Ford partners with Salesforce to expand software business

Ford Motor Co. (F.N) announced Tuesday that it will collaborate with enterprise software provider Inc. to establish a new subscription software service geared at small companies (CRM.N).

The software service, dubbed VIIZR, will be available starting next year through Ford Pro, the automaker’s commercial vehicle and services division. The system, which will be based on Salesforce technology, will digitize documentation for contractors, repair specialists, and other tradespeople and will cost $39 per month per user, according to Ford.

Although VIIZR clients are not required to drive Ford vehicles, the target small-business sector overlaps with one of Ford’s most important markets for trucks and commercial vans. Ford, like its competitors, is attempting to develop sources of recurring subscription revenue to augment revenue from vehicle sales, which can be affected by economic downturns or disruptions such as current semiconductor shortages.

Salesforce and other software-as-a-service firms have higher market prices than traditional manufacturers. Salesforce has a market capitalization of over $253 billion, whereas Ford has a market capitalization of $76 billion.

Ford has announced that it will provide free trial use of the VIIZR system to businesses prior to its availability in the first half of 2022.