Cloud-y Announcements Surround Salesforce.com

SAN FRANCISCO — In addition to the wave of announcements from vendor Salesforce.com during its annual user and developer conference, Dreamforce, the cloud company's partner ecosystem shouted a handful of announcements from the exposition floor here this week.

The Force.com partner ecosystem is a vital part of Salesforce.com's competitive advantage, according to Forrester Research analyst Ray Wang. In fact, Wang says that, a few years down the road, he likely won't be able to evaluate a "Forrester Wave" on specific vendors without considering and reviewing the vendor's partnerships and how well those partnerships integrate with and complement a vendor's core technologies.

In a recent Forrester report, "How To Select A Software Partner," Wang writes, "Amid a backdrop of vendor consolidation, open standards, dynamic apps, and new deployment options, no one software vendor can deliver innovative solutions that meet every industry vertical, business process, market segment, and geographical requirement." He continues, "Consequently, major software vendors...are encouraging their partners to innovate on their platforms, fill existing gaps, and ultimately help drive long-term customer loyalty."

What follows is a limited selection of the many, many announcements for the Force.com ecosystem making a splash during the week's conference:

  • BigMachines, which offers product configurator, quoting, and proposal software, unveiled a new sales-quoting application for Salesforce.com's AppExchange. The application will be native on the Force.com platform and will add quoting to a Salesforce.com user's CRM data. The new tool allows for the building of templates for use in sales documents, proposals, quotes, and contracts.
  • Bluewolf, the software-as-a-service (SaaS) and cloud-computing consultancy, announced a foray with Salesforce.com Ideas -- Salesforce.com's community-building solution, which was recently upgraded in the Winter '09 release. Bluewolf's product, known as bw.Connect, closes the loop with Salesforce Ideas forums and CRM systems. For instance, when a customer leaves a comment on an Ideas site, bw.Connect ties that comment back to the appropriate Salesforce CRM record. It also provides an "email to idea" feature which allows users to submit ideas via email rather than having to directly log into the Ideas site.
  • Demandbase, the on-demand provider of B2B lead generation and business contact information, released a new, free widget called Demandbase Stream. The tool works as a ticker and alerts users when a specific business is visiting their corporate Web site. Using Internet Protocol addresses, the tool tracks down contact information for the site visitor and appropriate means for a follow-up conversation. The information is pulled from sites such as Hoover's, Jigsaw, and ZoomInfo -- the user can then choose to "get contacts" and purchase the customer data from Demandbase Central, the company's flagship product. Those contacts will then be added to Salesforce.com. Chris Golec, chief executive officer for Demandbase, says that the new offering targets the many overlooked leads that are often right under a company's nose. An organization spends a ton of money getting prospects to go to its site, he says, but once visitors are there, there isn't a lot to do but wait for the prospect to contact the organization. "The Demandbase Stream picks up where search leaves off," Golec says, characterizing the new software as a proactive mechanism to convert Web traffic into leads.
  • ExactTarget, the provider of on-demand email and marketing automation, released a simplified marketing automation solution for Salesforce CRM. The new capabilities allow users to automate lead nurturing with an easy and intuitive drag-and-drop interface. Salesforce.com and ExactTarget customers can create Web pages and lead-capture forms and pull data from multiple sources for follow-up activities.
  • Glovia, a subsidiary of Fujitsu, announced its plans to move enterprise resource planning to the cloud. Wang called the announcement one of the biggest coming out of Dreamforce this week. "Having end-to-end order management and being able to build on that is definitely what people are looking for," he says, adding that non-CRM providers seem to be realizing and taking advantage of the benefits of platforms. In building on platforms such as Force.com, companies such as Glovia play a part in completing the whole life cycle -- managing customers from prospect to closed deal. Glovia's order management service is priced at a subscription of $65 per user per month.
  • InsideSales introduced integration of its Lead Management Suite into the Force.com platform. The telephony-based lead management company provides tools such as PowerDialer, JabberDog, and ResponsePop that help reduce inefficiency in the telephone sales market.
  • For a more in-depth look at the announcements made by and between Jigsaw, SkyData Systems, and Marketo, see another of today's stories, "Jigsaw and SkyData Piece Together Mobile Contact Data."

News relevant to the customer relationship management industry is posted several times a day on destinationCRM.com, in addition to the news section Insight that appears every month in the pages of CRM magazine. You may leave a public comment regarding this article by clicking on "Comments" at the top; to contact the editors, please email editor@destinationCRM.com.

CRM Covers
for qualified subscribers
Subscribe Now Current Issue Past Issues

Related Articles

Salesforce.com Makes Jigsaw a $142 Million Piece of the Puzzle

In a definitive agreement, the software-as-a-service pioneer will absorb the provider of crowdsourced business data.

Dreamforce: Releases Galore

Dreamforce '09: A roundup of product releases and enhancements that came out of the so-called "Cloud Event of the Year."

Gen. Colin Powell Is Part of the Force

Dreamforce: In a moving speech to a global audience, Colin Powell reinvigorates the need for the purpose-driven individual.

Salesforce.com Brings Social to the Enterprise

Dreamforce '09: The software-as-a-service pioneer unveils what it calls its fourth cloud -- the Collaboration Cloud -- as well as a product called Chatter.

Climbing to New Heights of Lead Generation

Looking to expand its library of ideas, CrownPeak, a provider of Web content management software, turns to Demandbase to target more customers at less expense.

Salesforce.com's Second Stab at Service

The company releases Service Cloud 2 with innovation around Knowledge, Answers, and Twitter.

Demandbase Provides More Tools to Capture Ripe Leads

The provider of lead-generation solutions unveils Demandbase Professional 2.0 to help B2Bs target the right people at the right time.

ExactTarget Sends Social Email -- and Receives $70 Million in Venture Capital

The email marketing vendor brings social capabilities to the inbox, and has reasons of its own to celebrate.

Jigsaw Cleans Your Cloud

The online business directory's new Data Fusion product targets issues of data quality.

Salesforce.com Frees Up Mobility

Cloudforce London '09: The popular on-demand provider introduces a free version of its mobile CRM access package -- after all, one executive says, "cloud applications make mobility possible."

Spring Brings Service Tweets from Salesforce.com

Cloudforce Tour: Customer service in the cloud gets Twitter integration.

Demandbase Builds Professional Demand

A provider of software for lead generation and Web analytics releases a new product to further segment and target prospects.

Salesforce.com Expands the Cloud to Sales

The Spring '09 release of the popular on-demand CRM platform includes new social functions for salespeople.

Salesforce.com Adds Service to the Cloud

The software-as-a-service CRM vendor's new Service Cloud solidifies crowdsourced customer support.

Fonality Gift-Wraps CRM Integration for SMBs

The vendor's new PBXtra Unified Agent solution fulfills the promise of unified communications, according to one analyst.

Jigsaw and SkyData Piece Together Mobile Contact Data

Dreamforce '08: The software-as-a-service companies partner up to deliver a contact database to the traveling business user.

Salesforce.com Doubles Down on CRM

Dreamforce '08: The SaaS vendor ups research funds for CRM, declaring this a critical time to listen to and invest in customers and employees.

Salesforce.com and Amazon.com: Superpowers Team Up in the Cloud

Dreamforce '08: Salesforce.com cofounder, Chairman, and CEO Marc Benioff announces the cloud company's foray into Web sites and its integration with Facebook and Amazon Web Services platforms.

Demandbase Helps Harvest Leads, One by One

The software-as-a-service demand generation specialist gets on the platform bandwagon, and releases a free tracking widget as well.

Can Email Marketers Learn 2 <3 SMS?

As email service providers extend their expertise to SMS and text messaging, consumers may have to be induced to respond.

Salesforce.com Comes to Town

Just a quarter of the way through the year, the company's 'SaaS' tank is full and ready to go.

Salesforce.com Makes a Vertical Splash

Salesforce Wealth Management Edition, slated to be available in Q3, caters to the financial advisor crowd; the on-demand vendor nabs Merrill Lynch, its biggest customer, with 25,000 seats.

Salesforce.com Brings Utility Computing to On-Demand -- But Not to CRM

The Force.com platform becomes the first software-as-a-service offering to allow pay-per-login pricing, but the company's CRM applications aren't included.

Market Focus: Professional Services -- Consultants Adapt to Changing CRM Landscape

On-demand CRM remains an ongoing challenge, but social networking promises to be the real wild card.

Salesforce.com Connects Me to You

The on-demand vendor celebrates a new social networking feature -- and its millionth subscriber.

Marketing Campaigns Made Easier

If so, then ExactTarget is looking for you. The email marketing software vendor has just released ProConnect targeted at advertising and public relations agencies to round out its family of Connect products. The new release allows these agencies to build their marketing, consulting and creative design services around targeted emails, company executives say.

Things I Learned at Dreamforce '07

A few more takeaways from the fall's big event.

Salesforce.com's On-Demand Dream

Dreamforce '05: Marc Benioff details visions of 'the eBay of enterprise applications' with Appforce.

Dreamforce '07: Highlights from the Salesforce.com Scene

Dreamforce '07: A summary of what's on display from Salesforce.com partners at the company's annual convention.

Salesforce.com's Soapbox Is the Platform

Dreamforce '07: AppExchange says hello to its younger, bigger sister: Force.com, touted as "platform-as-a-service"; the family also welcomes a cousin: Visualforce, hailed as "user-interface-as-a-service."

Buyer's Guide Companies Mentioned