Hosted CRM service provider Salesforce.com took another step forward last week in its strategy to build an online ecosystem of suppliers that offer software as a service.
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At its annual Dream-force user conference, the company unveiled Customforce.com, an application development toolkit for building online services for the Sforce platform.
“If you want to build a solution to connect Salesforce.com to an ISV’s application or to a custom application, you would use Customforce.com,” said Peter Gassner, senior vice-president and general manager at Sforce.
The company also introduced the On-Demand Marketplace, a catalogue of hosted services from 60 approved suppliers.
All of the suppliers on the company’s approved list use the Salesforce.com Sforce set of APIs for integration with their solutions.
Although most industry analysts say Salesforce.com is a market leader for hosted services, Andreas Bitterer, vice-president, Technology Research Services at Meta Group, cautioned that Salesforce.com still lacks the depth of CRM features available from enterprise players such as Siebel Systems.
He said that whereas other suppliers are creating industry-specific vertical CRM solutions, Salesforce.com is headed in the opposite direction.
Ephraim Schwartz writes for Infoworld