Salesforce FY 3Q16 Earnings Call Notes

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salesforce.com’s (CRM) CEO Marc Benioff on Q3 2016 Results

CEOs don’t want to talk about cloud, they want to talk about customers and growth

“I want to tell you, I met with hundreds of CEOs around the world. And I’ll tell you, when we’re meeting with CEOs, they are not that interested in talking about honestly about the cloud or about social or mobile. They want to talk about their customers and they want to talk about their topline, they want to talk about how they’re going to grow that topline, and this is the really, really exciting thing that’s going on, which is this customer revolution.”

There is no doubt we are at a tipping point in cloud platforms

“there is no doubt, we are at a tipping point in cloud platforms. And companies who have been cloud deniers like SAP and Oracle are paying a horrible price in single-digit and negative growth, because companies are not buying their products, because they are not modern. And they are not built-in this kind of modern architecture.”

We are a big customer of Amazon Web Services

The next layer down is, kind of what we traditionally call Infrastructure-as-a-Service. Amazon Web Services, which we are a huge customer of Amazon Web Services, Amazon is also a huge customer of Salesforce, and we use the Amazon Web Services to build our products”

We also work with Microsoft and think Azure is terrific

“Salesforce also has been working with Microsoft on how we’re going to be using Azure as part of our product line as well. We’re very excited about Microsoft. We also have a great relationship with Microsoft. We’ve talked about that, and I think Azure is terrific. ”

And we use Google’s platform too

“And Google, by the way, is a huge customer of Salesforce. We use Google’s platform very extensively at Salesforce as well. And I’ll tell you something that it’s critical for the operations of our company, and the Amazon, Microsoft and Google’s cloud platforms.”

The modern IT infrastructure is flexible application at the top layer, rapid development in the middle that is run on infrastructure as a service through Amazon, Microsoft and Google

“One, very flexible dynamic, highly innovative, three releases a year, applications at the top; in the middle, rapid application development and deployment of apps, like I was talking about new apps appearing on my phone instantly from my IT department in that APAS area; and also an Infrastructure-as-a-Service, where we partner with Amazon, we partner with Microsoft and we partner with Google, those are three core strategic partners in Infrastructure-as-a-Service, and that’s the modern IT infrastructure.”

All these buzzwords are table stakes. The question is what are you going to do with that technology

“All of those things, the cloud, social, mobile, data science, deep learning, MLP, machine intelligence, those are table stakes. Those are table stakes. What you’re going to do with that technology?”

Are you a cognitive company or a customer company?

“So there was a really good discussion between Ginni Rometty, who is the CEO of IBM and John Stumpf, who is the CEO of Well Fargo Bank…when she is discussing her strategy is to become the cognitive company. And when he is discussing his strategy it’s to become the customer company. And I think that we too have to decide what kind of companies are we going to be? I’m going with customer-company”

Every company is afraid they are going to be uberized out of this world

“there is a transformational force that is wafting its way through all of these companies and every company is afraid that they’re going to be uberized out of the world. And they see it happening. And it could be financial services. It could be IBM”