trained through this program.”
SaaSfocus’ training program included hyper-personalized study plans, “TikTok-like” micro-modules of content, mentoring, peer-to-peer learning and hands-on assignments.
After selling SaaSfocus, Choudhary and Saad used this approach in a pro-bono program to help people get new jobs during COVID by teaching them Salesforce skills. Of the 50 people who took part in the program, almost all got placed in Salesforce-related jobs.
“It was the lightbulb moment when we realized this could be scaled with tech into a global business,” Choudhary said. Saasguru was launched in early 2021, combining the components of the pro-bono program with a deep tech platform.
Saasguru’s 15 programs includes ones for learning Salesforce, ServiceNow, AWS, GCP and Azure. It plans to use its funding to add more cloud certifications. Choudhary said Saasguru personalizes courses, which can take from 30 hours for self-paced cloud certification program to 300 hours for a career bootcamp, by using a two-step process. The first step is an initial assessment that analyzes the readiness of a learner and creates a learning pathway for them. Then as they start taking a course, the platform recommends the next best step to take.
Saasguru acquires customers by running free webinars with its teachers, or gurus. They also offer free one-on-one mentoring sessions on careers, interview tips and certifications, and run a Slack community. Saasguru serves both individuals and cloud consulting companies that want to build the skills of new and existing employees.
In a statement about the funding, Square Peg Capital principal Lucy Tan said, “There is a massive cloud skills shortage in the industry that is slowing down digital transformation initiatives undertaken by businesses. Universities are not well equipped to solve this skills shortage as the skills update so quickly. This means post-university upskilling is critical for continued business growth and Saasguru provides a personalised learning pathway for cloud professionals to embark on, helping them get skilled and certified in cloud technologies. This can make a meaningful impact on people’s lives from either landing them in a new career or getting salary increases.”
Edtech Saasguru wants to fix the cloud talent shortage at scale by Catherine Shu originally published on TechCrunch
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 accurate 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
Salesforce, the largest corporate employer in San Francisco, is poised to shed more real estate.
The management software firm indicated during an earnings call it will likely continue to shrink its office footprint, the San Francisco Business Times reported.
“We’re never going back to how it was — everyone knows that,” CEO Marc Benioff said during the third-quarter call, about a shift to remote work.
The San Francisco-based company has been whittling down its offices from before the pandemic, which ushered in the era of remote work. A quarter of the city’s offices are now empty. And Salesforce has already ditched half its office space Downtown.
Benioff estimated many companies have about half their employees working in the office “even with mandatory workdays.”
As of Jan. 31, Salesforce had 1.9 million square feet of leased and owned property in San Francisco, according to its annual report. It also had 705,000 square feet of sublet offices and 212,000 square feet available for sublease in the city.
The company now leases 875,000 square feet at its headquarters in Salesforce Tower at 415 Mission Street from Boston Properties. The lease expires in 2031, but it doesn’t appear it intends to shed space inside the signature tower, according to the Business Times.
In July, Salesforce put 350,000 square feet of office space, or 40 percent of its 43-story Salesforce West tower at 50 Fremont Street in the Financial District, up for lease. That marked its third office cut since the pandemic.
The cloud-based software firm bought 50 Fremont in 2015 for $638 million, before Salesforce Tower was built across the street. It employs 10,000 workers in the city, who have been allowed to permanently work from home part of the week.
In March 2021, it subleased 339,000 square feet at the Salesforce East tower at 350 Mission Street to Yelp and Sephora. At the same time, it canceled its 325,000-square-foot lease at the unbuilt Parcel F tower.
Last February, Slack, the messaging company now owned by Salesforce, listed 200,000 square feet for sublease at 45 Fremont, according to the the Business Times. At the same time, Salesforce leased a 75-acre ranch near Santa Cruz for onboarding, training and hobnobbing.
Early last month, Salesforce confirmed that it had laid off hundreds of workers, and news reports suggest more layoffs are in the works.
Amy Weaver, chief financial officer for the company, told investors that Salesforce would continue to evaluate its real estate footprint and make cuts where necessary.
“Over the past two years, we have continued to re-imagine our real estate strategy,” Weaver said. “That is not only to optimize for scale, but also continue (a) hybrid work environment and how people are working and how they’re using their space.
“And this has included reducing our footprint fairly significantly right now.”
— Dana Bartholomew
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