SAN FRANCISCO – On its website, Salesforce.com sells touts reseller Camping World as a leading business software customer, highlighting the use of products to help sellers move product. A Camping World Executive is even quoted Callforce's software "magic."
But behind the scenes in recent weeks, Silicon Valley tech giant has delivered another message to gun-selling dealers such as Camping World: Stop selling military style rifles, or quit using our software.
Pressed Salesforce Exercises on These Dealers – Prevents them from Using Technology to Promote Products, Manage Customer Service, and Fulfill Orders – Put Them in a Difficult Position. For example, Camping World spends more than $ 1 million a year on Salesforce's e-commerce software, according to an analyst estimate. Switching to another provider can now cost twice as much as migrating data, reconfiguring systems, and retraining employees.
The change in Salesforce's acceptable utility policy shows how a technology giant, which is mostly unknown to the public, is trying to influence which dealers in America sell and change the dynamics of a charged social problem. While Salesforce is barely a household name, it's a dominant software and service provider that helps businesses manage their customers. With about 40,000 employees and a market value of nearly $ 120 billion, it has become a behemoth in San Francisco. The marked skyscraper also towers over the city as the tallest building and a large landmark.
But its decision to force its position on weapons at dealers, had not been good with some industrialists. These rules are corporate policy diligence signaling and discriminate gun owners whose rights are protected by the Second Amendment, said Mark Oliva, director of the public shooting of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a firearms trading group.
"There is a very chilling effect when a company as big as Salesforce prepares a policy like this," Oliva said. "A policy like this is not surprising from a company based in that part of the country."
Salesforces new policy binds customers who sell a range of firearms – including automatic and semi-automatic – from using e-commerce technology, also preventing customers from selling any firearm parts, such as "magazines that can accept more than 10 rounds" and "multi-burst trigger" units change. "
The change affects" a small number of existing customers when their current contracts expire, "as well as all new customers," said Salesforce spokeswoman Gina Sheibley, refusing to mention specific customers, but Camping Worlds Gander Outdoor unit sells a number of semi-automatic firearms and high capacity magazines Camping World leaders did not respond to several requests for comment.
Guns sales have become a political flashpoint for the Bigger after shooting as one this month in Colorado. This year, Dick's Sports Goods said it would pull weapons and ammunition from the shelves to 125 of its 720 stores, a move that the company recognized in March's filing of securities led to "an accelerated decline" in the hunt. Walmart completed the sale of military-style weapons in 2015, and last year it increased the minimum age for the purchase of firearms and ammunition from 18 to 21.
Even companies that have no gun-related business take care of. Levi Strauss & Co. promised more than $ 1 million in September to support non-profit organizations and youth activists working to end weapons. Two months later, Toms Shoes promised $ 5 million to similar organizations.
When technology giants enter the broader debate, the consequences are magnified by the critical services they provide behind the scenes of customers. Consumers often do not understand that they interact with other companies when they place an item in the shopping cart or speak to a customer service representative. But Salesforce and other big tech companies have significant influence because of their dependence on their software.
This type of activism has also led to criticism of technical firms exceeding their limits. Facebook, Google and Twitter have all faced increased scrutiny of censorship of what they consider hat spreading or dangerous individuals. Web security provider Cloudflare faced criticism in 2017 that it denied freedom rights after pulling its protection from a neo-Nazi website involved in organizing the white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville.
Salesforce's new policy could prove controversial in conservative states, said Stifel Nicolaus analyst Tom Roderick, who gave the estimates of Camping World's spending on the company's e-commerce software. "Is this a hot button issue in states where people like their rifles?" Roderick said.
It's not Salesforce's first social activism experience. The company also offers technology that helps the power of the US Customs and Border Protection Agency's border activities and agency recruitment, which made increasing scrutiny as the agency implemented Trump's administration policies that included separating families at the borders between the United States and Mexico. Last summer, about 650 employees in Salesforce reported a letter to CEO Marc Benioff who raised concerns about the agency's use of its products, first reported by Bloomberg News.
The company hired a manager in December to run its new office for ethical and human use to guide the development and sale of its products. It is unclear whether the new leader helped develop firearms policy.
Benioff has been among the most incredible CEOs on social and political issues, including a tweet last year one day after mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla. left 17 people dead.
"AR-15 is the most popular gun in America. Prohibited it," he wrote.
One month later, he promised $ 1 million to March for Our Lives, a group that pushed for weapons control laws.
At the World Economic Forum in 2018 in Davos, Switzerland, Benioff proposed social media companies such as Facebook should be regulated as Big Tobacco because of their similar addictive nature.
He also published a fight against a controversial Indiana law, the Religious Freedom Recovery Act, in 2015, claiming it could lead to discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Salesforce, which had 1,400 employees in Indianapolis at the time, threatened to "dramatically reduce" the company's investment in the state before the lawyer changed the law.
Benioff refused to comment on the company's new gun sales policy. 19659025] Salesforce is not the only provider of e-commerce software to handle gun sales. Shopify, which operates over 800,000 online stores, also changed its acceptable use policy last year to prevent customers from using the technology to sell weapons such as automatic and semi-automatic firearms.