Case Study 3.4 - Salesforce.Com: Cloud Services Go Mainstream
1. How does Salesforce.com use cloud computing?
Salesforce.com provides customer relationship management and other software applications using the software-as-a-service business model over the Internet. Cloud computing, also known as on-demand computing, eliminates the need for a business to make large up-front hardware and software investments and reduces the time to implement new programs. Subscribers to Salesforce.com don’t have to purchase or maintain any hardware (albeit personal computing devices) nor do they have to install any special operating systems, database servers, or application servers. Other than the monthly user subscription fee, businesses reduce their licensing and maintenance fees. Users access the Salesforce.com cloud through a standard Web browser or a mobile handheld device. Businesses using the Salesforce.com’s cloud have an easier time scaling their system as they increase or decrease their workforce – they adjust the number of subscriptions to the cloud.
Salesforce.com offers some customization of its software so a business can adjust the software to unique business processes. It offers three types of clouds: Sales cloud, service cloud, and the custom cloud. The sales and service clouds help businesses improve sales and customer service. The custom cloud provides a venue for customers to develop their own applications for use within the broader Salesforce network.
2. What are some of the challenges facing Salesforce as it continues its growth?
How well will it be able to meet those challenges?
-Increased competition both from traditional industry leaders and new challengers hoping to replicate Salesforce’s success
-Expanding its business model into other areas
-Ensuring the system is available 24/7 with no outages
-Defending the system against security breeches
Salesforce is answering the first two challenges by partnering with Google