Four tech experts Marc Benioff, Parker Harris, Frank Dominguez, and Dave Moellenhoff during the time when the internet was disrupting the world, launched salesforce.com in a one-room apartment in San Francisco on March 8th, 1999. 20 years later today, Salesforce is the world’s #1 CRM provider and one of the fastest growing company in terms of revenue with over $13 billion. Since the past two decades, Salesforce has been helping companies having a 360-degree view of their customers and achieving the highest customer success while significantly transforming their business processes embracing digital platforms.
Salesforce’s successful journey has been dotted with several milestones. Salesforce’s partner ecosystem is instrumental to their success over the years. With 20 years of influential partnerships, 100,000+ partner community members, 5000+ AppExchange solutions, and 2 million+ Trailhead badges earned by partner members; Salesforce has achieved everything that any company dream for. As a Salesforce Silver Consulting Partner, we have been working with the company and in the platform for a decade long now. And after these many years, we can say that continuous product innovation and customer-centric approach are the two primary factors which make Salesforce distinct.
Here are a few of our top pick highlights from the past 20 years:
2000: The first product launch
In the year 2000, Salesforce launched their first product which was a typical ‘Sales automation system – current Sales Cloud’ at the Regency theater and it was one of the most talked launching events at that time. This launch was later accompanied by a very strong advertising campaign and that was the arrival of Salesforce.
2003: First Dreamforce
Dreamforce is the Salesforce ecosystem’s most iconic part. Before the first official Dreamforce, Salesforce had organized many events called ‘City Tours’ which lasted for a few hours and demonstrates the latest Salesforce features and future roadmap. In 2003, Salesforce organized the first ever Dreamforce, held for a few days with just over 1000 registered attendees came with 52 presentations. Today Dreamforce is the world’s #1 cloud event. The last Dreamforce 2018 witnessed 170,000 registered attendees, 13.5 million online viewers, and 2700+ sessions.
In the past few years, the word Ohana has taken over the entire Salesforce ecosystem after the company’s push to involve the entire global Salesforce community which they have created. But it was June 2004 when Salesforce.com went public, the word Salesforce Ohana came to the limelight when Marc Benioff arranged a Hawaiian themed launch party with wearing a Hawaiian shirt. Hawaii was also what inspired Marc to purchase that first office in the Rincon Centre.
In 2005, Salesforce launched AppExchange which later changed the way business software work. AppExchange offers Salesforce partners a place where they can develop their own solutions and Salesforce customers can avail the service of these solutions directly from AppExchange. Today there are over 5000 applications listed in the AppExchange.
2006: Introduction of Apex
During Dreamforce 2006, Salesforce introduced their on-demand programming language ‘Apex’ that allows third-parties to write and run code on Salesforce.com’s multitenant and shared architecture. Apex allowed Salesforce.com to develop an industry-leading on-demand service offering. Later, they introduced Visualforce which allowed users to create any user interfaces including building forms, buttons, links and embed anything they want.
2014: Lightning Framework
In 2014, Salesforce made public the frontend of its platform, called Lightning. This component-based framework is what the Salesforce mobile app is built on. Lightning Experience has been a multi-year mission for Salesforce. They started with the Salesforce1 Mobile App, and its underlying Lightning framework, both of these provided Salesforce the foundation to re-imagine their desktop experience. This framework allows customers to build their own components to either use in their internal instances or sell on the AppExchange.
2017: Einstein Analytics
In 2017, Salesforce launched one of its biggest solutions Einstein Analytics. Einstein Analytics helps you uncover actionable insights in your business and customer data to accelerate business growth based on data-driven insights. Einstein Analytics is intended to leverage Artificial Intelligence in order to discover business insights, predict results, drive efficiency and move with the market change. Einstein Analytics is being used in various business verticals ranging from Sales to Service.
Cloud Platforms launched over the years
Started with Sales Cloud, today Salesforce offers a gamut of cloud platforms for various business operations. The current suite of Salesforce cloud solutions includes Marketing Cloud, Service Cloud, Community Cloud, IoT Cloud, App Cloud, Integration Cloud and industry-specific cloud solutions such as Financial Cloud, Health Cloud etc. These cloud solutions are transforming several business operations by optimizing various business processes and enhancing productivity.
Salesforce’s first acquisition came in April 2006 when they acquired Sendia (now Salesforce Classic). Since then till now, Salesforce has performed over 50 acquisitions including some of the biggest acquisitions in history. The list of Salesforce’s acquisitions includes Heroku, ExactTarget, Demandware, Quip, Mulesoft, Datorama etc.
It has been an incredible journey. As we look forward to the next two decades and beyond, we can see a tremendous amount of growth and customer success. As a Salesforce partner, we can’t wait to see what the future holds and how can we help our customers accelerate their business growth by optimizing various business processes leveraging the Salesforce platform. Happy Birthday, Salesforce!