Salesforce Presses Forward with New Pandemic Products
Shares of the big technology platforms are back in vogue with investors. In the throes of a global pandemic, these companies are leveraging their advantages.
On Monday, Salesforce (CRM) announced new software to help enterprises and governments safely reopen. A major part of this announcement was a website known as Work.com. It’s a command center that combines apps, trusted advisors and communities to help managers make critical decisions about worker and customer safety.
The tools should be successful because they are integrated into the huge Salesforce platform.
Analysts often talk about network effects, the idea that usefulness of the network stems from its reach. The greater the number of users and applications, the more attractive the network becomes.
Think about Facebook (FB). While the social media network is often the subject of scrutiny, users are reluctant to leave because it’s where their friends and family congregate online. Leaving the network means foregoing interaction with those contacts.
Salesforce is quite similar. Long ago, managers successfully courted developers. They built applications that brought many Fortune 500 corporations to the platform. As the ecosystem matured and became larger, Salesforce became integral to the way corporations, governments and non-profits reached out to customers.
The San Francisco company is the largest customer relationship management software company in the world. They have 150,000 customers, and over 75% of Fortune 500 businesses use their software.
Its client list is a who’s who of the corporate world, from Adidas and Best Buy (BBY) to Zurich Insurance. Sales exploded from only $4 billion in 2014, to $17 billion through 2020.
Work.com is a project especially well suited to the Salesforce ecosystem. And it’s well designed to outperform in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
One huge benefit of Work.com is its ability to bring businesses back online. From its command center, managers will be able to do contact tracing if an employee becomes infected with COVID-19. The portal includes emergency response management, employee wellness and shift management.
The idea is to provide managers with the tools required to get back to work in a new normal, where employees and customers continue to get infected and recover.
Despite the current bear market, the strength of big technology stocks has shocked some analysts. Many, such as Amazon.com (AMZN), moved to record new highs after cratering in March and February. Others, like ServiceNow (NOW) and Microsoft (MSFT), are within spitting distance.
What these companies do well is leverage their inherent platform advantages. They know their customers. They’re able to build significant new streams of income almost out of thin air.
Work.com has the potential to help do that for Salesforce.
The company is certainly worth monitoring, especially during this pandemic, due to its unmatched sales and innovation.
Jon D. Markman