EMEA Analyst Summit - EMEA Business Update

I was recently invited by the Salesforce Market Strategy Team to attend the EMEA Analyst Summit. I didn't know that such a team, or indeed such an event, existed but I was happy to accept the invitation and find out more about both.

My role was to network and be available to the room full of analysts if they wanted to learn about the platform from a customer's perspective (as I do indeed work for a customer as opposed to an ISV or SI), or to enquire about my experience of the company and community as an MVP. 

The event was held at The Haymarket Hotel in London, in the glamorous Shooting Gallery and last Wednesday morning myself, 11 Salesforce execs, and 33 analysts settled down with a cup of coffee and a smoked salmon bagel and waited for the event to begin.

John Taschek kicked the day off with introductions and then Miguel Milano, President of EMEA delivered the the first session - EMEA Business Update.

Miguel painted an extremely positive picture of Salesforce EMEA. He said that the momentum he was witnessing in Europe was unprecedented and used his recent trip to Davos as an example of this. He told us that in the 3 days he was in Switzerland he had more than 25 1-2-1 meetings with CEOs from top European companies and that he had never experienced that level of demand and interest.

There were lots of numbers, it was an analyst summit after all, and not all of them meant that much to me but they certainly sounded impressive. 
  • The rest of the space is apparently growing at a rate of 14.9% but Salesforce's compound annual growth rate is 30%. 
  • 85% of the European Fortune 500 companies are Salesforce customers, 5 years ago this figure stood at 54%, quite an increase.
  • All bar one of the EMEA countries grew by at least 30% last year.
  • EMEA makes up 18/19% of Salesforce at this time.
  • Salesforce now has 5 major European hubs.
Miguel Milano came across as extremely proud of the progress Salesforce are making in EMEA but as with any business success stories, that progress has resulted in aggressive targets for the years to come. Miguel didn't seem daunted by those targets though, he actually told us his own personal ambitions for the year 2022, it is covered by NDA but needless to say they are ambitious targets.

The question of Brexit was raised and whether this had an impact on the aforementioned targets. Miguel confirmed that Salesforce remained committed to the UK and that Brexit does not alter this. He referenced Salesforce Tower in London and how Salesforce's space had grown significantly with them recently occupying more floors. Salesforce already has 1000 employees in the UK and 1800 new positions were opening up in Europe. The tone was very optimistic.

Miguel talked about Salesforce as a whole, how as a teenager they are still going through growing pains and that by increasing their headcount at the rate they are means that so much of the workforce is new and that many employees are becoming leaders and managers at an escalated rate. The successes far outweigh these minor points of concern though. We heard how every day Salesforce received another accolade, how the numbers speak for themselves, and that 2 million jobs will have been created in the ecosystem by 2020. 

As he should be, Miguel was obviously proud of Salesforce's ethical position. How they "Walk the Talk" and set standards. He referenced their accomplishments in addressing gender imbalance and equal pay and how they helped change the law in both Indiana and Georgia. Miguel told us that Salesforce's core values of Growth, Innovation, Trust, and Equality matter to all execs at Salesforce and are the foundation of their culture.

He also talked about how important SIs and ISVs are to Salesforce's success. How ISVs contribute financially but also make the solution stickier as 83% of customers have at least one app installed. We also heard that the top 5 SIs saw a 70% increase in their Salesforce practice last year. Salesforce's partners extend the platform in ways that Salesforce cannot, making the overall offering so much stronger.

The importance of the customer was front and centre throughout the EMEA Business Update. Miguel said that talking to customers was the key to Salesforce's success, that and simply showing them how he himself uses Salesforce. He finds that this is enough to convince them that Salesforce is the CRM for them. He certainly convinced me!

Six more sessions followed Miguel's EMEA Business Update but I have covered them in my post EMEA Analyst Summit - Cloud Updates.


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