May 24 2006

Salesforce.com Impresses Me

Today Salesforce.com had a set of major announcements around their AppExchange platform, including the release of the AppExchange OEM Edition.  One of my portfolio companies – Rally Software – participated in this with the launch of their Rally Agile Product Manager product as one of the first four AppExchange OEM partners.  Rally Agile Product Manager helps enable Agile Software Development via Salesforce.com’s AppExchange.  If you are a Salesforce.com customer, it’s live on the Salesforce.com site.

The is the second time this year that a company that I’ve been involved in has worked closely with Salesforce.com.  In April, Salesforce.com acquired Sendia, a company I was on the board of, and simultaneously announced their AppExchange Mobile service.  While the Sendia deal was only a modest positive outcome for us, it was a perfect fit with Salesforce.com’s business and we decided to sell the company early in its life rather than continue to build the business.

In both cases, Salesforce.com had a clear strategy, articulated it to the companies involved, and then deliberately executed on the strategy.  Each time, I was excited by the prospects but cautious because of all of the challenges I’ve historically experienced working with public software companies executing on the strategies they articulate.  In both cases, Salesforce.com did an outstanding job of setting expectations and then executing on them – impressing me as a company that both has a clear strategy and the organizational will to follow through with it. 

Many of my portfolio companies have been long time Salesforce.com customers – it’s gratifying to see several of them have successful partnerships with Salesforce.com also.