Marc Benioff is in awe of some of the cloud startups that followed in his footsteps: Dropbox and Square.He’s happy to boast of Salesforce.com’s 37% growth for 2011 (and 38% revenue growth in its last quarter).
BUT this doesn’t hold a candle to the growth of younger cloud software startups. They are growing at triple and quadruple-digit rates, “which makes enterprise growth rates look small and rather pathetic,” Benioff said last week at a trade show in Denver, InformationWeek reports.
Neither of them are enterprise companies. But they’re growing like mad because they understand what he calls the “defining principles” of the new software era: cloud computing, mobile, social, and viral.
By viral, he means what some folks call a “bottom-up” sales model, says Asana’s Kenny Van Zant. IT professionals call it “rogue software” where users bring it in and fire it up outside of IT’s control or care.
“They’ve seen growth, revenue, and margins like we’ve never seen in enterprise software,” Benioff said. “They don’t like the enterprise sales model that we pioneered, so they’re using the viral or ‘freemium’ models to get into companies at many different levels.”
The idea is to sell enough bits and pieces directly to the people using the software and then IT will be forced to come calling for a cheaper enterprise subscription.