Salesforce.com Integrates With QuickBooks and Great Plains
Expanding beyond its front-end CRM solutions, Salesforce.com today introduced its latest accounting integration package.
Using prebuilt accounting adapters Salesforce.com customers have the option to integrate with Intuit QuickBooks or Microsoft Business Solutions-Great Plains accounting software. It marks the first time a prebuilt Great Plains adapter is available for any CRM application, Salesforce.com stated in a release.
The integration package takes advantage of the quick installation benefits associated with hosted solutions, as it does not require any server-level integration.
However, Karen Smith, research director covering the mid-market at Aberdeen Group, says that linking to a separate accounting database goes against CRM's purpose, which is to provide one unified source offering a single view of the customer. Having two separate databases presents a problem, especially when there are discrepancies in the data, such as old or inaccurate data.
Smith takes aim at Salesforce.com by pointing out the competitive threat that Microsoft represents: Essentially, what makes Salesforce.com better at integrating with Microsoft's own solution? First-mover advantage, Salesforce.com says.
While Salesforce.com executives could not be reached by press time, in a prepared statement chairman and CEO Marc Benioff said, "Salesforce.com's online platform and open XML-based API easily enabled the rapid development and deployment of adapters to both the QuickBooks and GreatPlains applications, with the result that we can offer a Great Plains connector months before Microsoft itself brings one to market."
The latest offering comes shortly after Salesforce.com announced its first profitable month in February. The CRM hosting company already has 6,500 customers and 90,000 users in 110 countries, including large enterprises such as AOL, Le Meridien and Quantum.
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