Salesforce platform now on Google Apps

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Salesforce.com, a provider of on-demand CRM services, has partnered with search giant Google to offer Salesforce for Google Apps, the companies announced today.

The platform integrates customer communications sent through Gmail, as well as documents, Google Talk conversations and shared calendars utilized by the sales team, with the Salesforce software-as-a-service (SaaS) CRM program, according to Google and Salesforce promotional videos. The videos stress the streamlining of busy schedules, as well as the ability to create and edit documents or presentations without having to use attachments or keep track of which version is newest.

Clarence So, CMO of Salesforce.com, said many of his company's more than 1 million users asked for integration between Salesforce and Google Apps. . “We're kind of just responding to our users' requests,” he said.

Salesforce and Google have been partners for some time, releasing Salesforce for Google AdWords last year. “This [development] is really about expanding our global strategic alliance,” So said. “We share a lot of common visions.”

Six other applications that work within this integration were developed by Google partners Astadia and Appirio, taking advantage of Google open application program interface (API) and utilizing Salesforce's Force.com platform. These applications are available for download on Salesforce's AppExchange site and Google's Solutions Marketplace, but are not free.

Astadia Quoting creates and saves customer-ready quotes within Salesforce, offering an option to select Google Docs for output for public or private publishing of quotes to the Web, while its Report Collaboration gives Salesforce users the ability to export any report to Google Spreadsheets for further analysis, and to share the reports with both Salesforce and non-Salesforce users.

Appirio's four contributions include Appirio Search for Google Docs, allowing users to find and add any Google Document to any Salesforce; Appirio Sync for Google Calendar, which allows syncing of Salesforce and Google Calendars; Appirio Campaign Timeline for Google Calendar, providing the ability to publish Salesforce campaign data to a Google Calendar; and Appirio CRM Dashboard for Google Start Page, which puts Salesforce data directly to onto a Google Start Page, Google Doc or Google Site.

So said that at this time, Astadia and Appirio are the only third parties that are working to develop additional applications. However, “there's a good amount of interest in the partner community,” he continued.

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