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Some analysts see the deal as a way for the two Internet firms to compete better with Microsoft (NasdaqGS:MSFT - News), which has a strong presence in the traditional market for small business software.
The two partners unveiled their new service -- known as Salesforce Group Edition featuring Google AdWords -- on Tuesday. Under the pact, the companies will bundle Google's popular AdWords program with Saleforce's suite of online applications to manage sales and marketing.
In this way, the millions of small businesses potentially can generate new sales leads by paying to link their ads with Google's search keywords. Those leads will then automatically flow into users' Salesforce setups to manage sales prospects.
Some analysts say such future synergies might involve Salesforce fusing more of Google's desktop applications for e-mail, word processing and spreadsheets into a broad menu of business applications that are available on Saleforce's AppExchange platform.
Ah, the deep push has started. The Gorg continues its pace while assimilating almost everything in its path.
AppExchange is a software marketplace that lets outside developers sell and customize new business applications. Developers can "mash up," or mix and match, various software programs.
Can you imagine? A world without Microsoft? Applications that are totally customized to meet each and every small, medium and large business customer? I think I'm ready for the change. Is the rest of the world? :)
Applications that are totally customized to meet each and every small, medium and large business customer?
Have you ever tried to use SalesForce.com? It's one of those applicatons that everyone "needs" but no one really knows how to use.
Half the time I find that it makes our companies less productive.
I should have a note to potential investees on our website: "That's not the way SalesForce works" is not an acceptable answer to a question about a business process.
[edited by: bakedjake at 3:21 pm (utc) on June 6, 2007]
SalesForce SFA's market is to the small-medium size business that needs a decent CRM system and wants to do absolutely no customization whatsoever.
Notice I didn't say you couldn't customize SalesForce, because you can, but that's not what most people do with it.
CRM is not a "piece of software" that you buy - it's an idea for automating the sales and customer contact process. The solution that you implement by definition will not be effective if it is off the shelf; it needs to exactly match how your business works.
I understand what Google is trying to do here, but it won't work in the way they claim it does (it will get them more customers, though). It does sound appealing to your typical VAR exective though who is migrating from ACT/Goldmine and wants another reason to spend a good amount of money per month on an online-based solution.
A world without Microsoft?
By the way, the killer app is CRM 100% completely integrated with Outlook.
Microsoft knows this. They're not stupid. They also know that SalesForce can never be that.
Did you have Microsoft Dynamics in mind?
I've tried it too. It's on the opposite end of the spectrum from SalesForce - out of the box it is completely and utterly useless, because it needs to be customized to even get started.
But it's likely a more effective solution than SalesForce, once customized.
I haven't found the end-all-be-all solution for CRM yet. This month's flavor is NetSuite [netsuite.com], which integrates accounting with the CRM process. It's expensive, requires a bit of customization, but does look promising for what we want to do with it. But again, in this case, the reason I think NetSuite will work is because this particular installation isn't very email dependent. If they were, NetSuite may not be the best solution.
NetSuite has integrated e-commerce (as in a roll-and-publish solution), but no webmaster in their right mind would ever use it, which means hooking into their (yet another) API to get the website to do what you want it to do.
e-commerce has certainly become more interesting in the last 10 years, but it's a lot more to worry about now. ;-)
Most small and medium business don't want customization, and wouldn't know what to specify if they could. A robust, easy to use, and somewhat flexible solution that works out of the box (even when there is no box!) is what they need.