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Salesforce.com plays content management card

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Salesforce.com is turning to enterprise content management (ECM) with its latest partner purchase and software-as-service (SaaS) announcement.

Having upset the world of customer relationship management (CRM) with on demand, Salesforce.com has bought AppExchange partner Koral and promised ECM founded on popular social networking technologies. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Koral will form the basis of Salesforce.com's planned ApexContent and Salesforce.com Content Exchange services. Content Exchange will allow customers to easily upload, tag, rate, search and comment on content.

Prior to the acquisition, Koral was increasingly the toast of bloggers for its ease of use. Koral either searches content on the desktop or users can upload information via a Koral drop box on their PC. Tags can be automatically applied, potentially reducing the chance for miss-tagging or tags being forgotten, while search covers keywords, Boolean expressions and clusters.

ApexContent will provide online storage, management and search of office documents, email, multimedia files and web pages for users of Salesforce.com's AppSpace, Partner Relationship Management and Wealth Management Edition. Apex will feature virtual workgroups, library services for check-in and check-out of content, tagging and meta-data-based filing, full-text search, and document workflow.

Salesforce.com is appealing to developers using AJAX to build applications using Web 2.0 standards such as mash-ups, big buttons and pop-up windows. According to Salesforce.com, companies will no longer need to buy "bloated on-premise document management software to build applications that are based around documents and other content."

In other words, EMC Documentum and Microsoft SharePoint.

"In 1999, Salesforce.com revolutionized the SFA market by removing the cost and complexity associated with client/server software like Siebel. Now, Salesforce Content will liberate customers from complex content management software like EMC Documentum and Microsoft SharePoint by extending the on-demand model and Web 2.0 innovation throughout the enterprise," chief executive Marc Benioff said in a statement.

Importantly, pricing and availability have yet to be announced.®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

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