Salesforce Q1 FY21 Numbers – Quite Good, eh?

Salesforce Q1 FY21 Numbers – Quite Good, eh?

The news It is reporting season – and I am actually already somewhat late to have a look at Salesforce’s Q1 figures of fiscal year 20/21 and to think about some implications. The earnings presentation makes for an interesting overview, more details are in the quarterly filing, the earnings release, and the transcript of the earnings webcast. So, let’s get into it and look at some figures, concentrating on the company overview, result highlights, revenue and margin developments, revenues by cloud and region. Right on the first content page Salesforce states that it Is #1 CRM software provider worldwide Consistently delivers durable revenue growth Is the fastest growing top five enterprise software company Is uniquely positioned to help customer drive broad-based digital transformation Revenue is up 31 per cent (at constant currency) to nearly $4.9 billion for this quarter, which is slightly below the Q4/FY20 guidance. Operating cash flow shrank slightly to $1.86 billion year over year. The company adjusted the revenue guidance from $21 – $21.1 billion as per the Q4/FY20  down to $20 billion. GAAP earnings per share are adjusted to ($0.06) to ($0.04) from $0.12 to $0.14. Growth of FY21 operating cash flow is adjusted to 10 – 11 per cent from 20 per cent. GAAP operating margin went down by 8.5 per cent points to a negative 2.9 per cent with the non GAAP operating margin going down by 5.1 per cent points to 13.1 per cent. On the revenue distribution frontier it shows that Salesforce’s growth happens in the ‘Sales Platform & Other’ category, which vastly outpaces the other clouds already since Q4 last...
Quo Vadis SAP?

Quo Vadis SAP?

For quite some time the SAP CX community asks itself where SAP is going, or more precisely, which direction its Customer Experience portfolio is taking. This is a worrisome question, particularly as the larger CRM market is estimated to be the biggest segment of the enterprise software market since 2018; and since SAP is positioned with a number of strong solutions, partly home-grown and partly acquired. Hybris, Gigya, CallidusCloud, Qualtrics are only the shiniest catches of the acquisition spree that SAP took under Bill McDermott’s leadership. In September 2015 SAP announced that it set out to build an integrated suite of front office solutions, which the company declared delivered during SAPPHIRE 2018, which also marked the birth of the ‘intelligent enterprise’. These two announcements can basically be summed up as take the CRM market from its strength on the ERP and supply chain side. In between, SAP imported important parts of its CRM 7 solution into its new S/4HANA solution At that time, SAP has essentially turned into a serious player on the CRM market. Which is an impression that got fortified by Bob Stutz joining SAP to lead the Customer Experience team in October 2019. I mean, there is no software exec who is more successful in shaping and driving CRM – with the possible exception of Mark Benioff. Bob, in turn, with Esteban Kolsky, convinced one of the smartest CRM analysts around to become his head of strategy. What could go wrong? Fast forward to June 2020 Bob Stutz holds his position for about 8 months. Jennifer Morgan, so far Co-CEO with Christian Klein, left SAP. The...
Zoho – A True Unicorn

Zoho – A True Unicorn

End of January Zoho held its 2020 Zoho Days, an analyst summit, which I was happy to attend, along with more than 60 colleagues, as the only analyst from Germany, as it seems. Sadly, it took me quite a while to complete this – Zoho deserves a faster commentare. But hey, let’s look forward and get rolling. Zoho is a privately owned enterprise software company that has quietly evolved from a small software company in 1996 to an ambitious global player that serves the SMB- and enterprise CRM market with cloud applications. The company has a set of 45+ business apps with more than 50 million users, 10 data centres and counting, and is available in 180 countries. The company is profitable and maintained a CAGR of more than 30 percent over the past five years. But why quietly? Because Zoho managed its growth pretty unusually (almost) fully organically with only very minor acquisitions. Crunchbase lists one. Following this unique approach, which defies the traditional law of going big fast, the company managed to build a solid platform with a unified data model that allows it to crank out amazing software at an incredible speed, and with a track record of growth that is well in the double digits. Zoho offers a suite of business, collaboration, and productivity applications, supported by development environments, services and infrastructure. Besides CRM, the applications cover a good part of the value chain, including some ERP type of applications, like order management, warehouse management, or billing and project management, HR and accounting. These apps are built upon a services oriented soft- and hardware stack...
Salesforce News on different Topics – But Hey, are they really different?

Salesforce News on different Topics – But Hey, are they really different?

The News In the past month, Salesforce made announcements around some interesting topics. First, beginning of October, the company introduced Einstein’s Guide to AI Use Cases, a web tool that is targeted at helping businesses identify viable use cases and provide some information about what it takes to support it. It starts with information and videos that explain AI, terms around AI and give some examples how AI can help improve different aspects of a business.  According to Sarin Devraj, Associate Product Marketing Manager Salesforce Einstein, for time being the site covers some fifty use cases but will be updated regularly to increase the coverage of relevant and interesting use cases. The website is intended to be top-of-funnel. The second and more recent announcement was about introducing Lightning Order Management, which shall enable brands to deliver end-to-end commerce experiences from shopping to shipping. Lightning Order Management is currently in beta and will be made available later this year. Right now it focuses on B2C processes. Based upon Lightning and enabled by Salesforce’s vast partner network, Lightning Order Management offers a low code platform that helps companies to easily create order management flows, including some partner applications. Salesforce expects the number of partner applications to increase steadily. Lastly, in the beginning of November, Salesforce announced its own Salesforce CMS, a hybrid content management system designed to help easily create and deliver content across channels. Salesforce CMS is designed to be simple, fast yet flexible, and closely connected to the Salesforce infrastructure. For time being Salesforce CMS is geared towards the Salesforce B2C e-commerce solution, but shall be extended to support...
Is SAP serious about CX? You bet, and here’s why

Is SAP serious about CX? You bet, and here’s why

The News SAP flexes its muscles. Bob Stutz returns to SAP as the new president of the CX group. In this role he becomes the successor of Alex Atzberger who held this role since January 2018, himself succeeding Carsten Thoma. In his new role Bob will report directly to Co-CEO Jennifer Morgan. The Bigger Picture Bob Stutz certainly is one of the creators of CRM, where Paul Greenberg is its godfather. He was instrumental to the success of Siebel, the company that basically created the industry and dominated the market in the early days of the millennium, till the company got acquired by Oracle. From there, Bob moved on to SAP in 2005, with the objective of making a successful business unit out of SAP CRM. Which he did. With CRM 7, released towards the end of 2007, he and his team created a very competitive product, functionally, and from a usability point of view. He also, with CRM on Demand, laid the foundation for an SAP move into the cloud. Not entirely successful, that one, as it the whole architecture was not cloud orientated, but it was the first step into the right direction. And an important one, as the whole market, led by Salesforce, went for the cloud. It was a hard transition; believe me, I was there. By then, Salesforce was hot on the heels of the then market leader SAP, with Oracle and Microsoft making themselves heard as well, Oracle hampering itself with the transition to Fusion and Microsoft at the start of its journey that created Dynamics. His tenure ended in 2010. He moved...
S/4 vs. C/4 – Is SAP finally getting CRM right?

S/4 vs. C/4 – Is SAP finally getting CRM right?

It has been a while since I last mused about things S/4HANA and C/4HANA (or Customer Experience Suite) at SAP. So, it is time to have a look at what happened since. Last year I concluded that “the differentiation between the old world transactional systems and the systems of engagement is more and more being sorted out” and that the “modularization of the various clouds into ‘Micro’-Services would allow for a seamless recombination of systems that allow for the definition of functional scope according to customer needs as opposed to only offering pre-packaged systems”. Has there been any change, since? Let’s go along the questions that I asked in my previous post. How reliable is the roadmap, or rather, are the roadmaps? At the end of the day there is the eternal dilemma between flexibility and stability. How to go ahead with multiple back end systems? How are engines and industry solutions dealt with? How is the differentiation between S4 including customer management and the C4 offerings? All these questions continue to be relevant, as they are touching the core of SAP’s strategy. What is the current answer to them? Let me give my take on them, as I see it evolving. Just to be sure, this is my observation and me listening to customers, not an official word of SAP. Just my interpretation. After all I am not on the distribution list of SAP’s internal strategy discussions. Being a CRM guy and a suite guy, for me the last question is the elephant in the room. The answer to where SAP sees the boundary between S4 and C4...