Salesforce.com Inc did not lose a notable amount of customers or revenue due to its highly publicized service outages last month, executives said yesterday as they reported the company’s fiscal fourth-quarter earnings.
January was not our best month ever, far from it, and that was disappointing, chief executive Marc Benioff said in a conference call with investors and analysts, before confirming that there was no big exodus as a result.
Attrition has remained constant for our entire history. It has never risen above 1% per month, he said. We’ve not seen any of our reliability issues affect attrition in January or in the current month, or in the lengthening of sales cycles either.
The problems were down to a complete architectural overhaul that started in November. The company moved its service to a new mirrored architecture that involved a great deal of hardware and software upgrades, which caused the hiccups.
Salesforce’s numbers for the three months to January 31 came in around expectations. In the fourth quarter, earnings per share and revenue were both up 67% at $0.05 and $91.1m respectively, in line with what Wall Street analysts’ estimated.
Benioff also took the opportunity to address the competitive market, where rival Siebel Systems was recently acquired by Oracle, a move closely followed by SAP’s entrance into the hosted market.
He derided Siebel’s customer numbers and scorned SAP’s strategy of providing hosted software as an on-ramp to other products. On-ramps tends to make roadkill out of your business model, he said.