Customer relationship management firm Salesforce.com (CRM - Get Report) is a must-have application for its 100,000 customers. The firm's eponymous Web application enables users to run business applications that interact with their customer lists, enabling everything from sending newsletters to tracking sales. That mission-critical nature of Salesforce's offering is digs a big economic moat for shareholders right now.
Salesforce was one of the first major business application vendors to focus on the cloud. By pioneering the software-as-a-service model, the firm has a major lead on new rivals that are trying to enter the lucrative hosted CRM software market.It also provides a recurring revenue model with extremely sticky customers who have a lot invested in the firm's platform; because integration takes place deep in the Salesforce platform, switching costs are extremely high for customers. Financially, Salesforce is in excellent shape, with stair-step revenue growth and a balance sheet with a deep net cash position. That wherewithal should be critical as the company looks to acquisitions to add new business applications to its stable. With analyst sentiment on the upswing this week, we're betting on shares. Salesforce shows up on recent lists of 3 Top Cloud Stocks to Own in 2012 and 3 Tech Stocks With More Upside for 2012. Follow @stockpickr