It's been called the Woodstock or Lollapalooza of cloud technology. This week more than 170,000 people will flood into San Francisco to attend Salesforce.com's annual customer conference Dreamforce, which starts Tuesday.
Two of the event's top sponsors — start-ups Apttus and FinancialForce — illustrate how Salesforce has become such a vital force in technology, despite not being as well-understood by the general public as some of its peers.
The key point is that these start-ups, and dozens of others, effectively owe their success to Salesforce. And unlike some other start-ups with billion-dollar valuations, they can afford the sponsorship: These companies are quietly generating a lot of cash.
Apttus, a so-called quote-to-cash company that helps businesses draw up price quotes and contracts, and ultimately get customers to sign on the dotted line, is on track to generate revenue of $150 million this year, and more than $250 million in revenue next year, said CEO Kirk Krappe
Meanwhile FinancialForce CEO Jeremy Roche said his company will approach a $100 million revenue run rate by the end of the year. The company sells enterprise resource planning (ERP) apps that help customers with supply chain, human resources and product management.