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Salesforce Earnings are Historic and Dreamforce 2021 is On

Salesforce earnings announced yesterday earnings that confirms it is growing dramatically in the post-pandemic digital economy. Salesforce blew away analyst expectations with quarterly results of $1.14 billion in profit or $1.21 per share. This outpaces an estimate of $0.88 per share, according to Reuters. “We had the best first quarter in our company’s history,” said Marc Benioff, Chair & CEO, Salesforce in a press release.

Dreamforce Everywhere Is On

In the quarterly Salesforce earnings call Mr. Benioff announced that Dreamforce Everywhere will be on this year. Touted as the first global Dreamforce, it will be run using “Dreamforce to You” platform for a virtual experience, plus live events in San Francisco, New York City, London, and Paris. The event will run from September 21 thru 23, 2021, according to a separate press release.

“And, vaccinations will be required,” for in-person attendees Mr. Benioff stated during the call.

Benioff Compares Salesforce to SAP

On the Salesforce earnings call, Mr. Benioff reminded analysts that total revenue of Salesforce is now approaching SAP, who is currently the largest vendor of enterprise application software. Mr. Benioff attributed some of this growth to the comprehensive, multi-cloud solutions they deliver to customers working on digital transformation. He repeatedly cited Honeywell as a customer who benefits from making huge multi-cloud investments with Salesforce.

Mr. Benioff also attributed the rapid growth due to more customers demanding accelerated solutions. He focused on “emergency” and other pandemic-related projects where the implementation horizon is not months, but “weeks to days”.

Remote Efficiencies Boost Salesforce Earnings

The dramatic earnings boost is due not only to sales, but to increased efficiencies in operations. Non-GAAP operating margins improved dramatically from 13.1% to 20.2%. Credit for this goes to Amy Weaver, President and CFO of Salesforce. “Our impressive start to this year helps fuel our momentum for the rest of the year as we keep pace toward our goal of $50 billion in revenue in FY26,” said Ms. Weaver in a press release.

On the analyst call Ms. Weaver confirmed that these operating efficiencies were due to a new way of serving customers remotely that works well. As the company continues through the fiscal year, Ms. Weaver anticipates that many needs of customers will continue to be met remotely.

Software Development Issues Not Addressed

While financial analysts are incredibly pleased with the results, as they should be, this analyst is concerned that the global Salesforce workforce is not ready for growth to continue at this pace. Several key blockers to growth were not addressed during the investor call.

Cybersecurity issues will continue to mount, and an acute lack of skills will prevent the implementation of safer software development methodologies. It is possible for enterprise application backlogs to unexpectedly arrest or slow Salesforce’s growth.

Devops-related technologies have barely scratched the surface in Salesforce enterprise software development. As many orgs struggle to meet current needs with a change-set methodology and no security safeguards, the Salesforce devops industry must find ways to support a broader range of customers.