Salesforce has its sights on the UK financial, retail and public sectors as the company looks to build the presence of its cloud services in the UK.
Andrew Lawson, senior vice president and UK country leader at Salesforce, told V3 at the Salesforce World Tour event in London that the company is looking to grow its position in the UK's cloud services market by targeting some of the nation's largest and most lucrative sectors.
He explained that this approach ties in with the company's overall strategy set in place by chief executive Mark Benioff.
"Mark's whole strategy is: how do we grow our core countries? Focusing on core country growth is absolutely key. And we will continue to do that in the UK. We will continue to build our ecosystem, we will continue to build the country," said Lawson.
He added that Salesforce sees a "lot of untapped potential in the UK market", explaining how the firm will target companies in London's financial hub as well as pursuing the nation's "fantastic" retail sector.
Data centre driven
Lawson also explained that Salesforce's recently established UK data centre allows the company to meet compliance stipulations and provides the capacity to offer cloud services to the UK's public sector.
"Something that's really exciting is public services. Our data centre here is really helping us get into Her Majesty's government," he said.
"If you can look at connecting the citizens and making a better service for them, that's a fantastic [opportunity]."
He added that Salesforce's investment in the UK data centre and its customer relationship management services and platform has resulted in "good conversations with different parts of the government that we never had before".
Chris Ciauri, senior vice president for EMEA at Salesforce, echoed Lawson's views in an interview with V3.
"We're already a billion dollar business, and the UK is our engine," he said. "Salesforce in the UK. We're just starting."
The confidence in Salesforce's potential to expand its presence in the UK follows the company's surprise profits for the first quarter of its 2015 fiscal year.
V3 noted that the overall growth of Salesforce had slowed down, and asked Ciauri whether this was down to maturity in the company's core US market which is in turn pushing the company to focus on the UK and Europe.
Ciauri declined to speculate on this, but said that the opportunity for Salesforce to grow is in no way limited, although Europe is an area of definite opportunity for the company.
"We don't think we're opportunity constrained. We will go big in the UK across all the key industries, in all the segments of the market," he said. "We've got great momentum in the rest of Europe and we expect that to accelerate."
Casting a wide net
Salesforce was keen to showcase some of its big UK customers in the retail and financial sectors, notably retail chain John Lewis and banking brand Barclays.
Lawson said that Salesforce hopes that by winning these big brand customers others will follow and adopt Salesforce as their CRM, analytics and business app platform of choice.
However, Ciauri explained that Salesforce is by no means limiting its scope to large enterprises or certain sectors, and will pursue small and medium enterprises with just as much gusto.
"In terms of size we're segment agnostic. We have key industries but we're seeing demand from all kinds of places that we never could have dreamed about a few years ago," he said.
"We have never stopped focusing on small business. We have a huge focus on that in the UK and Europe, and it's one of our fastest growing businesses."
Salesforce also highlighted IDC research showing that the company's pursuit of the UK market will generate £5.6bn for the UK's gross domestic product and create 50,000 new jobs across the UK and Ireland by 2018.
The software-as-a-service company said it will be looking to attract customers with new and upgraded products, starting with the Salesforce Community Cloud, which recently gained app and analytics features.
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