We are the leading provider, based on revenues and market share, of software on demand, according to a July 2008 report by International Data Corporation, or IDC. We provide a comprehensive customer relationship management, or CRM, service to businesses of all sizes and industries worldwide and we provide a technology platform for customers and developers to build and run business applications. Approximately 55,400 customers worldwide use salesforce.com to manage their customer, sales and operational data.
We were incorporated in Delaware in February 1999, founded on the simple concept of delivering enterprise business applications via the Internet, and we introduced our first service offering in February 2000. Since then, we have augmented our CRM service with new editions and enhanced features, introduced other enterprise cloud computing applications on our Force.com cloud computing platform that allows customers and developers to build applications that are complementary to or extend beyond CRM, and introduced our Force.com AppExchange directory, or AppExchange, of enterprise cloud computing applications that are integrated with our CRM service and in many cases were developed on our platform by third parties.
Our principal executive offices are located in San Francisco, California and our principal website address is www.salesforce.com. Our office address is The Landmark @ One Market, Suite 300, San Francisco, California 94105.
We designed and developed our offering to be an easy-to-use and intuitive solution that can be deployed rapidly, can be customized easily and can be integrated with other software applications. We deliver our service through a standard Web browser. Customers who use our enterprise cloud computing CRM service and platform are able to avoid many of the expenses and complexities of traditional enterprise software development and implementations. As a result, our customers incur less risk and lower upfront costs and benefit from increased productivity.
We market our service to businesses on a subscription basis, primarily through our direct sales efforts and also indirectly through partners. Our revenues have increased from $749 million in fiscal 2008 to $1,077 million in fiscal 2009. As of January 31, 2009, our customer base had grown to approximately 55,400 worldwide from approximately 41,000 customers a year ago.
Through our Force.com cloud computing platform and developer tools and our AppExchange directory, we also encourage third parties, including customers and independent software vendors, to develop additional functionality and applications that run on our platform, but which are sold separately from or in conjunction with our CRM service.
The Enterprise Application Software Market
Over the last thirty-five years, there have been several shifts in the way vendors deliver enterprise software applications. In the 1970s and 1980s, companies deployed application software through centralized mainframe based systems. In the 1990s, the mainframe model evolved to client/server computing, in which applications were run in a more distributed model. Historically, only large businesses could afford to make investments in enterprise resource planning, or ERP, and CRM applications, to gain an enterprise-wide view of all business information and automate and improve basic processes. In addition, large businesses attempted to customize and connect various incompatible packaged applications through time-consuming, extensive and costly integration efforts. However, many large enterprises never realized the benefits of these applications for a variety of reasons, including the difficulty of deployment, low user adoption rates, lack of ubiquitous access, high total cost of ownership and a relatively low return on investment.
In an attempt to address these challenges, many enterprise software application vendors adapted their client/server products to be accessible over the Internet. However, because these hosted applications were not originally designed to be delivered over the Internet, they failed to provide the level of access and economies of scale of a multi-tenant solution, which allows all users and applications to share a single, common hardware infrastructure and software code base that is centrally maintained. As such, hosted client/server applications remain limited in their ability to address the needs of large and small businesses.
Cloud computing refers to the use of Internet (“cloud”) based computing, storage and connectivity technology for a variety of different services. The pervasiveness of the Internet, along with the dramatic decline in the pricing of the technology components has enabled this new generation of computing, in which dynamically scalable and often virtual resources are provided as a service to both enterprises and consumers. Users need not have knowledge of, expertise in, or control over the technology infrastructure “in the cloud” that supports them.
In the context of enterprise business applications, cloud computing fundamentally changes the way business applications are developed and deployed. Application developers no longer need to create and manage their own infrastructure of servers, storage, network devices, operating system software and development tools in order to create a business application. Instead, the entire infrastructure is managed in the cloud, and developers simply use an Internet browser to access the development environment. Application users are able to gain access to a variety of business applications via an Internet browser or mobile device, and are able to take advantage of a robust, secure, scalable and highly available application at a relatively low cost, without the cost and complexity of managing the application.
Enterprise cloud computing, which refers to business applications that are developed using the cloud and a technology platform that customers and developers use to build and run business applications, includes both application Software-as-a-Service for users and Platform-as-a-Service for developers.
SaaS enables businesses to subscribe to a wide variety of application services that are developed specifically for, and delivered over, the Internet on an as-needed basis with little or no implementation services required and without the need to install and manage third-party software in-house.
SaaS contrasts with the traditional enterprise software model, which requires each customer to install, configure, manage and maintain the hardware, software and network services to implement a software application in-house. Moreover, traditional enterprise software vendors must maintain support for numerous legacy versions of their software and compatibility with a wide array of hardware devices and operating environments. As a result, they either have to dedicate fewer resources to innovation, or incur higher research and development expenses as a percentage of revenue compared with on-demand application service providers.
We believe the market should not discriminate between small and large companies, and businesses of all sizes and across all industries should be able to use the same software based on a multi-tenant architecture. This architecture enables us to leverage a common infrastructure and software code base across all customers who benefit from access to the most current release of the application, automated upgrades, more rapid innovation and the economies of a shared infrastructure.
We believe the shift to SaaS applications provides significant benefits even beyond those associated with multi-tenant infrastructure. Businesses are able to realize many of the benefits offered by traditional enterprise software vendors, such as a comprehensive set of features and functionality and the ability to customize and integrate with other applications, while at the same time reducing the risks and lowering the total costs of owning enterprise software. As a result, we believe the continued emergence of SaaS applications is bringing about a fundamental transformation in the enterprise software industry as businesses will be able to replace their purchased software with subscriptions to a wide range of application services.
We believe that SaaS applications and their related success in the market are the most widely understood segment of enterprise cloud computing. However, enterprise cloud computing also includes building SaaS applications on an application development platform. This market is called Platform-as-a-Service.
Application developers use PaaS technology to build both custom applications for individual businesses or vertical industries and horizontal applications to address standard business processes that can be sold to a broad range of potential customers. Application developers include corporate information technology (IT) departments that typically develop applications for a company’s internal use and independent software vendors (ISVs) that develop applications to sell to customers. Traditionally, these developers have needed to purchase, install, test and maintain complex software and hardware infrastructure to develop and deliver their applications. This requirement resulted in more time and resources spent maintaining infrastructure and less time and resources being available to develop applications, with a resulting impact on innovation and productivity levels.
PaaS enables corporate IT developers and ISVs to leverage the benefits of a multi-tenant platform for developing new applications. PaaS allows developers to build applications with a browser and an Internet connection, just as SaaS allows users to use applications through a browser.
Our flagship Salesforce CRM applications, which were initially introduced in February 2000, help companies better record, track, manage, analyze and share information regarding sales, customer service and support, and marketing operations. Our Force.com cloud computing platform, which was introduced in 2007, allows customers and partners to more extensively customize and integrate Salesforce CRM applications or build entirely new SaaS applications beyond CRM without having to invest in new software, hardware and related infrastructure. These newly developed applications, which are hosted and run on our infrastructure, can then be used for internal operations or sold to third parties. We also offer the AppExchange, an online directory for SaaS applications, where customers can browse, test-drive and install applications from salesforce.com and our partners. Since we introduced the AppExchange directory in 2006, more than 800 applications developed mostly by our partners have been posted to the directory.
Substantially all of our subscription and support revenue comes from subscriptions to our core CRM application services, all of which include the customization benefits of the Force.com platform. Customers can also build their own application services on the Force.com platform, or install those built on Force.com by partners from the AppExchange. In order for customers to install and run custom applications, whether built by themselves or by our partners, they must be a subscriber to our service.
As of January 31, 2009, our customer base had grown to approximately 55,400 worldwide. We provide our service to organizations through our proprietary, scalable, and secure enterprise cloud computing, multi-tenant application architecture, which allows us to serve large numbers of customers cost-effectively.
By subscribing to our service, our customers do not have to make large and potentially risky upfront investments in software, hardware, implementation services and IT staff as they would with traditional software solutions. We believe that our service enables businesses to rapidly achieve the benefits of higher productivity, and lower their total cost of ownership for their business application.
Key advantages of our solution include:
• Secure, scalable and reliable delivery platform. The delivery platform for our service has been designed to provide our customers with high levels of reliability, performance, and security. We have built, and continue to invest in, a comprehensive security infrastructure, including firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and encryption for transmissions over the Internet, which we monitor and test on a regular basis. In addition, all of our customers’ data is replicated in near real-time to help protect the data and ensure service continuity in the event of a major disaster. We built and maintain a multi-tenant application architecture that has been designed to enable our service to scale securely, reliably, and cost-effectively. Our multi-tenant application architecture maintains the integrity and separation of customer data while still permitting all customers to use the same application functionality simultaneously. Our architecture also enables customers to segment access privileges across their user base.
• Rapid deployment. Our service can be deployed rapidly since our customers do not have to spend time procuring, installing or maintaining the servers, storage, networking equipment, security products, or other infrastructure hardware and software necessary to ensure a scalable and reliable service. We believe the average time that a customer requires to deploy our service is significantly shorter than typical, traditional enterprise software deployments. We also offer consulting, training services, and online resources to assist customers in rapidly deploying and optimizing their use of our service.
• Ease of integration and development. Our platform is designed to enable IT professionals to integrate our service with existing applications quickly and seamlessly. Our Force.com platform provides a set of application programming interfaces, or APIs, that enable customers and independent developers to both integrate our service with existing third-party, custom, and legacy applications and write their own application services that integrate with our service. For example, many of our customers use the Force.com API to move customer-related data from custom-developed and legacy applications into our service on a periodic basis to provide greater visibility into their activities. Other customers and partners have, for example, developed their own talent management solutions and procurement solutions on the Force.com platform.
• Lower total cost of ownership. We enable customers to achieve significant upfront savings relative to the traditional enterprise software model. Customers benefit from the predictability of their future costs since they pay for the service on a per subscriber basis for the term of the subscription contract. All upgrades are included in our service, so customers are not burdened or disrupted by the periodic need to perform system upgrades. Because we implement all upgrades on our servers, new features and functionality automatically become part of our service on the release date and therefore benefit all of our customers immediately.
• Driving innovation. By providing infrastructure and development environments on demand, we provide developers the opportunity to create new and innovative applications without having to invest in hardware and distribution. A developer with an idea for a new application can log onto our platform, develop, host and support their system on Force.com and make the application accessible for a fee to our 55,400 customers.
• High levels of user adoption. We have designed our service to be easy to use and intuitive. Since our service contains many tools and features recognizable to users of popular websites such as those of Amazon, eBay, and Google, it has a more familiar interface than typical enterprise CRM applications. As a result, our users do not require substantial training on how to use and benefit from our service. We conduct extensive surveys of our users to gauge their experiences with our service so that we may determine potential areas of improvement. In addition, because of the nature of our service, we receive constant, automated feedback as to which features customers use or don’t use, allowing us to improve our service based on this information.
Our objective is to be the leading provider of CRM application services. We also want to be the leading platform on which our customers and partners build SaaS applications. Key elements of our strategy include:
• Strengthening our existing CRM applications and extending into new functional areas within CRM. We designed our service to easily accommodate new features and functions. We intend to continue to add CRM features and functionality to our core service that we will make available to customers at no additional charge. We offer advanced modules for an additional subscription fee to customers that require enhanced CRM capabilities. Our growing portfolio of applications includes: Salesforce CRM Automation, Salesforce CRM Marketing Automation, Salesforce CRM Partner Relationship Management, Salesforce CRM Call Center Management, Salesforce CRM Content Management and Salesforce CRM Ideas. We also evaluate acquisition or investment opportunities in complementary companies, services and technologies in an effort to strengthen and extend our service CRM offerings.
• Pursuing new customers and new territories aggressively. We believe that our SaaS and PaaS offerings provide significant value for businesses of any size, from small businesses to the largest Fortune 500 corporations. As a result, we will continue to aggressively target businesses of all sizes, primarily through our direct sales force. We have steadily increased and plan to continue to increase the number of direct sales professionals we employ, and we intend to develop additional distribution channels for our service. We have created several editions of our service to address the distinct requirements of businesses of different sizes. We also believe that there is a substantial market opportunity for our service outside of North America. We plan to continue to aggressively market to customers outside of North America by recruiting local sales and support professionals, building partnerships that help us add customers in these regions and by increasing the number of languages that our service supports.
• Deepening relationships with our existing customer base. We believe there is significant opportunity to leverage our relationships with existing customers. As the customer realizes the benefits of our service, we try to sell more subscriptions by targeting additional functional areas and business units within the customer organization and pursuing enterprise-wide deployments. We also want to provide professional service offerings that are complementary to our service and enable us to sell subscriptions to larger customers who require assistance with complex integrations and customizations. In addition, by continuously enhancing the functionality of our service, we believe that customers will find more uses for our service and therefore purchase additional subscriptions, continue to renew their existing subscriptions, and upgrade to more fully-featured versions, such as our Unlimited Edition.
• Continuing to lead the industry transformation to cloud computing. We believe that the market transformation to application and platform services is a growing trend in the information technology industry. We enable customers of all sizes to benefit from the capabilities of enterprise software applications. We believe we have established a leadership position in this new enterprise cloud computing industry both as a successful vendor of SaaS CRM application services and also as an enabler for third parties to create their own SaaS applications through our platform. We seek to extend our leadership position in this industry by continuing to innovate and bringing new application and platform services and value-added technologies to market, as well as by providing the tools needed by third parties to develop their own SaaS applications on our platform.
• Encouraging the development of third-party applications on our Force.com cloud computing platform. Our Force.com cloud computing platform enables existing customers and third-party developers to develop and deliver SaaS applications they have built in our multi-tenant environment. It is a platform on which applications can be created, tested, published, and run. In addition, these applications can be listed on the AppExchange, our online marketplace of SaaS applications. We believe the ecosystem of SaaS developers will address the business requirements of both current and potential customers.
The Salesforce CRM Service
We provide a comprehensive array of SaaS CRM services, which enable customers and subscribers to systematically record, store, analyze, share and act upon business data, and to help businesses manage customer accounts, track sales leads, evaluate marketing campaigns, and provide post-sales service. We also enable companies to generate reports and summaries of this data and share them with authorized individuals across functional areas. Most of the features of our service can be accessed through a variety of devices, including laptop computers and mobile devices. For example, we offer a mobile version of our service that is accessed by the leading wireless devices. Additionally, our service is highly configurable in a short amount of time, enabling our customers to tailor its appearance, policy settings, language, workflow, reports, and other characteristics without the use of significant IT resources or consultants. Our services mainly focus on the following functional areas within CRM:
• Sales force automation, which is marketed under our brand Salesforce CRM SFA, enables salespeople to be more productive by automating manual and repetitive tasks and by providing them with better, more organized data about current and prospective customers. Salesforce CRM SFA helps companies establish a system and process for recording, tracking, and sharing information about sales opportunities, sales leads, sales forecasts, the sales process, and closed business, as well as managing sales territories. Salesforce CRM SFA also helps sales organizations manage unstructured information such as sales collateral, presentations, price lists, and video assets.
• Partner relationship management, which is marketed under our brand Salesforce CRM Partner Networks, provides channel managers with complete visibility into their company’s entire sales pipeline for direct and indirect channels. The Salesforce CRM Partner Networks solution includes a customizable partner portal that makes it easy for our customers’ partners to access leads, register for deals, collaborate on deals, and locate all the information they need in order to be successful. The Salesforce CRM Partner Networks offering also enables our customers to instantly share information, such as leads and opportunities, with other Salesforce customers, directly from within their own Salesforce environments.
• Customer service and support automation, which is marketed under our brand Salesforce CRM Customer Service & Support allows companies to maintain better relationships with their existing customers and more efficiently address a variety of service and support needs, such as advice about products and services, requests for repairs, complaints about faulty goods, and the need for additional goods and services. Using Salesforce CRM Customer Service & Support, customers can leverage our complete cloud-computing platform to deliver a comprehensive solution for their customer service interactions across every service channel: call centers with phone, email and chat, web portals for self-service and customer collaboration, and within social networks for community interactions.
• Marketing automation, which is marketed under our brand Salesforce CRM Marketing, enables companies to attract new customers and manage marketing campaigns from initiation through the development of leads that are passed to the sales team. Marketers are able to determine the effectiveness of each campaign by quantifying the revenue generated as a result of specific marketing activities. The application includes integration with Google Adwords, which enables marketers to measure the return on their Google Adwords spend by providing full visibility into which clicked ads result in actual closed business. Salesforce CRM Marketing also provides content management functionality to manage marketing and brand collateral. The technology includes ratings, comments, filters, and tagging, which help marketers ensure the best and most up-to-date materials are consistently being used throughout their companies.
As of January 31, 2009, we offer five principal editions of our service for a fee: Group Edition, Professional Edition, Enterprise Edition, Unlimited Edition, and Partner Edition. We derived over 90 percent of our revenues from subscriptions to, and support for, our service in fiscal 2009.
• Group Edition. Group Edition, which is limited to five subscribers, is targeted primarily at small businesses and workgroups that seek a basic sales force automation solution without the sophisticated features required by larger companies. Users can use Group Edition to share important customer data and manage their customer relations—from the start of the sales cycle to closing the deal to providing basic customer service. Group Edition primarily offers access to accounts, contacts, opportunities, and reports. It does not include the more advanced customer service and support or marketing automation features such as: campaigns, forecasts, solutions, online case capture, self-service portal, notes and attachments, Offline Edition, and mass email capabilities. Using the Force.com platform, customers can further extend and customize Group Edition by adding additional custom tabs and/or a custom application.
• Professional Edition. Professional Edition is targeted primarily at medium-sized and large businesses that need a robust and complete CRM solution but do not need some of the more advanced administrative features and integration capabilities. Professional Edition offers companies a comprehensive CRM suite that business users can use to manage every aspect of the customer lifecycle. In addition to everything available in Group Edition, it provides users more advanced CRM functionality such as: forecasts, lead management, contract management, solutions, and online case capture. Professional Edition also comes with standard, easy-to-use customization, security and sharing, integration, and administration tools to facilitate any small to mid-sized deployment. Using the Force.com platform, Professional Edition customers have more flexibility than Group Edition customers to further extend and customize their service by adding more custom applications, custom tabs, and/or custom objects.
• Enterprise Edition. Enterprise Edition is designed to meet the complex business needs of large organizations with many divisions or departments. In addition to all of the functionality available in Professional Edition, Enterprise Edition offers customers:
• Advanced CRM functionality, such as territory management that uses a rule-based territory assignment engine to categorize accounts and users into territories, products, and schedules that track revenue and quantity by opportunities
• Multi-divisional sharing and permissions such as profile-based departmental security and sharing
• Workflow and business process control such as workflow automation tasks
• Enterprise customization and integration tools that can support large-scale deployments, such as APIs for back-office integration that enable companies to readily integrate Salesforce CRM with ERP applications and other data sources. With Enterprise Edition, customers also have greater flexibility and control to fully extend and customize our service by adding more custom applications, custom tabs, and/or custom objects.
• Unlimited Edition. Unlimited Edition is our most fully featured edition, with exclusive features available only in Unlimited Edition and bundled add-on features included at a significant cost saving over the total price of the individual features. In addition to all of the functionality available in Enterprise Edition, Unlimited Edition includes unlimited installations from the AppExchange, increased customization and extension possibilities that customers can implement on their own, including Force.com Sandbox, which is described below, Salesforce CRM Mobile, Premier Support with Administration, and additional storage.
• Partner relationship management, which is described above and marketed under our brand Salesforce CRM Partner Networks, provides channel managers with complete visibility into their company’s entire sales pipeline for direct and indirect channels.
Each of the editions described above entitles customers to our standard customer support services, with phone support available 12 hours a day, five days a week. For advanced customers with more complex business needs, we provide additional levels of fee-based customer support.
In addition to the five paying editions, we continue to innovate and develop additional products and services as optional add-on subscriptions to better meet different customers’ needs. Examples include:
• Offline Edition and Mobile Edition allow customers to view and modify their CRM data, such as accounts, contacts, opportunities, tasks, and events, while disconnected from the Internet. Offline Edition is included in all Enterprise and Unlimited Edition service subscriptions. Customers of Professional Edition can choose to subscribe to either or both as an add-on service.
• Salesforce CRM Content enables customers to manage unstructured data within an enterprise by utilizing Web 2.0 technologies such as tagging, subscriptions and recommendations. By enabling users to manage their documents and unstructured data directly in the Salesforce CRM application, Salesforce CRM Content increases the utility of the service to our customers.
• Force.com Sandbox enables customers to test new customizations or features before deploying them. Customers can use Force.com Sandbox to install, modify, and test applications downloaded from the AppExchange or to create a development environment for building and testing integrations and internally built applications. Additionally, customers may use Force.com Sandbox as an exact replica of their production Salesforce CRM systems for employee-training purposes. Customers of Professional Edition and Enterprise Edition can choose to subscribe to Sandbox as an add-on service.
• Salesforce CRM Ideas provides a forum for customers to collect ideas from their customers or others on any topic, including products or services. Interested parties can then review and vote on these ideas, and management can post responses to the ideas.
As part of our marketing programs, we also offer a single user Personal Edition service that includes a contact management database and several other features that are useful to individual sales representatives and others who need a centralized way to organize contact data and access that data over the Internet. We also offer a Developer Edition to developers and others interested in building applications on our Force.com platform. Both Personal Edition and Developer Edition are currently available at no charge.
Force.com Cloud Computing Platform
The Force.com cloud computing platform enhances the attractiveness of our service, particularly to enterprise customers. The Force.com platform provides a feature set and technology environment for building business applications, including data models and objects to manage data, a workflow engine for managing collaboration of data between users, a user interface model to handle forms and other interactions, and a Web services API for programmatic access and integration. The Force.com platform provides the tools and infrastructure required to:
• Deploy our application service for CRM
• Customize and integrate existing enterprise software applications
• Create and deploy new business applications that are pre-integrated with our service and leverage the same user interface or customize the user interface specific to customer requirements
• Sample and deploy applications built by third parties from the AppExchange
We offer the AppExchange, an online directory that provides customers a way to browse, test-drive, share, and install applications developed on our Force.com platform. Partners and developers can offer their applications on the AppExchange directory. This directory gives our users a way to find and install applications to expand their use of the Force.com platform to areas that are complementary to or extend beyond CRM.
When installing an enterprise cloud computing application built by a third-party partner or developer, customers authorize the third-party provider access to their data. Because they are built, managed and provisioned by third parties, we do not warrant the functionality, security and integrity of the data transmission or processing.
We offer consulting and implementation services and training that complement our enterprise cloud computing CRM application service.
Consulting and Implementation Services
We offer consulting and implementation services to our customers to facilitate the adoption of our enterprise cloud computing CRM application and platform services. Consulting services consist of services such as business process mapping, project management services and guidance on best practices in using our service. Implementation services include systems integration, technical architecture and development, configuration and data conversion as well as developing and delivering customized education programs for our customers. Most of our consulting and implementation engagements are billed on a time and materials basis. For many of our small and medium-sized business customers, we also offer for a fixed price certain implementation services that take up to a week to complete.
As the reach of our enterprise cloud computing application services grows, partners will likely play a more integral part in also providing these consulting and implementation services to our customers.
Training & Certification
We offer a number of traditional classroom and online educational classes that address topics such as implementing, using, administering and developing on our service. We also offer classes for our partners who implement our service on behalf of our customers.
We bill the traditional classroom and some of the on-line educational classes on a per person, per class basis. There is a selection of on-line educational classes available at no charge to customers who subscribe to our service. In 2008 we also introduced a certification program to provide accredited certifications for Salesforce CRM administrators, Force.com developers and consultants.
In order to expand our reach to the growing customer base, we have also established the Authorized Training Center program that allows authorized third party training partners to deliver training curriculum. Additionally, as the population of administrators, developers, consultants and partners grows, a training and exam program has been established for Salesforce certification in specific areas of expertise.
Technology, Development and Operations
Technology and Development
We do not provide software that must be written to different hardware, operating system and database platforms, or that depends upon a customer’s unique systems environment. Rather, we have optimized our service to run on a specific database and operating system using the tools and platforms best suited to serve our customers. Performance, functional depth and the usability of our service drive our technology decisions and product direction.
We built our service as a highly scalable, multi-tenant application written in Java and Oracle PL/SQL. We use commercially available hardware and a combination of proprietary and commercially available software, including database software from Oracle Corporation, to provide our service. The application server is custom-built and runs on a lightweight Java Servlet and Java Server Pages engine. We have custom-built core services such as database connection pooling and user session management tuned to our specific architecture and environment, allowing us to continue to scale our service. We have combined a stateless environment, in which a user is not bound to a single server but can be routed in the most optimal way to any number of servers, with an advanced data caching layer. Our customers can access the service through any Web browser without installing any software or downloading Java applets or Microsoft ActiveX or .NET controls.
Our service treats all customers as logically separate tenants in central applications and databases. As a result, we are able to spread the cost of delivering our service across our user base. In addition, because we do not have to manage thousands of distinct applications with their own business logic and database schemas, we believe that we can scale our business faster than traditional software vendors. Moreover, we can focus our resources on building new functionality to deliver to our customer base as a whole rather than on maintaining an infrastructure to support each of their distinct applications.
Our research and development efforts are focused on improving and enhancing the features, functionality and security of our existing service offerings as well as developing new proprietary services such as Force.com. In addition, from time to time we supplement our internal research and development activities with outside development resources and acquired technology. Because of our common, multi-tenant application architecture, we are able to provide all of our customers with a service based on a single version of our application. We are able to upgrade all of our customers at the same time with each release. As a result, we do not have to maintain multiple versions of our application.
As of January 31, 2009, we serve our customers and users from a single, third-party Web hosting facility located on the west coast of the United States, leased from Equinix, Inc., except for features added through acquisition which are temporarily served through alternate facilities. The Equinix facility is built to the same critical systems building codes as hospitals and other vital infrastructure. The facility is secured by around-the-clock guards, biometric access screening and escort-controlled access, and is supported by on-site backup generators in the event of a power failure. As part of our current disaster recovery arrangements, all of our customers’ data is currently replicated in near real-time in a separate back-up facility located on the east coast of the United States. This strategy is designed to both protect our customers’ data and ensure service continuity in the event of a major disaster. Even with the disaster recovery arrangements, our service could be interrupted.
Our agreement with Equinix provides for Equinix to supply space in its secure facilities on the west and east coasts as well as power. Bandwidth to the Internet is provided by multiple independent companies. We continuously monitor the performance of our service. The monitoring features we have built or licensed include centralized performance consoles, automated load distribution tools and various self-diagnostic tools and programs.
In addition we have a data center in San Francisco, which is primarily for internal information technology, development and quality assurance infrastructure.
We are opening a data center in Singapore in fiscal 2010.
As of January 31, 2009, our customer base had grown to approximately 55,400, from 41,000 in the prior year.
Our revenues are divided among small businesses (companies with fewer than 200 employees), medium-size businesses (200 or more employees and up to $1 billion in annual revenues), and large businesses (over $1 billion in annual revenues). The number of paying subscriptions at each of our customers ranges from one to tens of thousands.
None of our customers accounted for more than 5 percent of our revenues in fiscal 2009, 2008, or 2007.
Sales, Marketing and Customer Support
We organize our sales and marketing programs by geographic regions, including North America, Europe, Japan, and the Asia Pacific region other than Japan.
We sell subscriptions to our service primarily through our direct sales force comprised of inside sales, which consists of personnel that sell to customers primarily by phone, and field sales personnel, that are primarily based in a region. Supporting telesales representatives are primarily responsible for qualifying and generating leads. Our small business, general business and enterprise account executives and account managers focus their efforts on small, medium-size and large enterprises, respectively. Sales representatives in our small business group sell to smaller companies, primarily over the phone.
Referral and Indirect Sales
We have a network of partners who refer customer prospects to us and assist us in selling to these prospects. The network includes consulting firms, other technology vendors, systems integrators and partners in markets where we do not have a large direct sales presence. In return, we typically pay these partners a fee based on the first-year subscription revenue generated by the customers they refer. We expense these fees at the time the customer signs the subscription service contract.
We also continue to develop distribution channels for our subscription service.
As of January 31, 2009, we had 3,566 employees.
We believe our future success and growth will depend on our ability to attract, motivate and retain qualified employees in all areas of our business. None of our employees is represented by a labor union. We consider our relationship with our employees to be good. However, we face competition for qualified employees, and we expect to face continuing challenges in recruiting and retention.