Over the last few weeks, I’ve been introducing a concept we call “free market ERP.” It’s the idea that companies can use a common cloud infrastructure to assemble a portfolio of applications that mirror or replace their existing ERP solution. As I said earlier, there’s a tremendous advantage from choosing a single cloud platform because apps don’t just speak the same language, they share the same culture.
We’ve seen this trend growing among FinancialForce Accounting customers, many of whom are eager to move from the “command and control” relationship offered by many ‘big’ ERP providers. Over the last few weeks, I’ve shared some of those examples which you can view in prior posts, including “There’s an App for That – App Stores Create Free Choice for Enterprises,” and “Love at the Office. Sales and Finance Finally Get along in the Cloud” and from some of our customer case studies and presentations.
The common theme with all of these customers has been their commitment to the cloud starting with deploying Salesforce CRM. Many Salesforce CRM customers initially signed up because of the tremendous benefits that exist with a sophisticated SaaS offering compared to lumbering on-premises CRM solutions. Whether they knew it then or not, that experience gave Salesforce customers an introduction to the Force.com platform and the opportunity to build a state of the art cloud computing infrastructure.
Looking back, Salesforce CRM customers were not only cloud pioneers, they helped establish Force.com as the dominant cloud platform, making it the clear choice to build that free market ERP that your company has always been dreaming of. Force.com is backed by more than 92,000 Salesforce customers representing 3,000,000 users. That is 15 times more companies using the Force.com platform as the next largest cloud platform. In fact, there were more new Salesforce.com customers added in just the last three months than the next largest cloud competitor has in total.
But the cloud is still a relatively new phenomenon, and most enterprises are still using some form of on-premises applications to run their business and, and in many cases, running multiple ERP systems. Enterprises don’t want to repeat the problems caused by bolted-on application configurations that have plagued ERP over the last 20 years.
And that is exactly why Force.com is so valuable. From the start, the platform has provided an open architecture to move beyond the Frankenstein-like app environments that helped spur the No Software movement to begin with. And as FinancialForce.com customers have discovered, that enables enterprises to integrate FinancialForce Accounting in a flexible manner across existing on-premises finance and accounting solutions.
So if you’re a Salesforce CRM customer, take a bow. You’ve positioned your company to take advantage of the most powerful application platform ever developed. Now it’s your job to put the legacy of legacy ERP behind us, and design your own ideal application future.