Salesforce.com Adds Yahoo! to Lofty Client List

In what is arguably its most important deal inked next to partnering with
IBM Corp. in June, Salesforce.com signed up as Yahoo! Inc.’s sole provider
of sales force automation services for the giant portal’s Small Business
Center.


OutCast Communications public relations representative Rachel Chaplin
confirmed the deal Wednesday on behalf of Salesforce.com. More specific
terms of the deal, which will be officially announced next week, were not
made public.


With the deal, first reported by TechWeb, the e-business application
service provider scored a coup in its aggressive competition with rivals
Oracle Corp. and Siebel Systems Inc.


John Dillion, who has publicly claimed that the “days of traditional
enterprise software are numbered” issued a statement about the deal with
Yahoo!.


“The Internet represents the future for the millions of companies out there
in need of customer relationship management services like sales force
automation,” said John Dillon, president and chief executive officer of
salesforce.com. “We’re
thrilled to be able to provide our powerful, scalable and reliable sales
force automation service to Yahoo visitors.”


In June, Salesforce.com landed a similar deal with Big Blue whereupon the
giant firm agreed to offer Salesforce.com’s services available to its
customers, who for $50 per month would then be able to move their business
processes online while cutting time and expenses required to buy, install
and maintain traditional small-business solutions.


That deal was praised by one IDC analyst, Raymond Boggs, vice president of
small business research.


“IBM’s approach of providing a very specific solution to a very specific
problem is exactly the way small firms like to start with unfamiliar
technology,” Boggs said in June. “The collaboration between IBM and
Salesforce.com will help pave the way for other Internet-based services that
will allow small firms to work more efficiently and compete more
effectively.”


Just how fast is Salesforce.com’s business snowballing? A count done by the
company two weeks ago revealed that more than 20,000 organizations have
registered for the same service picked up by IBM and Yahoo! — the online
sales force automation service. That number has doubled since lat the
company’s last count in June when it signed on Big Blue.


“With more than 20,000 registered companies, Salesforce.com has removed any
doubt about the value of delivering an enterprise application as an online
service,” said Denis Pombriant, senior analyst, customer relationship
management
at Aberdeen Group.


“They are an industry leader with an impressive roster of customers and
partners, and a service that clearly resonates with companies both large and
small.”


Aberdeen Group also said in October that the customer relationship
management market, led by such luminaries as Oracle and Siebel Systems, will
exceed $24 billion by 2003 and will remain a high-growth IT market.

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