EX-99.2 3 dex992.htm RISK FACTORS Risk Factors

Exhibit 99.2


Risks Related to Our Business and Industry

Defects or disruptions in our service could diminish demand for our service and subject us to substantial liability.

Because our service is complex and we have incorporated a variety of new computer hardware and software, both developed in-house and acquired from third party vendors, our service may have errors or defects that users identify after they begin using it that could result in unanticipated downtime for our subscribers and harm our reputation and our business. Internet-based services frequently contain undetected errors when first introduced or when new versions or enhancements are released. We have from time to time found defects in our service and new errors in our existing service may be detected in the future. In addition, our customers may use our service in unanticipated ways that may cause a disruption in service for other customers attempting to access their data. Since our customers use our service for important aspects of their business, any errors, defects, disruptions in service or other performance problems with our service could hurt our reputation and may damage our customers’ businesses. If that occurs, customers could elect not to renew, or delay or withhold payment to us, we could lose future sales or customers may make warranty claims against us, which could result in an increase in our provision for doubtful accounts, an increase in collection cycles for accounts receivable or the expense and risk of litigation.

Interruptions or delays in service from our third-party data center hosting facilities could impair the delivery of our service and harm our business.

We currently serve our customers from a third-party data center hosting facilities located on the west and east coasts of the United States. Additionally, we recently started serving customers from a new data center hosting facility in Singapore. Any damage to, or failure of, our systems generally could result in interruptions in our service. As we continue to add data centers and add capacity in our existing data centers, we may move or transfer our data and our customers’ data. Despite precautions taken during this process, any unsuccessful data transfers may impair the delivery of our service. Further, any damage to, or failure of, our systems generally could result in interruptions in our service. Interruptions in our service may reduce our revenue, cause us to issue credits or pay penalties, cause customers to terminate their subscriptions and adversely affect our renewal rates and our ability to attract new customers. Our business will also be harmed if our customers and potential customers believe our service is unreliable.

As part of our current disaster recovery arrangements, our production environment and all of our customers’ data is currently replicated in near real-time in a separate standby facility located on the east coast. Features added through acquisition are temporarily served through alternate facilities. We do not control the operation of any of these facilities, and they are vulnerable to damage or interruption from earthquakes, floods, fires, power loss, telecommunications failures and similar events. They may also be subject to break-ins, sabotage, intentional acts of vandalism and similar misconduct. Despite precautions taken at these facilities, the

occurrence of a natural disaster or an act of terrorism, a decision to close the facilities without adequate notice or other unanticipated problems at these facilities could result in lengthy interruptions in our service. Even with the disaster recovery arrangements, our service could be interrupted.

If our security measures are breached and unauthorized access is obtained to a customer’s data or our data, our service may be perceived as not being secure, customers may curtail or stop using our service and we may incur significant legal and financial exposure and liabilities.

Our service involves the storage and transmission of customers’ proprietary information, and security breaches could expose us to a risk of loss of this information, litigation and possible liability. These security measures may be breached as a result of third-party action, employee error, malfeasance or otherwise, during transfer of data to additional data centers or at any time, and result in someone obtaining unauthorized access to our data or our customers’ data. Additionally, third parties may attempt to fraudulently induce employees or customers into disclosing sensitive information such as user names, passwords or other information in order to gain access to our data or our customers’ data. Because the techniques used to obtain unauthorized access, or to sabotage systems, change frequently and generally are not recognized until launched against a target, we may be unable to anticipate these techniques or to implement adequate preventative measures. In addition, our customers may authorize third party technology providers, whose applications are available through our AppExchange directory, to access their customer data. Because we do not control the transmissions between our customers and third-party AppExchange technology providers, or the processing of such data by third-party AppExchange technology providers, we cannot ensure the complete integrity or security of such transmissions or processing. Any security breach could result in a loss of confidence in the security of our service, damage our reputation, lead to legal liability and negatively impact our future sales.

Weakened global economic conditions may adversely affect our industry, business and results of operations.

Our overall performance depends in part on worldwide economic conditions. The United States and other key international economies have been impacted by a severe recession, characterized by falling demand for a variety of goods and services, restricted credit, going concern threats to financial institutions, major multinational companies and medium and small businesses, poor liquidity, declining asset values, reduced corporate profitability, extreme volatility in credit, equity and foreign exchange markets and bankruptcies. These conditions affect the rate of information technology spending and could adversely affect our customers’ ability or willingness to purchase our enterprise cloud computing application service, delay prospective customers’ purchasing decisions, reduce the value or duration of their subscription contracts, or affect renewal rates, all of which could adversely affect our operating results. In addition, in a weakened economy, companies that have competing products may reduce prices which could also reduce our average selling prices and harm our operating results.

Because we recognize revenue from subscriptions for our service over the term of the subscription, downturns or upturns in sales may not be immediately reflected in our operating results.

We generally recognize revenue from customers ratably over the terms of their subscription agreements, which are typically 12 to 24 months, although terms can range from one to 60 months. As a result, most of the revenue we report in each quarter is derived from the recognition of deferred revenue relating to subscription agreements entered into during previous quarters. Consequently, a decline in new or renewed subscriptions in any one quarter may not be immediately reflected in our revenue results for that quarter. Such a decline, however, will negatively affect our revenue in future quarters. In addition, we may be unable to adjust our cost structure to reflect the changes in revenues. Accordingly, the effect of significant downturns in sales and market acceptance of our service, and potential changes in our rate of renewals may not be fully reflected in our results of operations until future periods. Our subscription model also makes it difficult for us to rapidly increase our revenue through additional sales in any period, as revenue from new customers must be recognized over the applicable subscription term.

If we experience significant fluctuations in our rate of anticipated growth and fail to balance our expenses with our revenue forecasts, our results could be harmed.

Due to our evolving business model, the unpredictability of new markets that we enter and unpredictability of future general economic and financial market conditions, we may not be able to accurately forecast our rate of growth. We plan our expense levels and investment on estimates of future revenue and future anticipated rate of growth. We may not be able to adjust our spending quickly enough if the addition of new subscriptions or the renewal rate for existing subscriptions falls short of our expectations.

As a result, we expect that our revenues, operating results and cash flows may fluctuate significantly on a quarterly basis. Our recent revenue growth rates may not be sustainable and may decline in the future. We believe that period-to-period comparisons of our revenues, operating results and cash flows may not be meaningful and should not be relied upon as an indication of future performance.

We cannot accurately predict subscription renewal or upgrade rates and the impact these rates may have on our future revenue and operating results.

Our customers have no obligation to renew their subscriptions for our service after the expiration of their initial subscription period, which is typically 12 to 24 months, and in fact, some customers have elected not to renew. In addition, our customers may renew for fewer subscriptions, renew for shorter contract lengths, or renew for lower cost editions of our service. We cannot accurately predict renewal rates, particularly for our enterprise customers who purchase a large number of subscriptions under multi-year contracts and for our small and medium size business customers. Our renewal rates may decline or fluctuate as a result of a number of factors, including customer dissatisfaction with our service, customers’ ability to continue their operations and spending levels, decreases in the number of users at our customers and deteriorating general economic conditions. If our customers do not renew their subscriptions for our service or reduce the number of paying subscriptions at the time of renewal, our revenue will decline and our business will suffer.

Our future success also depends in part on our ability to sell additional features and services, more subscriptions or enhanced editions of our service to our current customers. This may also require increasingly sophisticated and costly sales efforts that are targeted at senior management. Similarly, the rate at which our customers purchase new or enhanced services depends on a number of factors, including general economic conditions. If our efforts to upsell to our customers are not successful, our business may suffer.

We have been and may in the future be sued by third parties for alleged infringement of their proprietary rights.

The software and Internet industries are characterized by the existence of a large number of patents, trademarks and copyrights and by frequent litigation based on allegations of infringement or other violations of intellectual property rights. We have received in the past and may receive in the future communications from third parties claiming that we have infringed on the intellectual property rights of others. During fiscal 2009, we received a communication from a large technology company alleging that we were infringing upon some of their patents. We continue to analyze the potential merits of their claims, the potential defenses to such claims and potential counter claims, and the possibility of a license agreement as an alternative to litigation. We are currently in discussions with this company and no litigation has been filed to date. However, there can be no assurance that this claim will not lead to litigation in the future. The resolution of this claim is not expected to have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, but it could be material to the net income or cash flows of a particular quarter. We have been, and may in the future be, sued by third parties for alleged infringement of their proprietary rights. Our technologies may not be able to withstand any third-party claims or rights against their use. The outcome of any litigation is inherently uncertain. Any intellectual property claims, including the one referenced above, with or without merit, could be time-consuming and expensive to resolve, could divert management attention from executing our business plan and could require us to change our technology, change

our business practices and/or pay monetary damages or enter into short- or long-term royalty or licensing agreements which may not be available in the future at the same terms or at all. In addition, many of our subscription agreements require us to indemnify our customers for third-party intellectual property infringement claims, which would increase the cost to us of an adverse ruling on such a claim. Any adverse determination related to intellectual property claims or litigation could prevent us from offering our service to others, could be material to our net income or cash flows of a particular quarter or could otherwise adversely affect our operating results.

Our quarterly results can fluctuate and if we fail to meet the expectations of analysts or investors, our stock price and the value of your investment could decline substantially.

Our quarterly operating results are likely to fluctuate. For example, our fourth quarter has historically been our strongest quarter for new business. The year-over-year compounding effect of this seasonality in billing patterns and overall new business causes the value of invoices that we generate in the fourth quarter to continually increase in proportion to our billings in the other three quarters of our fiscal years.

Moreover, we may also fail to meet or exceed the expectations of securities analysts or investors, and the market price of our common stock or the trading price of the notes could decline. Moreover, our stock price may be based on expectations of our future performance that may be unrealistic or that may not be met. Some of the important factors that may cause our revenues, operating results and cash flows to fluctuate from quarter to quarter include:



our ability to retain and increase sales to existing customers, attract new customers and satisfy our customers’ requirements;



the renewal rates for our service;



the amount and timing of operating costs and capital expenditures related to the operations and expansion of our business;



the number of new employees added;



changes in our pricing policies whether initiated by us or as a result of intense competition;



the cost, timing and management effort for the introduction of new features to our service;



the rate of expansion and productivity of our sales force;



the length of the sales cycle for our service;



new product and service introductions by our competitors;



our success in selling our service to large enterprises;



variations in the revenue mix of editions of our service;



technical difficulties or interruptions in our service;



expenses related to increasing our data center capacity and expanding our data centers domestically and internationally;



changes in foreign currency exchange rates;



changes in interest rates, which would impact our return on our investments in cash and marketable securities;


conditions, particularly sudden changes, in the financial markets have and may continue to impact the value of and access to our investment portfolio;



changes in the effective tax rates;



general economic conditions could adversely affect either our customers’ ability or willingness to purchase additional subscriptions or upgrade their service, or delay a prospective customers’ purchasing decision, or reduce the value of new subscription contracts, or affect renewal rates, all of which could adversely affect our operating results;



timing of additional investments in our enterprise cloud computing application service and in our consulting service;



changes in deferred revenue balances due to the seasonal nature of our customer invoicing, changes in the average duration of our invoices, rate of renewals and the rate of new business growth;



regulatory compliance costs;



the timing of customer payments and payment defaults by customers;



costs associated with acquisitions of companies and technologies;



extraordinary expenses such as litigation or other dispute-related settlement payments;



the impact of new accounting pronouncements; and



the timing of stock awards to employees and the related adverse financial statement impact of having to expense those stock awards ratably over their vesting schedules.

Many of these factors are not within our control, and the occurrence of one or more of them might cause our operating results to vary widely. As such, we believe that quarter-to-quarter comparisons of our revenues, operating results and cash flows may not be meaningful and should not be relied upon as an indication of future performance.

As we acquire companies or technologies in the future, they could prove difficult to integrate, disrupt our business, dilute stockholder value and adversely affect our operating results and the value of your investment.

As part of our business strategy, we regularly evaluate investments in, or acquisitions of, complementary businesses, joint ventures, services and technologies, and we expect that periodically we will continue to make such investments and acquisitions in the future. Acquisitions and investments involve numerous risks, including:



the potential failure to achieve the expected benefits of the combination or acquisition;



difficulties in and the cost of integrating operations, technologies, services and personnel;



diversion of financial and managerial resources from existing operations;



risk of entering new markets in which we have little or no experience;



potential write-offs of acquired assets or investments;



potential loss of key employees;


inability to generate sufficient revenue to offset acquisition or investment costs;



the inability to maintain relationships with customers and partners of the acquired business;



the difficulty of incorporating acquired technology and rights into our products and services and of maintaining quality standards consistent with our brand;



potential unknown liabilities associated with the acquired businesses;



unanticipated expenses related to acquired technology and its integration into existing technology;



negative impact to our results of operations because of the depreciation and amortization of amounts related to acquired intangible assets, fixed assets and deferred compensation, and the loss of acquired deferred revenue;



delays in customer purchases due to uncertainty;



the need to implement controls, procedures and policies appropriate for a public company at companies that prior to the acquisition lacked such controls, procedures and policies; and



challenges caused by distance, language and cultural differences.

In addition, if we finance acquisitions by issuing additional convertible debt or equity securities, our existing stockholders may be diluted which could affect the market price of our stock. Further, if we fail to properly evaluate and execute acquisitions or investments, our business and prospects may be seriously harmed and the value of your investment may decline.

We rely on third-party computer hardware and software that may be difficult to replace or which could cause errors or failures of our service.

We rely on computer hardware purchased or leased and software licensed from third parties in order to offer our service, including database software from Oracle Corporation. This hardware and software may not continue to be available at reasonable prices or on commercially reasonable terms, or at all. Any loss of the right to use any of this hardware or software could significantly increase our expenses and otherwise result in delays in the provisioning of our service until equivalent technology is either developed by us, or, if available, is identified, obtained and integrated, which could harm our business. Any errors or defects in third-party hardware or software could result in errors or a failure of our service which could harm our business.

The market for our technology delivery model and enterprise cloud computing application services is immature and volatile, and if it develops more slowly than we expect, our business could be harmed.

The market for enterprise cloud computing application services is not as mature as the market for packaged enterprise software, and it is uncertain whether these services will achieve and sustain high levels of demand and market acceptance. Our success will depend to a substantial extent on the willingness of enterprises, large and small, to increase their use of enterprise cloud computing application services in general, and for CRM in particular. Many enterprises have invested substantial personnel and financial resources to integrate traditional enterprise software into their businesses, and therefore may be reluctant or unwilling to migrate to an enterprise cloud computing application service. Furthermore, some enterprises may be reluctant or unwilling to use enterprise cloud computing application services because they have concerns regarding the risks associated with security capabilities, among other things, of the technology delivery model associated with these services. If enterprises do not perceive the benefits of enterprise cloud computing application services, then the market for these services may not develop at all, or it may develop more slowly than we expect, either of which would

significantly adversely affect our operating results. In addition, we may make errors in predicting and reacting to relevant business trends, which could harm our business. Our success also depends on the willingness of third- party developers to build applications that are complementary to our service. Without the development of these applications, both current and potential customers may not find our service sufficiently attractive. In addition, for those customers who authorize third-party technology partners access to their data, we do not warrant the functionality, security and integrity of the data transmission or processing. Despite contract provisions to protect us, customers may look to us to support and warrant the third-party applications, which may expose us to potential claims, liabilities and obligations for applications we did not develop or sell.

The market in which we participate is intensely competitive, and if we do not compete effectively, our operating results could be harmed.

The market for enterprise CRM business applications and development platforms is highly competitive, rapidly evolving and fragmented, and subject to changing technology, shifting customer needs and frequent introductions of new products and services. We compete primarily with vendors of packaged CRM software, whose software is installed by the customer directly, and companies offering on-demand CRM applications. We also compete with internally developed applications and face, or expect to face, competition from enterprise software vendors and online service providers who may develop toolsets and products that allow customers to build new applications that run on the customers’ current infrastructure or as hosted services. Our current principal competitors include:



enterprise software application vendors including Microsoft Corporation, Oracle Corporation, and SAP AG;



on-demand CRM application service providers such as Microsoft Corporation, NetSuite, Inc., Oracle Corporation, RightNow Technologies, Inc. and SAP AG;



enterprise application service providers including IBM Corporation and Oracle Corporation;



traditional platform development environment companies, including established vendors, such as IBM Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, and Oracle Corporation; and



cloud computing development platform companies, including some with whom we are partners, others such as Microsoft Corporation, which has initiated plans to enter this market, and a variety of smaller start up companies that have invested in cloud computing technology.

We believe that as enterprise software application and platform vendors shift more of their focus to cloud computing, they will be a greater competitive threat. We believe the principal competitive factors in our market include the following:



speed and ease of implementation;



product functionality;



financial stability and viability of the vendor;



product adoption;



ease of use and rates of user adoption;



low total cost of ownership and demonstrable cost-effective benefits for customers;



performance, security, scalability, flexibility and reliability of the service;


ease of integration with existing applications;



quality of customer support;



availability and quality of implementation, consulting and training services; and



vendor reputation and brand awareness.

Our efforts to expand our service beyond the CRM market may not succeed and may reduce our revenue growth rate.

We derive substantially all of our revenue from subscriptions to our CRM enterprise cloud computing application service, and we expect this will continue for the foreseeable future. The market for our Force.com cloud computing platform, is new and unproven, and it is uncertain whether our efforts will ever result in significant revenue for us. Our efforts to expand our service beyond the CRM market may not succeed and may reduce our revenue growth rate.

Supporting our existing and growing customer base could strain our personnel resources and infrastructure, and if we are unable to scale our operations and increase productivity, we may not be able to successfully implement our business plan.

Since we were formed in 1999, we have experienced significant growth in our customer base, which has placed a strain on our management, administrative, operational and financial infrastructure. We anticipate that additional investments in our infrastructure and research and development spending will be required to scale our operations and increase productivity, to address the needs of our customers, to further develop and enhance our service, and to expand into new geographic areas.

Our success will depend in part upon the ability of our senior management to manage our projected growth effectively. To do so, we must continue to increase the productivity of our existing employees and to hire, train and manage new employees as needed. To manage the expected domestic and international growth of our operations and personnel, we will need to continue to improve our operational, financial and management controls and our reporting systems and procedures. The additional investments we are making will increase our cost base, which will make it more difficult for us to offset any future revenue shortfalls by reducing expenses in the short term. If we fail to successfully scale our operations and increase productivity, we will be unable to execute our business plan.

As more of our sales efforts are targeted at larger enterprise customers, our sales cycle may become more time-consuming and expensive, we may encounter pricing pressure and implementation challenges, and we may have to delay revenue recognition for some complex transactions, all of which could harm our business and operating results.

As we target more of our sales efforts at larger enterprise customers, we will face greater costs, longer sales cycles and less predictability in completing some of our sales. In this market segment, the customer’s decision to use our service may be an enterprise-wide decision and, if so, these types of sales would require us to provide greater levels of education regarding the use and benefits of our service, as well as education regarding privacy and data protection laws and regulations to prospective customers with international operations. In addition, larger customers may demand more customization, integration services and features. As a result of these factors, these sales opportunities may require us to devote greater sales support and professional services resources to individual customers, driving up costs and time required to complete sales and diverting sales and professional services resources to a smaller number of larger transactions, while potentially requiring us to delay revenue recognition on some of these transactions until the technical or implementation requirements have been met.

Periodic restructurings of our sales organization can be disruptive and may negatively impact our revenues.

We periodically restructure or make other adjustments to our sales organization in response to market opportunities, competitive threats, management changes, product introductions or enhancements, sales performance, increases in sales headcount, cost levels, and other internal and external considerations. In the past, these restructurings sometimes resulted in a temporary lack of focus and reduced productivity; these effects could recur in connection with any future sales restructurings we might undertake and our rate of revenue growth could be negatively affected.

If we are not able to develop enhancements and new features to our existing service or acceptable new services that keep pace with technological developments, our business will be harmed.

If we are unable to develop enhancements to and new features for our existing service or acceptable new services that keep pace with rapid technological developments, our business will be harmed. The success of enhancements, new features and services depends on several factors, including the timely completion, introduction and market acceptance of the feature or edition. Failure in this regard may significantly impair our revenue growth. In addition, because our service is designed to operate on a variety of network hardware and software platforms using a standard browser, we will need to continuously modify and enhance our service to keep pace with changes in Internet-related hardware, software, communication, browser and database technologies. We may not be successful in either developing these modifications and enhancements or in timely bringing them to market. Furthermore, uncertainties about the timing and nature of new network platforms or technologies, or modifications to existing platforms or technologies, could increase our research and development expenses. Any failure of our service to operate effectively with future network platforms and technologies could reduce the demand for our service, result in customer dissatisfaction and harm our business.

Any failure to protect our intellectual property rights could impair our ability to protect our proprietary technology and our brand.

If we fail to protect our intellectual property rights adequately, our competitors might gain access to our technology, and our business might be harmed. In addition, defending our intellectual property rights might entail significant expense. Any of our trademarks or other intellectual property rights may be challenged by others or invalidated through administrative process or litigation. While we have a few U.S. patents and many other U.S. patent applications pending, we may be unable to obtain patent protection for the technology covered in our patent applications. In addition, our existing patents and any patents issued in the future may not provide us with competitive advantages, or may be successfully challenged by third parties. Furthermore, legal standards relating to the validity, enforceability and scope of protection of intellectual property rights are uncertain. Effective patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret protection may not be available to us in every country in which our service is available. The laws of some foreign countries may not be as protective of intellectual property rights as those in the U.S., and mechanisms for enforcement of intellectual property rights may be inadequate. Accordingly, despite our efforts, we may be unable to prevent third parties from infringing upon or misappropriating our intellectual property.

We might be required to spend significant resources to monitor and protect our intellectual property rights. We may initiate claims or litigation against third parties for infringement of our proprietary rights or to establish the validity of our proprietary rights. Any litigation, whether or not it is resolved in our favor, could result in significant expense to us and divert the efforts of our technical and management personnel.

If we fail to develop our brands cost-effectively, our business may suffer.

We believe that developing and maintaining awareness of the salesforce.com brand and our other brands in a cost-effective manner is critical to achieving widespread acceptance of our existing and future services and is an important element in attracting new customers. Furthermore, we believe that the importance of brand recognition will increase as competition in our market develops. Successful promotion of our brands will depend

largely on the effectiveness of our marketing efforts and on our ability to provide reliable secure and useful services at competitive prices. In the past, our efforts to build our brands have involved significant expense. Brand promotion activities may not yield increased revenue, and even if they do, any increased revenue may not offset the expenses we incurred in building our brands. If we fail to successfully promote and maintain our brands, or incur substantial expenses in an unsuccessful attempt to promote and maintain our brands, we may fail to attract enough new customers or retain our existing customers to the extent necessary to realize a sufficient return on our brand-building efforts, and our business could suffer.

Our business could be adversely affected if our customers are not satisfied with implementation and customization services provided by us or our partners.

Our business depends on our ability to satisfy our customers, both with respect to our CRM service and platform and the professional services that customize our CRM service and platform to meet our customers’ business needs. Professional services may be performed by our own staff, or by a third party or a combination of the two. Our strategy is to work with third parties to increase the breadth of capability and depth of capacity for delivery of these services to our customers. If a customer is not satisfied with the quality of work performed by us or a third party or with the type of services or solutions delivered, then we could incur additional costs to address the situation, the profitability of that work might be impaired, and the customer’s dissatisfaction with our services could damage our ability to obtain additional work from that customer. In addition, negative publicity related to our customer relationships, regardless of its accuracy, may further damage our business by affecting our ability to compete for new business with current and prospective customers.

Sales to customers outside the United States expose us to risks inherent in international sales.

Because we sell our service throughout the world, we are subject to risks and challenges that we would otherwise not face if we conducted our business only in the United States. For example, sales in Europe and Asia Pacific together represented over 25 percent of our total revenues during the nine months ended October 31, 2009, and we intend to continue to expand our international sales efforts. The risks and challenges associated with sales to customers outside the United States include:



localization of our service, including translation into foreign languages and associated expenses;



laws and business practices favoring local competitors;



compliance with multiple, conflicting and changing governmental laws and regulations, including employment, tax, privacy and data protection laws and regulations;



regional data privacy laws that apply to the transmission of our customers’ data across international borders;



foreign currency fluctuations;



different pricing environments;



difficulties in staffing and managing foreign operations;



different or lesser protection of our intellectual property;



longer accounts receivable payment cycles and other collection difficulties;



regional economic conditions, including the affect of general economic and financial market conditions in the markets in which we operate outside the United States; and



regional political conditions.

Any of these factors could negatively impact our business and results of operations.

Additionally, some of our international subscription fees are currently paid in U.S. dollars. As a result, fluctuations in the value of the U.S. dollar and foreign currencies may make our service more expensive for international customers, which could harm our business.

Evolving regulation of the Internet may affect us adversely.

As Internet commerce continues to evolve, increasing regulation by federal, state or foreign agencies becomes more likely. For example, we believe increased regulation is likely in the area of data privacy, and laws and regulations applying to the solicitation, collection, processing or use of personal or consumer information could affect our customers’ ability to use and share data, potentially reducing demand for CRM solutions and restricting our ability to store, process and share data with our customers. In addition, taxation of services provided over the Internet or other charges imposed by government agencies or by private organizations for accessing the Internet may also be imposed. Any regulation imposing greater fees for Internet use or restricting information exchange over the Internet could result in a decline in the use of the Internet and the viability of Internet-based services, which could harm our business.

Privacy concerns and laws or other domestic or foreign regulations may reduce the effectiveness of our solution and adversely affect our business.

Our customers can use our service to store contact and other personal or identifying information regarding their customers and contacts. Federal, state and foreign government bodies and agencies have adopted or are considering adopting laws and regulations regarding the collection, use and disclosure of personal information obtained from consumers and individuals. The costs of compliance with, and other burdens imposed by, such laws and regulations that are applicable to the businesses of our customers may limit the use and adoption of our service and reduce overall demand for it. Furthermore, privacy concerns may cause our customers’ customers to resist providing the personal data necessary to allow our customers to use our service effectively. Even the perception of privacy concerns, whether or not valid, may inhibit market adoption of our service in certain industries.

For example, in the United States regulations such as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which protects and restricts the use of consumer credit and financial information, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, which regulates the use and disclosure of personal health information, impose significant requirements and obligations on businesses that may affect the use and adoption of our service.

The European Union has also adopted a data privacy directive that requires member states to impose restrictions on the collection and use of personal data that, in some respects, are far more stringent, and impose more significant burdens on subject businesses, than current privacy standards in the United States. All of these domestic and international legislative and regulatory initiatives may adversely affect our customers’ ability to collect and/or use demographic and personal information from their customers, which could reduce demand for our service. Many other jurisdictions have similar stringent privacy laws and regulations.

In addition to government activity, privacy advocacy groups and the technology and other industries are considering various new, additional or different self-regulatory standards that may place additional burdens on us. If the gathering of personal information were to be curtailed in this manner, CRM solutions would be less effective, which may reduce demand for our service and harm our business.

We are dependent on our management team and development and operations personnel, and the loss of one or more key employees or groups could harm our business and prevent us from implementing our business plan in a timely manner.

Our success depends substantially upon the continued services of our executive officers and other key members of management, particularly our Chief Executive Officer. From time to time, there may be changes in our executive management team resulting from the hiring or departure of executives. Such changes in our

executive management team may be disruptive to our business. We are also substantially dependent on the continued service of our existing development and operations personnel because of the complexity of our service and technologies. We do not have employment agreements with any of our executive officers, key management, development or operations personnel and, therefore, they could terminate their employment with us at any time. We do not maintain key person life insurance policies on any of our employees. The loss of one or more of our key employees or groups could seriously harm our business.

Because competition for our target employees is intense, we may not be able to attract and retain the highly skilled employees we need to support our operations and increasing customer base.

In the technology industry, there is substantial and continuous competition for engineers with high levels of experience in designing, developing and managing software and Internet-related services, as well as competition for sales executives and operations personnel. We may not be successful in attracting and retaining qualified personnel. We have from time to time experienced, and we expect to continue to experience, difficulty in hiring and retaining highly skilled employees with appropriate qualifications. In addition, job candidates and existing employees often consider the value of the stock awards they receive in connection with their employment. If our stock price performs poorly, it may adversely affect our ability to retain highly skilled employees. In addition, since we expense all stock-based compensation, we may periodically change our stock compensation practices, which may include reducing the number of employees eligible for options or reducing the size of equity awards granted per employee. If we fail to attract new personnel or fail to retain and motivate our current personnel, our business and future growth prospects could be severely harmed.

Our business is subject to changing regulations regarding corporate governance and public disclosure that have increased both our costs and the risk of non-compliance.

We are subject to rules and regulations by various governing bodies, including, for example, the Securities and Exchange Commission, which are charged with the protection of investors and the oversight of companies whose securities are publicly traded. Our efforts to comply with new and changing regulations have resulted in and are likely to continue to result in, increased general and administrative expenses and a diversion of management time and attention from revenue-generating activities to compliance activities.

Moreover, because these laws, regulations and standards are subject to varying interpretations, their application in practice may evolve over time as new guidance becomes available. This evolution may result in continuing uncertainty regarding compliance matters and additional costs necessitated by ongoing revisions to our disclosure and governance practices. If we fail to address and comply with these regulations and any subsequent changes, our business may be harmed.

Unanticipated changes in our effective tax rate could adversely affect our future results.

We are subject to income taxes in the United States and various foreign jurisdictions, and our domestic and international tax liabilities are subject to the allocation of expenses in differing jurisdictions.

Our effective tax rate could be adversely affected by changes in the mix of earnings and losses in countries with differing statutory tax rates, certain non-deductible expenses arising from stock option compensation, the valuation of deferred tax assets and liabilities and changes in federal, state or international tax laws and accounting principles. Increases in our effective tax rate could materially affect our net results.

In addition, we are subject to income tax audits by many tax jurisdictions throughout the world. Although we believe our income tax liabilities are reasonably estimated and accounted for in accordance with applicable laws and principles, an adverse resolution of one or more uncertain tax positions in any period could have a material impact on the results of operations for that period.

Natural disasters and other events beyond our control could materially adversely affect us.

Natural disasters or other catastrophic events may cause damage or disruption to our operations, international commerce and the global economy, and thus could have a strong negative effect on us. Our business operations are subject to interruption by natural disasters, fire, power shortages, pandemics and other events beyond our control. Although we maintain crisis management and disaster response plans, such events could make it difficult or impossible for us to deliver our services to our customers, and could decrease demand for our services. The majority of our research and development activities, corporate headquarters, information technology systems, and other critical business operations, are located near major seismic faults in the San Francisco Bay Area. Because we do not carry earthquake insurance for direct quake-related losses, and significant recovery time could be required to resume operations, our financial condition and operating results could be materially adversely affected in the event of a major earthquake or catastrophic event.

Risks Related to Ownership of Our Common Stock

The market price of our common stock is likely to be volatile and could subject us to litigation.

The trading prices of the securities of technology companies have been highly volatile. Accordingly, the market price of our common stock has been and is likely to continue to be subject to wide fluctuations. Factors affecting the market price of our common stock include:



variations in our operating results, earnings per share, cash flows from operating activities, deferred revenue, and other financial metrics and non-financial metrics, and how those results compare to analyst expectations;



forward looking guidance to industry and financial analysts related to future revenue and earnings per share;



the net increases in the number of customers and paying subscriptions, either independently or as compared with published expectations of industry, financial or other analysts that cover our company;



changes in the estimates of our operating results or changes in recommendations by securities analysts that elect to follow our common stock;



announcements of technological innovations, new services or service enhancements, strategic alliances or significant agreements by us or by our competitors;



announcements by us or by our competitors of mergers or other strategic acquisitions, or rumors of such transactions involving us or our competitors;



announcements of customer additions and customer cancellations or delays in customer purchases;



recruitment or departure of key personnel;



disruptions in our service due to computer hardware, software or network problems;



the economy as a whole, market conditions in our industry, and the industries of our customers; and



trading activity by a limited number of stockholders who together beneficially own a majority of our outstanding common stock.

In addition, if the market for technology stocks or the stock market in general experiences uneven investor confidence, the market price of our common stock could decline for reasons unrelated to our business, operating results or financial condition. The market price of our common stock might also decline in reaction to events that affect other companies within, or outside, our industry even if these events do not directly affect us. Some companies that have experienced volatility in the trading price of their stock have been the subject of securities class action litigation. If we are to become the subject of such litigation, it could result in substantial costs and a diversion of management’s attention and resources.

If securities analysts stop publishing research or reports about us or our business or if they downgrade our stock, the market price of our stock could decline.

The trading market for our common stock relies in part on the research and reports that industry or financial analysts publish about us or our business. We do not control these analysts. If one or more of the analysts who do cover us downgrade our stock or lower their future stock price targets or estimates of our operating results, our stock price could decline rapidly. Furthermore, if one or more of these analysts cease coverage of our company, we could lose visibility in the market, which in turn could cause the market price of our common stock to decline.

The concentration of our capital stock ownership with insiders will likely limit your ability to influence corporate matters.

Our executive officers, directors, and several stockholders and their affiliated entities together beneficially own a majority of our outstanding common stock. As a result, these stockholders, if they act together or in a block, could have significant influence over most matters that require approval by our stockholders, including the election of directors and approval of significant corporate transactions, even if other stockholders oppose them. This concentration of ownership might also have the effect of delaying or preventing a change of control of our company that other stockholders may view as beneficial.

Provisions in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and bylaws and Delaware law might discourage, delay or prevent a change of control of our company or changes in our management and, therefore, depress the market price of our common stock.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and bylaws contain provisions that could depress the market price of our common stock by acting to discourage, delay or prevent a change in control of our company or changes in our management that the stockholders of our company may deem advantageous. These provisions among other things:



establish a classified board of directors so that not all members of our board are elected at one time;



permit the board of directors to establish the number of directors;



provide that directors may only be removed “for cause” and only with the approval of 66 2/3 percent of our stockholders;



require super-majority voting to amend some provisions in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and bylaws;



authorize the issuance of “blank check” preferred stock that our board could use to implement a stockholder rights plan (also known as a “poison pill”);



eliminate the ability of our stockholders to call special meetings of stockholders;



prohibit stockholder action by written consent, which requires all stockholder actions to be taken at a meeting of our stockholders;



provide that the board of directors is expressly authorized to make, alter or repeal our bylaws; and



establish advance notice requirements for nominations for election to our board or for proposing matters that can be acted upon by stockholders at annual stockholder meetings.

In addition, Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law may discourage, delay or prevent a change in control of our company. Section 203 imposes certain restrictions on merger, business combinations and other transactions between us and holders of 15 percent or more of our common stock.