Salesforce is one of the biggest Customer Relations Management (CRM) companies in the world, and it is also one of the biggest cloud-computing companies. The San Francisco-based company recently announced that it will invest $2 billion into its Canada offices over the next five years. This is the latest technology investment by an American company in Canada.
Earlier, Sidewalk Labs had invested an initial $50 million in Toronto’s Quayside development. The Alphabet urban tech company from New York City will transform the Quayside area into a community for tens of thousands using innovative smart city solutions. The initial investment is slated for a one-year planning phase, which is expected to expand to at least $1 billion in investment for the more than 800 acre Quayside area.
What is Salesforce.com?
Salesforce is a cloud-computing company with a market cap of $80 billion as of mid-February. It has 2,200 employees. Founded in 1999 by Marc Benioff and Parker Harris with headquarters in San Francisco, California, it has grown to 25,000 employees. It recently topped Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list. It currently has more than 1,300 employees in Canada, and the increase in investment will also result in increased employment to 2,500. It is the first cloud computing company to reach revenues of $10 billion. It is the seventh largest company in terms of revenues.
Salesforce has also been in different partnerships. During the 2017 Dreamforce conference in San Francisco, Salesforce announced that Google will now be its second cloud provider and will continue working the company for its global expansion. This was a big blow to Amazon Web Services (AWS) who had always been Saleforce’s primary cloud provider.
Canada Tech Immigration and Diversity
Companies which are also looking at increasing their presence in Canada include Uber, Alphabet, AppDirect, Facebook and Microsoft. Additionally, Toronto is included in Amazon’s short list of city candidates for its second headquarters.
Recently, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Silicon Valley where he talked with several tech leaders. Besides Salesforce CEO Benioff, Trudeau also met with Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO. Trudeau also visited the offices of AppDirect which had just announced that they were expanding their Canada office and would be hiring 300 more employees.
Toronto is an attractive destination due to its position as a center for artificial intelligence research. The University of Toronto is particularly strong in the field of AI and machine learning. Canada has also been strong in allowing companies to hire anyone they needed or wanted due to their immigration policy. The country has an immigration program for businesses allowing them to get work permits for hiring foreign workers in about two weeks.
Research on AI and machine learning has been gaining ground since the increase of big data. Companies have a large amount of data from which they can mine for different kinds of information. AI and machine learning can be used to sift through this data and ask questions about the data, as well as get insights and intelligence from it. Although data mining started out as sorting, categorizing and providing information from huge data sources, machine learning has made it possible to find insights without actually asking questions. For companies which are inundated and overwhelmed with data, machine learning is the key to understanding their customers from the data they gathered.
For tech companies, the search for new talent is part of their culture. They try to find new employees and create a diverse culture from within the company. Diversity avoids an echo chamber environment where every developer has the same experience, resulting in homogenous thought. In addition, there is also a high demand from tech companies to hire for new positions. Without access to new talent from other countries, there would not be enough local talent to feed the growing demand. Canada understands this need and has an immigration program to help address it.