Feeds

Salesforce pitches to become the 'iTunes' of enterprise apps

Sharing, ripping, charging for CRM

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Tapping into the rhetoric around Web 2.0, hosted CRM provider Salesforce.com has billed its latest online service as the "iTunes of enterprise applications."

Chairman and chief executive Marc Benioff has launched AppExchange, a hosted service for ISVs creating, posting and sharing business applications for download by end-users.

AppExchange, part of Salesforce.com's Winter 06 CRM release, also "mashes up" - or integrates - customers' account information like sales data with third-party services - such as mapping from Google Maps - through the open Salseforce.com API.

At a launch event in San Francisco on Tuesday, Salesforce.com demonstrated the Winter 06 interface featuring a Google Maps tab. When the tab was clicked, it showed the familiar Google map only marker bubbles contained information about sales teams. Sales teams were then re-assigned with business rules set through the Salesforce.com system.

Benioff said Salesforce.com is now like the iPod and iTunes store in that it allows users to receive content from a directory while allowing ISVs to post content and be compensated for their work. AppExchange contains 162 applications including Skype's free VoIP internet calling service and Business Objects' Crystal Reports for business intelligence.

Benioff separately told The Register that Salesforce.com hoped to make money from AppExchange by increasing its subscriber base, rather than charging ISVs for posting applications or taking a percentage of the money developers make using the service.

AppExchange and the Winter 06 release creates the "business web", using technologies like browsers, search, marketplaces and RSS pioneered in the "consumer web."

Benioff asked rhetorically: "Why can't there be an eBay of enterprise applications and an iTunes music store of enterprise applications, where we can write to the services we need to run our business? If it's so easy for us to get our music and news, how do we do that for our business as well?"

Salesforce.com has introduced two new datacenters worth $50m with mirroring planned next month to support the service. Their introduction follows last year's outage in the Salesforce.com service that Benioff said was due to a bug the company hadn’t “seen before.”

Benioff believes AppExchange helps maintain Salesforce.com's lead over CRM rivals Oracle and SAP and aspiring player Microsoft. All three have spoken of separately providing their own hosted CRM services and integrating their underling software architectures.

In a pointed stab at the trio, Benioff said: "A lot of companies are not here. They are still back talking about stacks of applications, delivering it on old technology and delivering stacks on old CDs. The technology is so big you have to ship it on a ton of DVDs. You are not able to create all this synthesis or leverage," Benioff said.

He added Oracle, SAP and Microsoft are unlikely to move to hosted services because it threatens their existing business model, based on software maintenance revenue streams.

He furthermore sought to prove AppExchange and Salesforce.com are the kind of services that traditional, large, enterprise-class customers currently using client/server software from Oracle and SAP can – and do – use. Salesforce.com has been forced in recent years to prove its is suited to the needs of large users and not just small and medium sizes businesses (SMBs).

Accordinng to Benioff, Salesforce.com has 6,700 subscribers at payroll specialist ADP, 4,500 at Cisco Systems, 3,900 at Symantec and 3,100 at Sprint/Nextel. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.