First Came Veeva
Veeva (VEEV) is a beautiful Enterprise software company I blogged about over three years ago, just before they went public (see here). Veeva verticalized Salesforce’s CRM using the Salesforce1 Platform (nee Force.com platform). Using the Salesforce1 platform and simply verticalizing it for use in the highly regulated pharma industry allowed Veeva to rapidly build a very valuable company while chewing up very little capital. The stock may not have been a great investment for the public investors, but it was a great one for the early investors (Emergence Capital–300X return in 4 years!) and you cannot argue with the overall results:
- Nearly $400 million in annual revenue
- About $90 million in annual EBITDA and
- About $3.5 billion in market capitalization
While I was busy admiring the business Veeva built, the sharp folks at Vlocity were actually accomplishing something based on the Veeva example. It looks as if the Vlocity said to themselves: Why not replicate, in other industries, Veeva’s strategy of building vertical CRM solutions on the Salesforce1 platform?
Why not indeed? That is exactly what Vlocity has done. Vlocity describes themselves as Industry-Specific Cloud Software. According to their website:
The best customer experiences are industry-specific. Vlocity’s Industry Cloud apps are designed to give companies faster time to value in the cloud. Our Industry Cloud software embeds industry-specific best practices and guided interactions to enable superior and optimal customer journeys. Organizations no longer have to choose between industry-specific and cloud software, now they can have both – via Industry Cloud apps.
Vlocity currently offers industry-specific CRM solutions in four industries:
With a big investment from Salesforce and execs from Veeva, Guidewire (insurance), and other cloud companies they might just become a great example of “serial verticalization“. Serial verticalization is a strategy that counts on there being space between the deep vertical suite providers and horizontal business process suppliers such as Salesforce.
Building vertical CRM solutions across multiple verticals simultaneously and seven years later than Veeva will be tougher, but it’s a great idea to try!