Salesforce says cancelling physical events this fiscal year in favor of “virtual experiences” cost it $65 million, with the company also chalking up approximately $25 million in lease impairments “due to vacating and subleasing offices” in the wake of pandemic.
The admission on a Q1 earnings call — that saw the company otherwise report a bouyant quarter, with top line revenue ($4.87 billion) up 30 percent year-on-year — came as companies globally shake up the commercial real estate market amid a profound pivot to remote work.
(As McKinsey put it in an April 2020 report: “Behavioral changes that will lead to significant space becoming obsolete in a post-coronavirus environment seem imminent…”)
Salesforce Touts “Incredible” AT&T Deal
Among the quarter’s stand-out wins for Salesforce was a deal with AT&T that it described as “incredible and extensive”.
The contract is designed to help AT&T bring together granular data on its 170 million mobile, pay TV and broadband direct customers in Salesforce’s Customer 360 platform. This will capture customer data across everything from emails to physical location, a press release suggested.
Salesforce revealed the multi-year deal on an earnings call, saying it will exploit the services of both Customer 360 and the capabilities provided by Salesforce-owned Mulesoft, and Tableau.
Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said excitedly: “Every customer touchpoint, the AT&T truck pulls up to my office or my home – that’s going to be Salesforce; and I walk into AT&T store – that’s going to be Salesforce; and I’m getting an email from AT&T – that’s going to be Salesforce; and I’m on the phone with the AT&T call center – that’s going to be Salesforce”.
“AT&T will… empower their retail associates with a 360-degree view of every customer interaction; MuleSoft to connect their various back-end systems; Tableau to analyze data and better understand customers’ preferences [and] Einstein to serve more… personalized recommendations,” the rapidly growing CRM giant said more soberly in a press release.