In a sign of the immense growth power of cloud technology, Salesforce has finally surpassed German software stalwart SAP as the world’s largest provider of enterprise applications. In its 50-year existence, SAP has at times led and dominated the enterprise app ecosystem, but its upstart rival — led by American entrepreneur Marc Benioff — has experienced an astonishing 73 straight quarters of revenue growth. Now, Salesforce has eclipsed the old guard.
In the second quarter of its fiscal year 2023, Salesforce reported earning $7.72 billion in revenue, beating SAP’s reported revenue of $7.52 billion, although the German company is not underachieving in the cloud segment. Its Q2 cloud revenue growth rate of 34% makes it one of the world’s fastest-growing cloud providers — trailing Google Cloud by 2%. Its growing portfolio of cloud-based solutions continues to carry the majority of the company’s earnings, as opposed to software licensing and support.
But although Salesforce reported better-than-expected revenue, it simultaneously reduced its guidance for the fiscal year, causing its stock to drop. Benioff also announced a board-approved $10 billion stock buyback program, the company’s first.