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Salesforce on Track for $10B in Revenue

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Posted May 19, 2016 By Sean Michael Kerner     Feedback

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff takes a few shots at rivals Oracle and SAP – again - as he positions his company for future growth.

The big news from Salesforce's first quarter fiscal 2017 earnings: The CRM giant is on track to crack $10 billion in total annual revenue for the first time, after experiencing what Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff called "the best Q1 we’ve ever seen."

Salesforce reported revenue of $1.92 billion for the quarter, up 27 percent year-over-year. Salesforce also provided second quarter guidance for revenues in the range of $2.005 billion to $2.015 billion.

While Benioff sees his own organization executing well as a key reason for growth, he also criticized his rivals.

"I think that one of the reasons that we are doing so well is because Oracle and SAP are doing so poorly in the cloud," he said. "They just have not been able to make that transformation that we’ve made, that other companies have made, and we just continue to take market share from them and gain customers at record levels."

New Generation of Consumers Good for Salesforce

Benioff attributes part of his company's success to a new generation of consumers that he's calling the 'C' generation. The 'C' generation is mobile, social and always-on, he explained. And Salesforce customers are working to connect with the 'C' generation in new ways, he added, which is good for Salesforce's business.

Amazon and Uber are among the company's customer success stories. Salesforce signed a significant and strategic agreement with Amazon in the first quarter, noted Keith Bock, COO of Salesforce.

"We are now their company-wide customer platform; this is a huge expansion of our relationship with them, and we plan to use more Amazon services in the future," Bock said.

Artificial Intelligence on Salesforce's Horizon

As Salesforce positions itself for continued growth, Benioff mentioned the need for artificial intelligence (AI).

"As we look out into the future and we start to look at extreme improvements and advances in artificial intelligence -- whether it’s machine learning, whether it’s deep learning -- I think it's those kind of capabilities appearing inside our applications that is going to be a major growth capability going forward," he said.

Benioff hopes that Salesforce can bring artificial intelligence to everyone, as he shifts Salesforce to be an AI-first company.

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

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