Salesforce Pays $31.5 Million for Product Support Company (CRM), which is mainly known for software that helps sales executives track and manage customer prospects, today said it paid $31.5 million in cash for Instranet, a 10-year-old company based in Chicago that makes software to improve product support. Salesforce plans to move Instranet’s software, which is usually installed on customers’ computers, onto its hosted computer facilities. Instranet already has some impressive customers using its software, a lot of it in call center operations, including Comcast (CMCSA). The company’s software is used by 350,000 call center agents around the world. When I asked the company if they will be able to sell product support software as distinct from customer relationship management tools, they noted that Salesforce has already been selling form of support software for four years.

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