Enterprise Software

Google - Salesforce pact: Is this the making of a MS Office killer?

Google Salesforce.com dealSpeculations are rife that Salesforce.com, the leader in the SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) segment is teaming up with Google to offer a combined Web Applications solution for enterprises. The package could include Google's collaborative software such as instant messaging, e-mail, Google docs, spreadsheets and presentation service with Salesforce.com's business software to manage functions like human resources and data analysis.The partnership would be a direct strike at traditional packaged software vendors like Microsoft, whose Office suite of productivity applications has been a steady source of revenue. Advantages of delivering apps over the Web include:

  • Low pricing models
  • Zero effort upgrades and installations
  • Uniform application of patches

The partnership seems very complementary indeed. While Salesforce.com stands to gain the advantages of productivity apps bundled along with its AppsExchange platform, Google gets inroads into the heart of Enterprise Business, CRM (Customer Relationship Management).

Microsoft does seem ready for the challenge with its "software with a service" promotional theme - adding Web-based extensions to its hugely successful desktop programs like Word and Excel. Also, the Redmond giant has been preparing for battle with the launch of:
  • Office Live, a set of Internet-based services tailored toward small businesses
  • Sharepoint Server, a collaborative portal application released as part of Office
  • Dynamics, a suite of Business software

Major obstacles in grabbing market share from Microsoft's products include:

  • Credibility, stability and reliability of web based products
  • Disinclination of large enterprises to move away from existing investments in software suites
  • Cost of training staff on the new technologies

For more information, see these additional news sources:

If the partnership does materialize, will the Google/Salesforce.com duo be successful in wooing major enterprises away from traditional packaged software solutions? Join the discussion.

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