Salesforce Thinks Big

Vendor lands biggest customer to date and lines up tools for customization and analytics



Salesforce.com Inc. proved last week it can catch the big fish with its Web-based customer-relationship-management software, revealing that Merrill Lynch signed on for 5,000 subscriptions for its global private client division, making the brokerage firm Salesforce's largest customer. Accenture also said last week it has created a practice focusing on implementing Salesforce apps. The rollouts came as the vendor revealed new customization tools.

The company says next month it will deliver Customforce 2.0, which includes tools for adding data-analysis capabilities, spreadsheet-style mathematical formulas, business processes, and forecasting models. Combined with Salesforce's Multiforce on-demand operating system, its Sforce integration platform, and new versions of its Salesforce and Supportforce applications, the vendor is trying to convince companies it can be a platform for managing and sharing customer information, and not just a high-powered, hosted tool for contact management.

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