Salesforce.com to open Dublin data centre


14 Apr 2004

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LONDON – Salesforce.com is looking to establish a data centre in Dublin, a senior executive at the online customer relationship manager (CRM) software provider revealed in London earlier today.

Speaking at the launch of the Salesforce.com Spring O4 software release, Ariel Luedi, senior vice president Sales, EMEA, confirmed that the decision had been made. “It will go ahead. The only question is when. It could take 12-18 months before it’s complete and up and running,” said Luedi.

He added that Switzerland had been originally selected for the data centre and London had also been considered before the decision was finally made in Dublin’s favour. It is understood that the decision by Google and Ebay to base their European operations in Dublin and establish data centres there had a bearing on Salesforce.com’s thinking.

It is not known at this stage whether Salesforce will build its own facility or will utilise the vacant capacity of one of the dozen or so large data centre facilities which sprung up during the late 1990s. According to Luedi, the twin priorities for the new facility will be outbound internet connectivity and physical security.

As an application service provider (ASP) Salesforce.com currently uses a single California-based data centre to host the CRM data of its 9,500 customers worldwide and feed it back to them as a service. While there were “no technical or legal reasons” why a single data centre could not continue to serve the whole business, Luedi said some European-based customers were concerned about “some US company” holding all their critical sales and customer information. This is why, when asked what the value of the new European data centre would be to Salesforce.com, Luedi replied: “Emotional”.

The launch of Spring 04 is the 15th release of Salesforce’s CRM software since the company was founded by former Oracle executive Marc Benioff. Speaking at the launch, Pat Sueltz, who joined the company from Sun Microsystems recently as president of technology and marketing, described the product at the most “customisable” version yet. She added that Salesforce.com’s fast growing customer base was a testimony to the versatility and effectiveness of the software and its online delivery mechanism.

“We’re moving, we’re growing and Europe is the place where we see lots and lots of opportunity,” she said.

Salesforce.com, which is expected to IPO on Nasdaq within the coming months, has its European headquarters in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow where about half of the company’s 55-strong European workforce is based.

By Brian Skelly