Having recently visited London and a bit of the countryside of the UK, I thought this would be a great time to discuss a bit about the Salesforce EMEA expansion and their big moves of late in this critical global market. I had the opportunity to both live and help deploy Salesforce in EMEA for a Fortune 50 company about six years ago based out of London. I certainly can appreciate each country in EMEA have their own regulations around data protection and where physically that data is stored. With that being said, below is my take a few key areas Salesforce is tackling that will not only allow them to continue rapid growth in EMEA, but will most likely shake up the other players within this region.
Lets first discuss data security. Most companies and specifically EU governments are looking to have their data stay within their borders or at least the EU borders (when talking Europe). Salesforce will tackle this concern with their much talked about new data center in Slough in the UK. (Funny side note, I used to live near Slough, which was the home base of the UK version of The Office). Why does this matter having a data center in an EU country? Well in order to procure government contracts, you must be local and secure. This will be a great win for potential government customers looking to move to the cloud and take advantage of Salesforce. Customers should have valid reasons for wanting to have their data in a specific data center in EMEA as Salesforce has indicated. These customers should also keep in mind data housed in the EMEA data center still has to be backed up somewhere and that will probably be in the United States. The data center in the UK is only the first of two more planned. Salesforce EMEA expansion plans call for more data centers in France and Germany coming in 2015.
In addition to a solid data center strategy for this market, Salesforce EMEA expansion includes investment in their office space. In both Paris and London, Salesforce EMEA expansion includes procuring great office locations and naming buildings after Salesforce as they did at their corporate headquarters in San Francisco. Salesforce, unlike other tech companies, does not seek suburban office locations which most employees including myself really appreciate. I have worked in many suburban office spaces and can tell you first hand, being in the heart of a vibrant city will drive better moral among employees. Having a signature office space in key cities, will not only help employee moral, but can drive additional business as these Salesforce Towers will be the showcase venue for client visits and executive briefing centers. In the end, nice offices and a local data center can only go so far in pushing into a market. A great office space does not make great products and you must ensure the product is rock solid. Salesforce EMEA expansion and its growth in this market is primarily attributed to the fact that the Salesforce platform and product offering works, is customizable to the regional differences and is what the customer wants. The product can scale and is taking on SAP on its own turf, based in Germany. Not long ago Salesforce was only in a few of the key markets in EMEA and now has plans to expand aggressively with the help of their key strategic partners. Recently even Accenture made an announcement to help in this growth of the Salesforce platform to EMEA and these type of announcements keep coming.
In summary, the Salesforce EMEA expansion is happening right now and with their strategic commitment to grow the region by more than 500 jobs, there seems to be nothing slowing them down. Competition may catch up in some aspects with time, but at this point, the first market move advantage for this enterprise cloud provider will give Salesforce the advantage in EMEA for CRM and cloud platform for years to come.
Hector Perez Jr