Salesforce.com will be acquired in 2007. We believe the growing importance of online delivery of software and business services will make Salesforce.com (and particularly its AppExchange hub) a very tempting target to both large players (like IBM, SAP, Oracle, Microsoft) still struggling to scale down and move online, and consumer-heavy players (like Google, Yahoo, AOL) trying to ‘scale up’ to the business market as a way to further monetize their online presence.”
Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff (photo, right) wasn’t kidding when he said in May of 2007, “We’re the Google of business.” The customer-relationship software pioneer this morning announced an alliance with Google (GOOG) that will see it integrating Google’s online services into the Salesforce.com (CRM) platform.
Christened Salesforce for Google Apps, the offering embeds Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Talk and Google Docs directly into Salesforce.com’s core sales force automation, marketing and customer-service applications.
The partnership is quite an endorsement of business-workspace applications delivered from the cloud. It’s also an aggressive move against Microsoft’s (MSFT) Dynamics Live CRM, Redmond’s customer relationship management software, which is integrated with its Office suite.
Together Google and Salesforce.com are clearly seeking to challenge Microsoft’s multibillion-dollar Office franchise. As Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com, told the New York Times, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend, so that makes Google my best friend.” And perhaps even a potential acquirer.