Reviewing the Salesforce.com Competitive Landscape
|By Software Scope
||Salesforce offers a broad software as a service (SaaS) CRM suite, a Force.com platform as a service (PaaS) suite and is steadily transitioning into a cloud platform company.
On-demand competitors of similar software scope include NetSuite with its NS-BOS PaaS, Microsoft CRM with its XRM platform and SAP CRM with its Software Development Kit (SDK).
When the software scope exceeds CRM and includes back-office systems such as accounting and ERP software, Salesforce relies on AppExchange partners Intuit QuickBooks (for small business), Intacct and FinancialForce.com (for small and midsize businesses) and Workday (for the enterprise). Direct competitors in the combined CRM and ERP software market include Microsoft Dynamics, NetSuite and SAP.
|By Customer Size
||Salesforce.com retains a diversified customer base. The Professional Edition largely accommodates the small business market while the more popular Enterprise and Unlimited versions cater to the middle market and enterprise organizations.
The primary competitors in the small business market are Oracle On Demand, SAP Business ByDesign and SugarCRM. Primary competitors in the middle and enterprise markets are Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Oracle Customer Experience (which includes Oracle Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud and Service Cloud) and SAP CRM.
|By Vertical Market
||Similar to SAP CRM and Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Salesforce empowers partners with an application development platform and AppExchange online marketplace to develop and distribute industry-specific solutions. Salesforce.com's designated vertical markets include communications, financial services, healthcare, high tech, manufacturing, media, non-profit, public sector and retail. At the most recent Customer 360 conference, Gartner shared that per their reference checks Salesforce was most commonly deployed in the financial services, IT hardware and software, life sciences, manufacturing and publishing industries.
Vertical solutions are generally more limited than those from enterprise wide application providers such as Microsoft, NetSuite and SAP as the bulk of Salesforce.com industry solution functionality and business processes are limited to front office, customer facing CRM operations.
Primary competitors with a similar vertical market software strategy include Microsoft's Dynamics Marketplace, NetSuite's SuiteApp.com, SAP's Business ByDesign ecosystem, Sage CRM's Partner Solution Source, SugarCRM's SugarExchange and Zoho's online Marketplace.
|By Delivery Model
||Salesforce.com is only delivered in the Software as a Service (SaaS) model.
No private cloud or on-premises software option is available.
The primary SaaS CRM competitors for buyers seeking on demand CRM software include Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Oracle CX (aka Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Service Cloud), SugarCRM and to a lesser extend SAP Sales on Demand.
||Salesforce.com is headquartered in San Francisco, California, with regional headquarters in Dublin (covering Europe, Middle East, and Africa), Singapore (covering Asia Pacific less Japan), and Tokyo (covering Japan). Other (largely sales) offices are in Toronto, New York, London, Sydney, and San Mateo, California.
With data centers in Singapore and Japan to address the Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Japanese markets, Salesforce.com may find an advantage for organizations that show preference for in-country data storage (although it does appear that data is replicated outside these countries for high availability purposes).
The Salesforce CRM application, along with online help and training documentation, are available in 16 languages: English, Dutch, Spanish, German, French, Finnish, Swedish, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, Korean, Russian, Thai, Danish, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese. Also, end user languages available are Hungarian, Czech, Turkish, Polish, Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian.
For reasons that are not clear, non-U.S. customers seem to pay about a 45% premium. For example, the Enterprise Edition in the European Union, Australia and Japan is priced at about €135/user/month, AU$180/user/month and ¥15,000/user/month respectively.
Salesforce's primary global system integrator (GSI) is Accenture although all GSIs have mature Salesforce consulting practices. The company also has regional partners such as BT in the UK and Ireland (who also represents NetSuite and SugarCRM), CSK and CTS in Japan, and Stefanini in Brazil and Latin America.
Other global CRM competitors include Microsoft Dynamics CRM, NetSuite CRM+, Oracle CRM, SAP CRM and SugarCRM.
|By Price Point
||Salesforce.com offers a range of products at varying price points. However, the bulk of customers subscribe to the Enterprise and Unlimited versions which are priced between $125 and $250+ per user per month, making it the most expensive on-demand CRM solution in the market.
The primary high end pricing competitors are Oracle CX and SAP CRM.