Salesforce.com looks to regional expansion
Uptake of cloud solutions creating strong potential for growth
Cloud CRM and marketing service provider salesforce.com is eyeing expansion in the Middle East, according to its EMEA VP.
Speaking at the company's Salesforce1 Essentials event today in Dubai, Jean-Louis Baffier, vice president, EMEA salesforce.com, said that he was keen to appoint more people for the region to leverage growing demand for cloud.
"I want to hire a lot more people, I want to put more people on my team for that region. The business momentum that we see here is amazing," Baffier said. "I clearly see the adoption of the cloud from large multinational companies, from local companies, and we need to continue, we need our eco-system of partners to do that and we need to do that as well."
Baffier said that a number of high profile companies in the region have adopted salesforce.com solutions, including Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), Etihad Airways, Dnata, Tecom and The Entertainer.
Attitudes toward cloud have changed in the region he believes, and companies are no longer reluctant to have their data stored with a third party.
"We saw a few years ago people who were reluctant to adopt to the cloud for that kind of reasons ‘I want my data on my machine in my premises' but that has gone, it is not the conversation any more. It is more about what is the level of service, what are the new capabilities we provide, how we will be able to better serve the customers, how can we differentiate from the competitors, what is the level of service they will get from us. Of course we need to make sure we have the right level of security, we need to make sure we are compliant with whatever regulatory requirements or laws."
The company is investing in new data centres in Europe, although there are no plans for data centre development in the Middle East. Baffier said that location of data is not an issue for customers. Salesforce.com has not had any customers with latency or other connectivity issues that were caused by the company itself he said, and because the company has high standards for data security, including ISO 27001 certification; because it follows Safe Harbor rules on data transfer, and because it protects the privacy of customer's data - which remains the property of the customer not Salesforce.com - that location is not an issue.
"At the end of the day, it is not where the data is that really matters, it is the level of service that we provide," he said.