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Pro Analysis

Top tech investor Paul Meeks likes Salesforce.com

Marc Benioff, chairman and chief executive officer of Salesforce.com
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Marc Benioff, chairman and chief executive officer of Salesforce.com

Salesforce.com (CRM) has underperformed its cloud competitors such as Amazon.com, Alphabet, Microsoft, IBM and Rackspace, with its shares down 1 percent this year as of Friday's close — what gives?

CRM is the leading Software as a Service (SaaS) company. SaaS is one of the major cloud offerings with the others being Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). One way to differentiate between these three clouds is by what portion of the technology "stack" is outsourced to the IT vendor.

Here's a helpful chart courtesy of Mazik Global:

The technology stack

Source: Mazik Global

SaaS, where everything is managed by the vendor, is the opposite of the traditional model of owning and managing your technology. I think that if you're not migrating to the cloud, you're finished. It's less costly and more efficient. Cynics say that data is unsecure in the cloud, but I don't buy that.

According to 451 Research, here are the sizes of the three cloud markets and their expected growth: