Salesforce.com Previews Summer '05
Just one day after celebrating its sixth year anniversary Salesforce.com, in front of industry watchers that included analysts and its customers at The Pierre New York today, gave attendees a glimpse of its Summer '05 edition, slated for a June 2005 release.
The solution's most notable feature, coined its Multiforce application environment, allows end users to run multiple on-demand applications simultaneously, using the same data model, security system, and user interface for any on-demand application built by customers or partners for its sforce platform and with Customforce, its point-and-click customization tool. The new edition, which company Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff refers to as a major step in the next stage of the on-demand revolution, comes just four months after Salesforce.com announced its Customforce solution at its November user and developer conference. "People don't want to wait three years in between a release," he said, referring to Microsoft's delay of its CRM solution. With Multiforce, he said, "we're moving from a service to a multiapplication environment."
According to Martin Schneider, The 451 Group's enterprise software analyst, the solution responds to those not convinced of the hype surrounding hosted applications. "Most people say it's not really CRM it's just sales force automation, and then when they had Supportforce they said they have support, but it's a completely different thing--it's two things you've got to tap between them, there's really no integration--and this is how they're answering that," he says. "Since you're using that same data model the record stays the same and all of the information stays consistent, and that can be a really effective message for them as they try to go to different verticals [and] work out OEM agreements with different types of technology providers."
During the presentation, which featured customers and partners including Five9, Hawaiian Airlines, and Magma Design Automation on hand to demonstrate how they are using and customizing Salesforce.com solutions, the company made a second announcement in conjunction with Thomson Financial declaring the launch of the Thomson ONE CRM Module. The solution, which offers full contact, account, and document management capabilities integrated into a workflow application, provides CRM reporting and analytics through customizable dashboards. "This is about changing solutions [for] the financial services industry," said Sharon Rowlands, president and COO of Thomson Financial.
Still, Schneider says that the release gives Salesforce.com a platform to extend into several directions: "This is just the beginning of that. It will be interesting to see...what they really do with it and who takes it and runs with it."
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