Google, Salesforce.com Discuss Alliance

Salesforce.com Incorporated is reportedly poised to team up with Internet search leader Google Incorporated. Although details are still being negotiated, the alliance would most likely involve blending Google mass-market applications like instant messaging, word processing and spreadsheets with Salesforce.com's business programs for managing customer relationships. Microsoft Corporation, the world's largest software maker, competes in all those fields, making it logical for Mountain View-based Google and San Francisco-based Salesforce.com to draw upon their respective strengths to thwart a common rival.

Buying Salesforce.com would be Google's largest acquisition to date (right after DoubleClick Incorporated), given the company's $5.5 billion market value. In a Monday interview, Salesforce.com Chairman Marc Benioff reiterated his long-standing admiration of Google but declined to comment on any possible talks. "The enemy of the enemy is my friend. That makes Google my best friend." A formal announcement between the two companies is expected in early June. During Salesforce.com's quarterly earnings conference call last week, Benioff told analysts the company his company already has been promoting Google's free alternatives to Microsoft's widely used suite of office applications.

Salesforce.com has overcome initial scepticism to prove companies are willing to lease some applications over the Internet instead of going through the more cumbersome - and often more expensive - process of installing the programs directly on computer hard drives. Founded near the height of the dot-com boom in 1999, Salesforce.com now boasts 32,300 customers and is expected to generate than $700 million in revenue this year. Benioff expects Salesforce.com's revenue to top $1 billion next year.

News source: Physorg

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