Salesforce will be the sole enterprise CRM product suite sold by Chinese e-commerce and cloud giant Alibaba as part of a strategic partnership between the two companies announced today.
Under the terms of the deal Alibaba will become the exclusive provider of Salesforce to customers in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.
“Alibaba’s advanced, secure infrastructure and knowledge of these markets will empower our global customers with a solution that meets local business needs,” a Salesforce blog entry said.
“We look forward to developing this partnership with Alibaba as we continue to drive success for companies around the world.”
(In Australia, Salesforce in 2017 turned to AWS to host its CRM platform in local data centres.)
“Alibaba is pleased to establish a strategic partnership with Salesforce, the world’s number one CRM,” Alibaba Cloud Intelligence vice president said Ken Shen Tao said, in a post by Alibaba’s online news service Alizila.
“As the leading cloud service provider in the Asia Pacific region, our cloud infrastructure and data intelligence platform combined with Salesforce’s market leading solutions for Sales, Service, Commerce and more will provide global customers with incredible customer experiences at every touchpoint.”
“At Salesforce, customer success is at the center of everything we do. And more and more of our multinational customers are asking us to support them wherever they do business around the world,” said Ryan Aytay, Salesforce executive VP of strategic partnerships.
The announcement was made at the Alibaba Cloud Summit in Shanghai. Alibaba Cloud launched an Australian presence in late 2016.
“[W]e don't do business really in China,” Salesforce chairperson and co-CEO Marc Benioff last month told a Q1 earnings call in reference to the ongoing economic stoush between the US and China.
In FY19 Salesforce reported revenue of US$13.3 billion, representing year-on-year growth of 26 per cent.
According to Gartner, in 2018 Salesforce had a 19.5 per cent share of the worldwide CRM market, eclipsing rivals SAP (8.3 per cent), Oracle (5.5 per cent), Adobe (5.1 per cent), and Microsoft (2.7 per cent).
In 2018 worldwide spending on CRM software grew by 15.6 per cent to hit US$48.2 billion, according to the analyst firm. The majority — 72.9 per cent — was spent on CRM software as a service, with Gartner expecting CRM SaaS spending to account for 75 per cent in 2019.