Google and Salesforce.com in cloud computing deal


14 Apr 2008

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The forecasts are for cloudy computing as internet powerhouse Google has struck a deal to allow Salesforce.com to use its Google Apps service as a platform for software as a service (SaaS) delivery.

Robin Daniels, senior manager in charge of product marketing at Salesforce.com, told siliconrepublic.com that the deal will effectively mean teams of business executives can collaborate and share in the creation of mission critical documents, without having to download or install hardware or software.

“There is a major push for cloud computing applications as executives increasingly opt to use the internet for applications and services.

“It also means the traditional days of working between businesspeople – where they had to keep multiple versions of document files – are numbered. Five people could work on building a presentation using Google Apps using the same version and it will stay on the internet. All they need is a browser.”

Daniels said Salesforce.com and Google have been working on projects together since 2003 and share the same views on how the cloud computing model should grow.

“We call it the end of software. The old model of charging hefty fees and not giving users what they want is over. Businesspeople want a model where they just pay for what they want or they get it for free.”

Under the new alliance, Google’s Apps suite of productivity applications and the Salesforce.com customer relationship management (CRM) applications can be accessed for free or for a subscription.

The technologies will allow executives to communicate and collaborate without having to invest in additional software or hardware.

“Since the launch of Google Apps a year ago, we have been following a trail blazed by Salesforce.com and delivering cloud computing to business of all sizes,” said Dave Girouard, Google vice-president and general manager of enterprise.

“In addition to providing services to hundreds of thousands of customers, we have witnessed firsthand the benefits of the cloud: Salesforce.com was one of the first Google Apps customer and Salesforce has been an invaluable tool in growing Google’s business,” Girouard added.

Daniels told siliconrepublic.com that the SaaS model it has been pioneering for eight years has steadily being gaining momentum and that more than one million users access its technology.

“Traditional software vendors are worried. The reality is that SaaS has ushered in a period of collaboration and participation and this is extending to the way we do business.”

He cited Japanese bank Japan Post as an example of an organisation which has acquired 60,000 licences to deploy Salesforce.com to build custom applications.

“The web model means quicker development of new software. We have a partner called Coda which created financial ERP software on Force.com in two years less time than if they did using .Net or java. They don’t have to worry about security or administration, they just do it,” Daniels said.

By John Kennedy