Salesforce promises 'largest on-demand CRM customer ever'

Salesforce.com ended its fiscal year with 646,000 paying subscribers and a large enterprise that accounts for 25,000 subscriptions.

Salesforce.com ended its fiscal year with 646,000 paying subscribers and a large enterprise that accounts for 25,000 subscriptions.

The company didn't name "the largest on-demand CRM customer ever" in its earnings statement.  CEO Marc Benioff said the customer will be revealed Tuesday at an analyst day in New York.  One favorite is Cisco Systems. Benioff identified Cisco Systems as its largest customer in the company's earnings call last quarter. In any case, the enterprise rollout provides an interesting proof of concept for software as a service in a large corporate environment.

According to Salesforce's previous earnings statements Cisco is ramping up with SaaS. On November 15, Salesforce said its largest customer--later identified as Cisco--doubled its deployment to 15,000 subscribers. Cisco is using the company's sales force automation application. Salesforce also started a partner relationship management program with Cisco. With more than 50,000 employees Cisco has the headcount to add Salesforce.com subscriptions. 

As for the financials, Salesforce topped Wall Street estimates. Among the key numbers:

--Fourth quarter revenue was $144.2 million, ahead of Thomson Financial estimates of $142 million. Earnings per share under generally accepted accounting principles were breakeven. Excluding stock compensation and amortization of intangibles earnings per share were 10 cents a share. Wall Street estimates were 7 cents a share.

--Salesforce projected first quarter revenue between $155 million to $157 million. Wall Street target: $157 million. GAAP earnings projected to be between a loss of a penny a share and a profit of a penny a share.

--Fiscal 2008 revenue is projected to be between $710 million and $720 million. GAAP earnings are expected to be in the range of 7 cents to 9 cents a share.

--For the fiscal year ending Jan. 31, Salesforce's U.S. sales accounted for 78 percent of revenue down from 80 percent in the prior year. Europe accounted for 15 percent with Asia Pacific representing 7 percent.

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