Ford partners Salesforce to expand software business among small firms
Ford Motor Co said on Tuesday it plans to launch a new subscription software service aimed at small businesses, in collaboration with enterprise software company Salesforce.com Inc.
The software service, called VIIZR, will be offered from next year by the car maker's Ford Pro commercial vehicle and services unit. Based on Salesforce technology, the system will digitise paperwork for contractors, repair technicians and other trades people, and start at $39 per month per user, Ford said.
VIIZR customers don't have to drive Ford vehicles, but the target small-business market overlaps with a key market for Ford trucks and commercial vans.
Ford, like rival car makers, is working to build sources of steadily recurring subscription revenue to supplement revenue from vehicle sales that can get hit by economic downturns or disruptions like the recent shortages of semiconductors.
Salesforce and other software-as-a-service companies tend to command higher stock valuations than manufacturers. Salesforce has a market capitalisation of nearly $253bn (roughly R4,022,548,200,000), compared with $76bn (roughly R1,208,354,400,000) for Ford.
Ford said it would offer businesses free, trial use of the VIIZR system ahead of the launch in the first half of 2022.