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Salesforce.com, Inc. is an American cloud-based software company headquartered in San Francisco, California. It provides customer relationship management (CRM) service and also provides a complementary suite of enterprise applications focused on customer service, marketing automation, analytics, and application development.
The company was founded on February 3, 1999 by former Oracle executive Marc Benioff, together with Parker Harris, Dave Moellenhoff, and Frank Dominguez as a software as a service (SaaS) company, and was launched publicly between September and November 1999.
In October 2014, Salesforce announced the development of its Customer Success Platform to tie together Salesforce's services, including sales, service, marketing, analytics, community, and mobile apps. In October 2017, Salesforce launched a Facebook Analytics tool for business-to-business marketers. In September 2018, Salesforce partnered with Apple intended on improving apps for businesses.
In February 2020, co-chief executive officer Keith Block stepped down from his position in the company. Marc Benioff remained as chairman and chief executive officer.
On December 1, 2020, it was announced that Salesforce would acquire Slack for $27.7 billion. The acquisition closed on July 21.
In February 2021, Salesforce announced that CFO Mark Hawkins would be retiring from his position after six years of working for the company, retaining however a position as CFO emeritus until October. Amy Weaver was selected as his replacement.
Salesforce's main services are tools for case, task and issue management. It also gives customers tracking abilities for their raised cases and conversation features for social networking Web sites, provides analytical tools and other services including email alert, Google search, and access to customers' entitlement and contracts. They also partner with companies like IBM, Accenture, and Saggezza to help integrate Salesforce's cloud-based services into their businesses.
Lightning Platform (also known as Force.com) is a platform as a service (PaaS) that allows developers to create add-on applications that integrate into the main Salesforce.com application.[failed verification] These third-party applications are hosted on Salesforce.com's infrastructure.
Force.com applications are built using declarative tools, backed by Lightning[further explanation needed] and Apex (Application Express), a proprietary Java-like programming language for Force.com, as well as Visualforce, a framework including an XML syntax typically used to generate HTML. The Force.com platform typically receives three complete releases a year. As the platform is provided as a service to its developers, every single development instance also receives all these updates.
As of 2013, the Force.com platform has 1.4 million registered developers.
Lightning Base Components is the component library built on top of Lightning Web Components.
Experience Cloud (formerly Community Cloud) provides Salesforce customers the ability to create online web properties for external collaboration, customer service, channel sales, and other custom portals in their instance of Salesforce. Tightly integrated to Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, and App Cloud, Experience Cloud can be quickly customized to provide a wide variety of web properties. Experience Cloud combines the functionality of the former Salesforce Customer and Partner Portals with some additional features.
Work.com, then known as "Rypple", was founded by Daniel Debow and David Stein, who wanted to create a simple way of asking for feedback anonymously at work. The company was formed in May 2008 and their client list included Mozilla, Facebook, LinkedIn and the Gilt Groupe. Rypple "'reverses the onus on the demand for more feedback' by getting employees to build and manage their own coaching networks".
In September 2011, Rypple announced that they had hired Bohdan Zabawskyj as its Chief Technology Officer.
In 2011, Rypple developed a more formalized management methodology called OKR ("Objectives and Key Results") for Spotify. Rypple also partnered with Facebook to create "Loops", short for "feedback loops", which gathers feedback from co-workers, "thank you's", progress against goals, and coaching from supervisors into one channel for a "rich, robust, continuous performance review".
In December 2011, Salesforce.com announced that they would acquire Rypple. The transaction was completed in 2012 and Rypple was rebranded as Work.com in September 2012.
Launched in 2005, the Salesforce AppExchange is an online application marketplace for third-party applications that run on the Force.com platform. Applications are available for free, as well as via yearly or monthly subscription models. Applications available range from integrations with SharePoint to mobile approval management. As of June 2016, it features 2,948 applications which have driven 3+ million installs. The "AppExchange" is also a place customers can search for cloud consulting partners to help them implement the technology in their own organization. Cloud consulting partners for Salesforce include large companies like IBM's "Bluewolf" and Accenture as well as smaller ones like Cloudreach.
Launched in 2019, Salesforce's myTrailhead is an online training platform that can be customized for the specific needs of its customers. The platform extends functionality which Salesforce built to provide users with training content specific to their usage of Salesforce and enables users to create and publish their own training content and programs.
Data.com, previously known as Jigsaw, was a cloud-based automated system for acquiring and managing CRM records within a user's Salesforce.com account.
Data.com was also an online business directory of companies and business professionals that is built, maintained and accessed by a worldwide community of over a million subscribers., The information consisted of what is commonly found on a business card.
Desk.com is a SaaS customer service application. The product differentiates itself from Salesforce's other service platform in that Desk.com specifically targets small businesses with its features and functions. Desk.com integrates with a variety of products and third-party applications including Salesforce CRM, Salesforce IQ, Atlassian JIRA, Mailchimp and other apps. Desk.com also supports up to 50 languages.
Salesforce announced the retirement of desk.com, replacing it with Service Cloud Lightning. After March 13, 2018 no new desk.com licenses were sold, and the retirement date was announced as March 13, 2020.
Do.com was a cloud-based task management system for small groups and businesses, introduced in 2011 and discontinued in 2014. Salesforce did not offer any reason for shutting down the service, however, it provided an Export tool to save data entered within the Do.com interface. The Do.com domain was sold to a startup in 2014.
Salesforce users can configure their CRM application. In the system, there are tabs such as "Contacts," "Reports," and "Accounts." Each tab contains associated information. Configuration can be done on each tab by adding user-defined custom fields.
Configuration can also be done at the "platform" level by adding configured applications to a Salesforce instance, that is adding sets of customized / novel tabs for specific vertical- or function-level (Finance, Human Resources, etc.) features.
Apex is a proprietary programming language provided by the Force.com platform to developers similar to Java and C#. It is a strongly typed, object-oriented, case-insensitive programming language, following a dot-notation and curly-brackets syntax. Apex can be used to execute programmed functions during most processes on the Force.com platform including custom buttons and links, event handlers on record insertion, update, or deletion, via scheduling, or via the custom controllers of Visualforce or Lightning Experience pages.
Due to the multitenant nature of the platform, the language has strictly imposed governor limitations to guard against any code monopolizing shared resources. Salesforce provides a series of asynchronous processing methods for Apex to allow developers to produce longer-running and more complex Apex code.
In 2014, Salesforce made public the front end of its platform, called Lightning. This component-based framework is what the Salesforce mobile app is built on. Salesforce built on this framework in 2015 by releasing the Lightning Design System, an HTML style framework with default CSS styling built in. This framework allows customers to build their own components to either use in their internal instances or sell on the AppExchange.
The Salesforce Lightning App Builder is a tool for rapid application development of responsive web interfaces. This interface allows for different screens to be put together based on Lightning components. This can be used as layouts for records or specific applications.
Lightning Experience, released in 2016, is the new redesigned interface in Salesforce for processes enhancement. Since then all the apps available on AppExchange need to be Lightning and those built on Classic have to migrate to Lightning as Classic is not to be updated any more by Salesforce. The platform offers an option for developers to employ migration techniques to enable the new user friendly interface and switch to Lightning.
A discussion panel at Salesforce's Customer Company Tour event that focused on customer relationship management
Cindy Robbins, President and Chief People Officer (2006- )
Amy Weaver, President, Legal and General Counsel (2013- )
Salesforce was credited to have a strong corporate culture and its HR practices were said to have been a huge driving force behind its success story. Salesforce's corporate culture is based on the concept of Ohana, a deep-rooted support system nurtured inside the company. Its culture emphasized certain core values, behaviors, and experiences. The leaders at Salesforce believed that its culture fostered dialogue, collaboration, recognition, and a sense of family, and helped its employees drive the company's purpose, vision, and impact. Though, in the aftermath of a 2021 world-wide outage of all their services, in an uncharacteristic move, Salesforce Chief Availability Officer Darryn Dieken placed the blame on an individual engineer stating, "We have taken action with that particular employee." The same year, another executive Cynthia Perry resigned over discrimination in the workplace.
For the fiscal year 2019, Salesforce reported revenue of US$13.28 billion, an increase of 26% year-over-year and 26% in constant currency. The CRM giant reported subscription and support revenues of US$12.41 billion, an increase of 27% year-over-year. Salesforce ranked 240 on the 2019 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States companies by revenue.
Salesforce migrated to Dell servers with Advanced Micro Devices processors running Linux from Sun Fire E25K servers with SPARC processors running Solaris in 2008. The company uses the Momentum platform from Message Systems to allow its customers to send large amounts of email.
In 2012, Salesforce announced plans to build a data center in the UK to handle European citizens' personal data.
In 2016, Salesforce announced that it will use Amazon Web Services hosting for countries with restrictive data residency requirements and where no Salesforce data centers are operating. In July 2017, the first such Salesforce instance went live in Canada, with Salesforce announcing that this enabled signing a number of Canadian customers.
The following is a list of acquisitions by Salesforce:
Acumen Solutions (December 2020) - $570 million 
Simplified timeline of Salesforce's biggest acquisitions ($750M or greater).
Subject to a phishing attack
In November 2007 a successful phishing attack on a Salesforce employee compromised contact information on a number of Salesforce customers, which was then used to send highly targeted phishing emails. Salesforce has stated that "a phisher tricked someone into disclosing a password, but this intrusion did not stem from a security flaw in [the salesforce.com] application or database." The phishing breach was cited as an example of why the CRM industry needs greater security for users against such threats as spam.
While the crowd-sourced method of building business contacts has proven popular with recruiters, marketers, and sales professionals, it has also raised questions of privacy as most of the site's database is entered without permission from the person being listed. Data.com does, however, make it easy to remove business information on request as noted in December 2009 by TechCrunch. However, recipients of these messages regard it as spam and at least one complaint about receiving more spam after attempting to remove one's address has been noted.
In July 2012, Salesforce applied to trademark the term "social enterprise" in the United States, the European Union and Jamaica where the term was in widespread use to describe businesses with a primarily social purpose. This was successfully challenged by a campaign called #notinourname which was launched by Social Enterprise UK, resulting in Salesforce.com withdrawing their trademark application and agreeing not to use the term in their future marketing.
'Meatpistol' presenters let go at Def Con
In 2017 at DEF CON, Salesforce's Director of Offensive Security and a security engineer were fired on the conference room floor in front of several other attendees by an executive at the company after giving a talk. Word rapidly spread that two speakers had been released at the event. The presentation was initially signed off on by the company; however, Salesforce's management team had an unexplained and sudden change of heart an hour before the event. Salesforce's Director of Offensive Security had turned off his phone prior to the presentation and was unable to receive any communication from Salesforce prior to the presentation. Reaction after the firings were swift, with the Electronic Frontier Foundation providing representation to the fired employees and members of the security community opining "Salesforce undermined their credibility in the security community to a significant degree" and that "how they are perceived by the security community isn't top of their list of things they care about." The presented MEATPISTOL tool was anticipated to be released as open-source at the time of the presentation, but Salesforce continues to hold back on releasing any of the code to developers or the public. The terminated employees have continued to call on the company to open-source the software.
In March 2019 Salesforce faced a lawsuit by 50 anonymous women claiming to be victims and survivors of sex trafficking, abuse and rape, which alleges the company profited from and knowingly facilitated sex trafficking on the Web site Backpage.com (defunct since April 2018). The lawsuit also pointed out that Salesforce was publicly promoting an anti-human trafficking campaign at the time of its work with Backpage.
In 2009, in response to the financial crisis of 2007-2008 and the resulting decline in venture funding, Salesforce began investing in digital companies that used or integrated Salesforce platform. This eventually became Salesforce Ventures, headed by John Somorjai Since then various funds have been created to focus on specific areas -- in September 2014 SFV set up Salesforce1 Fund, aimed at start-ups creating applications primarily for mobile phones. In December 2018, Salesforce Ventures announced the launch of the Japan Trailblazer Fund, focused on Japanese startups.
As of August 2018, Salesforce Ventures reported investments totaling $1.2 billion in 275 companies covering a wide range of business models, including e-commerce (CloudCraze),artificial intelligence (Figure Eight), online fraud prevention (Forter), Accounting and Professional Services Automation software (FinancialForce) and many other areas. Its five largest investments Domo (data-visualization software), SurveyMonkey (online survey software), Twilio (cloud-communication), Dropbox (cloud storage), and DocuSign (secure e-signature company) account for nearly half of its portfolio.