Cloud software pioneer has just turned 15, and the influence of this trailblazing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider is gaining strength with the recent CIO 100 revealing Salesforce is widely considered a strategic supplier to a host of UK companies. emerged as one of the most relevant enterprise vendors, named as a strategic technology supplier by 14% of the 2014 CIO 100; more popular than other 'young' powerhouses like Google and Amazon as it races towards a red letter figure of $5 billion in annual revenue.

The only companies named as strategic technology suppliers by more UK CIOs - Microsoft, Oracle, HP, IBM, SAP, BT and Cisco - are each at least 20 years older than the company Marc Benioff founded in 1999.

UK users

Of course has an impressive UK customer base outside of our own study, including fashion house Burberry, media group DMGT, make up retailer Avon and shopping centre firm Westfield. But companies included on the CIO 100 naming as a 'strategic technology supplier' are listed below along with their CIOs, representing the media, communications, financial services, entertainment, energy, pharmaceuticals, science, retail, professional services and travel industries:

  • Financial Times, Christina Scott
  • JLT Group, Ian Cohen
  • John Lewis, Paul Coby
  • News UK, Chris Taylor
  • Unilever, Willem Eelman
  • GLH, Chris Hewertson
  • LGC, Gideon Kay (since moved to Aegis Group)
  • First Utility, Bill Wilkins
  • BMJ, Sharon Cooper
  • Centrica, Rod Carr
  • Capita Healthcare, Craig Ambler
  • Schroders, Matthew Oakeley
  • Key Travel, Matthew Haynes
  • SThree, Lance Fisher

Not included above is Telefonica Global CIO Phil Jordan, who did offer that Telefonica had struck a major cloud apps deal with Salesforce.

What the CIOs said about

And there's no better way to find out about the company than the thoughts of some of its customers:

" is forming the heart of our customer hub, which enables us to collate customer preferences in a single location and then use in a consistent way for all customer contacts, which is increasing guest satisfaction and revenue.

"One of our problems is communicating out to our employees who are without company laptop or mobile. To support this we have enabled Salesforce chatter to the whole organisation as the primary communications tool that can be accessed by all employees on their own device. This has had good uptake and is now being used for team as well as company-wide communications." Chris Hewertson, GLH CIO

Financial Times CIO Christina Scott

"We've moved customer service from many third party call centres to in-house team in Manila on the Salesforce platform, able to interact better with the customers. It has the ability to connect via social media, click to chat, and gives the right information presented to customer agents at the right time." Christina Scott, Financial Times CIO

"When I was at LGC, I delivered a global CRM solution on enabling visibility of sales process and and customer delivery as well as leading to a far superior cross-sell capability for key and major accounts globally." Gideon Kay

JLT Group CIO Ian Cohen

"One of the big transformational activities in 2013 was the continued success of the Insight programme - particularly around social and collaboration where we have over 7,000 staff on Salesforce Chatter with market leading engagement rates. Given our total population is only 9,000 that's quite extraordinary, as is the quality of the conversations." Ian Cohen, JLT Group