On the back of a great a fiscal year and projections of more to come, Salesforce cofounder and CEO had some cocky things to say about his biggest rivals, Oracle and SAP.
He particularly slammed Oracle, his former employer, who has turned into his most heated competitor.
Wall Street analysts on the quarterly conference call were asking Benioff to defend his assertion that Salesforce has enough desirable products to grow into a $US10 billion company and beyond, as he had just boldly promised.
“If you look at our competitors, and their work in this customer service [cloud software] area. No. 1: Oracle. They bought RightNow and they have their own Fusion Service product. They took Fusion and turned it into confusion. Oracle keeps saying they’re growing more quickly than anyone else in the cloud. Well, that’s very easy to do when you’re starting at zero.” he said, slamming the name of Oracle’s home grown cloud computing products, called Oracle Fusion Applications.
The battle between Oracle and Salesforce is so heated, that after Oracle bought RightNow, a company that offered customer service apps through the cloud, Oracle even renamed it “Service Cloud.”
That’s exactly what Salesforce calls its customer-service cloud: Service Cloud.
Benioff boasted that Salesforce’s version is doing a lot better. “And Service Cloud from Oracle, that’s a great example. This is not a multi-billion business for Oracle like it is for us. They have not been able to execute,” Benioff said.
Service Cloud has become Salesforce’s second-biggest business, and brought in $US1.32 billion of revenue in its last fiscal year, announced this week.
Benioff also had some choice things to say about SAP, his original rival.
“And then move onto to SAP. They will come into customers and say, ‘just use HANA.’ But for what, and how? And unload the software into your company,” Benioff said, referring to SAP’s newfangled database that is so fast, it changes how companies can use SAP’s software.
SAP has bet its soul on the success of HANA, with SAP’s billionaire co-founder recently admitting, “If this doesn’t work, we’re dead.”
Benioff continued, “The No. 1 thing about this customer service revolution and why [Salesforce’s] Service Cloud is delivering phenomenal results is that the traditional keepers of customer service information for these customers, Oracle and SAP, have just not delivered. And we have…. They are delivering new versions when our customers want new vision. And that is where we are right now.”
Benioff got his start at Oracle, becoming the youngest top executive there, a millionaire by age 25, working for Oracle cofounder and then-CEO Larry Ellison.
Ellison even originally invested in Salesforce.
The two were close friends until their companies began to compete more directly with one another. These days, they are more likely to poach each other’s sales people and trash talk each other’s companies than to publicly hang out together.