Salesforce.com Targets Small Businesses and Workgroups

Salesforce.com is set to deliver, at the end of this week, a new version of its product aimed at small businesses or workgroups. Called Team Edition, the Web-based solution, includes the basic features of saleforce.com's mid-market product -- Professional Edition -- but provides an entry level CRM solution that enables sales and customer support teams to share real-time customer data and collaborate regardless of location. Aimed at companies or workgroups with one to five users, Team Edition includes shared accounts and contact management, sales force automation, customer service and support, along with reporting and analysis. Team Edition is going after users of traditional contact management products by claiming that a large percentage of those users are not sharing data on a regular basis and that CRM is too complex to be handled by contact management offerings. Team Edition, according to salesforce.com officials, provides CRM functionality at one-quarter the total cost of ownership of contact managers. Salesforce.com is covering all its bases by having offering for small businesses, the mid market and the enterprise. Denis Pombriant, an analyst with the Aberdeen Group, a Boston-based market researcher says this shows the flexibility of the ASP model. "The traditional license model would not work to have products across the spectrum," he says. For the customers, it means having an expensive solution for CRM regardless of whether or not the companies grow up and into Salesforce.com's other offerings. "Keep in mind that lots of small business will remain small and are not going to be the next Microsoft or Oracle. Still, they have a need for CRM. And there will be some companies that will start small and grow big, but either way, when they are small they have a comprehensive solution," Pombriant says. Team Edition is due out September 27 and is priced at $1,995 for up to five users for a one-year license. Users who purchase the product before the end of 2002 will be able to buy it at $995.
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