Salesforce Pushes to Redefine the Business Cloud

A decade ago, many businesses still regarded the cloud as a somewhat-exotic concept. Back in Ye Olden Days, most executives preferred to keep their tech stack on-premises as much as possible, even if that meant spending a considerable amount of money on servers and sysadmins; and a number of tech firms, including Oracle and Microsoft, oriented their business products to serve this substantial base of on-premises customers.

But then the cloud matured, and companies realized they could save a lot of money by having their employees use browser-based software, with their data stored in some faraway datacenter. Once that evolution gained steam, Salesforce—which was originally founded in 1999—began to look downright prescient. And now the company has built up enough of a reputation (and market-share) to make it one of Dice’s Ideal Employers.

Other companies have gotten into the business cloud game, but none have managed to blunt Salesforce’s reputation as a go-to provider for cloud-based sales and marketing management. Cognizant of that competition, though, Salesforce has snatched up a variety of tech firms and integrated their products into its tech stack. For example, its purchase of got it into the ad-management business; Buddy Media, a 2012 buy, opened inroads into social media marketing; in 2016, it made 10 buys that bulked out its presence in mobile and analytics.

For tech pros interested in working in mobile, analytics, cloud, and e-commerce, these acquisitions (and the folding of their technologies into Salesforce’s offerings) make the company an increasingly interesting place to work: if you’re not engrossed by the prospect of working on Customer Relationship Management (CRM), for example, there are still opportunities in a variety of other sub-fields. Rather than import legacy systems into the cloud, Salesforce has always focused on building brand-new apps that take heavy advantage of the latest in mobile and data—presenting some intriguing opportunities to developers and other tech pros.   

As an Ideal Employer, Salesforce offers some interesting tidbits for analysis. For example, it ranks eighth among women respondents, versus 22nd for men; this is likely a reflection of the company’s benefits, which emphasize PTO, leave, and work-life balance. (In our survey, women valued benefits as their top attribute, followed by competitive salary, manageable working hours, and challenging/interesting work; men, on the other hand, placed challenging/interesting work first, tied with competitive salary, followed by positive organizational culture, then benefits.)

Salesforce also managed to beat out several competitors in the same enterprise space, including (most notably) Oracle and Workaday (it also managed to outpace some “cool” cloud companies like Netflix, which aren’t slouches when it comes to high salaries, cool projects, and great benefits). That’s a good sign that, as the company competes in an increasingly crowded cloud space, it’s making the right moves to attract and retain talent.