Salesforce Brings in $8.39B in Fiscal 2017

Wednesday Mar 1st 2017 by Sean Michael Kerner
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CEO Marc Benioff hints at big news to come on March 7 as the company expands its Einstein analytics capabilities.

Salesforce reported its fourth quarter and full 2017 fiscal year financial results on Feb. 28, showing continued growth and optimism for the future.

For the quarter, Salesforce reported revenue of $2.28 billion, for a 27 percent year-over-year gain. Fully year revenue was reported at $8.39 billion, up by 26 percent from fiscal 2016. Looking forward, Salesforce provided full year fiscal 2018 guidance for revenue in the range of $10.15 billion to $10.2 billion.

"You know, in 2004, when we went public, we had $46 million in quarterly revenue," Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of Salesforce, said during his company's earnings call . "Now in the fourth quarter alone, we delivered $2.3 billion in revenue and, for this fiscal year, we are guiding to more than $10 billion in revenue."

The push for $10 billion in revenue has been a longstanding goal for Benioff. During his company's third quarter fiscal 2017 earnings call, it was a theme he re-iterated at multiple points.

There are a lot of reasons behind Salesforce's growth, among them is the expanded platform beyond just sales. A core part of the future growth opportunity is likely to come from the company's Einstein analytics capabilities. During the call, Benioff noted that Salesforce itself uses Einstein to help manage the business leaving a seat at the executive managmenet meeting for the artificial intelligence system to help provide insights.

"Every Monday we all sit together, about 20 of us, and we go through how the quarter is doing and what the major issues are in the company," Benioff said. "Tere's one extra seat left at the table and that's not for Elijah. The extra seat that we're leaving is for Einstein and that chair which has a little Einstein doll in it, I turn to in the meeting and I can say, Einstein, tell me how is the quarter doing?"

Salesforce is planning on further augmenting the Einstein platform and has scheduled an event on March 7 to detail the new features.

"Einstein is an upsell opportunity into the install base, but that's not our primary goal with it," Benioff said. "For some of our customers, they will receive Einstein as part of their platform, for other of our customers, they will pay for Einstein."

"But I think the most important part of Einstein for us is its differentiation against other CRM products," he added.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseAppsToday and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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