Dreamforce 2012 Exhibitors as Proxy for Hot SaaS Categories

Salesforce.com’s annual Dreamforce conference is here again promising to have over 80,000 attendees in San Francisco. One of the many interesting aspects of the show is to see all the different Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)/cloud companies exhibiting at the show (250+). In many respects, the exhibitors at the show act as a proxy for the excitement surrounding different SaaS categories. Booths at the show range from ~$30,000 for a bronze sponsorship to $1,000,000 for a diamond sponsorship.

Using the sponsorship level as an approximation for company size, we can gauge different SaaS sectors on their size. So, Bronze = 1 point, Silver = 2 points, Gold = 3 points, Platinum = 4 points, Titanium = 5 points, and Diamond = 6 points.

Here’s a quick analysis of the different SaaS/cloud categories based on the vendors at Dreamforce 2012 with at least a Silver sponsorship level and the points earned by that category based on sponsorships:

  • Cloud Consulting: 6, 5, 5, 4, 4, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2
  • Marketing Software: 5, 5, 4, 4, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2
  • Contract/Quote Management: 4, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3
  • Document Collaboration: 4, 3, 2, 2
  • E-Signature: 4, 3
  • Accounting/ERP Software: 3, 2, 2, 2, 2
  • Business Intelligence: 3, 3, 3, 2
  • Forecasting/Pipeline Management: 3
  • Expense Management: 3
  • Data Quality Management: 3
  • Cloud Integration Middleware: 3, 3, 3, 2, 2, 2
  • Customer Service/Call Center Software: 3, 3, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2
  • Data Services: 3, 2, 2, 2
  • Mobile Software: 3, 2
  • Human Resources Software: 3, 2
  • Sales Compensation Management: 3
  • Billing Management: 3
  • Learning Management Software: 2
  • User Engagement Software: 2
  • Conferencing Software: 2
  • Project Management: 2
  • Ecommerce Software: 2
  • Sales Process Management: 2, 2, 2, 2, 2
  • Identity Management: 2

The four clear winners in order of size: cloud consulting, marketing software, customer service/call center software, and contract/quote management software.

What else? What are your thoughts after seeing the different categories of vendors and size of their investment in the Dreamforce 2012 conference?

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