Dell/Salesforce.com Combine Cloud Apps With Integration Services For SMBs - InformationWeek

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10/9/2009
09:37 PM
Fredric Paul
Fredric Paul
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Dell/Salesforce.com Combine Cloud Apps With Integration Services For SMBs

The deal, to be announced Monday, calls for Dell to package its integration services with Salesforce.com's cloud-based CRM applications. "We're starting to build a bridge for SMB customers -- and especially Dell's SMB customers -- to get started with cloud computing," explained Marc Stein, director of Dell's SMB cloud strategy.

The deal, to be announced Monday, calls for Dell to package its integration services with Salesforce.com's cloud-based CRM applications. "We're starting to build a bridge for SMB customers -- and especially Dell's SMB customers -- to get started with cloud computing," explained Marc Stein, director of Dell's SMB cloud strategy.Stein cited research showing integration as the key pain point for small and midsize businesses, even above cost, and the new program is designed to make it easy to integrate Salesforce.com with almost 100 popular SMB applications, including QuickBooks, NetSuite, Sage, ADP, Microsoft Dynamics as well as Oracle and MySQL databases and even homegrown databases. The goal of Dell & Salesforce.com - CRM, Stein said, is to give customers a 360-degree view of their business, from customers, to employees, to billing, to manufacturing and fulfillment.

Unfortunately, integration services have not always been practical solutions for cash strapped small and midsize companies, Stein said, citing SMBs who described their custom-integration projects as "bait and switch" and "snake oil." Dell's model is to standardize these services via cloud delivery, Stein said.

Dell's integration services include

  • Dell Integration Appliance, an out of the box solution running on Dell PowerEdge servers with data cleansing and migration tools and a library of prebuilt integration templates.
  • Virtual Integration Appliance to deploy that functionality on any hardware.
  • Cloud Integration Service to integrate Salesforce CRM with other cloud apps.

According to Stein, this standards-based approach allows clearer pricing with no hidden fees and no long statements of work. For example, Salesforce.com's Enterprise Edition costs $125 per user per month, he said, and adding Dell's migration and integration services will be an additional $40 per use per month -- no matter where the data is coming from. That includes seamless updates, local backups, and backward migration as needed. (Dell's integration services are also available with Salesforce.com Professional, Group, and Contact Manager editions.)

From Salesforce.com's perspective, of course, the deal opens a big new channel of potential customers. The company now has a trusted partner "going out and generating leads and opening the market to cloud computing" for SMBs, said Bruce Francis, vice president of corporate strategy for Salesforce.com.

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