Salesforce Plans to Expand Relationship with AWS

Salesforce execs indicate deployment of IoT service on AWS is only the beginning

Chris Burt

May 19, 2016

2 Min Read
Salesforce Plans to Expand Relationship with AWS
Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff speaks during the 2014 DreamForce conference in San Francisco. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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The relationship between Salesforce and Amazon Web Services has expanded, and will continue to do so, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said in an earnings call following the release of the company’s Q1 2016 results on Wednesday. The shift from its own data centers to the AWS cloud may not be complete and company-wide, but it does appear to be substantial enough to represent a major strategic shift for Salesforce.

“We’ve got a great relationship with Amazon; they are a huge user of Salesforce and that certainly has been a huge part this quarter as well. We did a very significant and very large transaction with Amazon, and Jeff Bezos and I have a great meeting of the minds, (on) the future of the cloud. I think that it’s been a great relationship and partnership for us,” Salesforce President and COO Keith Block said in the conference call to answer an analyst’s question about expanding Salesforce’s use of AWS beyond Heroku and its IoT cloud. “We want to continue to grow that and expand that strategically. We are definitely exploring ways so we can use AWS more aggressively with Salesforce.”

Block told analysts that all of Amazon now uses Salesforce, and a source told Fortune that Amazon had reached a deal with Salesforce to extend all Salesforce software to all of its employees. Darrow speculates that that deal could be the “nine-figure deal” closed this quarter.

Features of Salesforce’s marketing tools announced last week also run on AWS, Block said, as does, perhaps tellingly, “a lot” of company research and development. A Salesforce spokesperson also told Fortune that SMB sales software SalesforceIQ runs on AWS.

Benioff also hinted at more announcements from Salesforce involving AWS at its upcoming developer conference TrailheaDX and customer conference Dreamforce.

Shifting away from the cloud, or AWS in particular, can reduce costs for companies like Dropbox, but Salesforce appears to be betting heavily on AWS to grow its margins.

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