Google, to announce deal next week

Google and are set to announce a partnership on Tuesday, 5 June.


Google and are set to announce a partnership on Tuesday, 5 June. has scheduled an online news conference that day at which Lindsey Armstrong, co-president of the company's operations in the Europe, Middle East, Africa region, will make a "strategic announcement".

Sources close to the company said it will concern relations with Google.

In the US, has said that it will make an announcement with "a leading Internet company based in the Bay Area" first thing on Tuesday. A US spokesman reached on Thursday declined to comment on the identity of the Internet company.

The Wall Street Journal reported on 21 May that Google and were holding talks over a possible alliance that could see the two companies bundle Web-based applications. Both vendors declined to comment on the report.

Google and have each been rapidly expanding the online services they offer.

Google has dramatically widened its scope from being a leading Internet search engine to encompass an ever-increasing range of other online services including desktop applications.

Eight-year-old has its roots as a hosted provider of CRM (customer relationship management), but has its sights set on becoming a platforms vendor using its AppExchange Web site, which it is in the process of fully commercialising as an online software marketplace.

Teaming up could involve integrating Google's Apps suite with's hosted CRM. The two companies have previously worked together around Google's Search Appliance and AdWords.

"We're a catalyst for change," Marc Benioff, CEO, told financial analysts earlier this month. "Google,, eBay and Yahoo inspire us. We want to duplicate what they do in the consumer world."

He added that was effectively "building an on-demand operating system." Benioff positioned as still very much focused on growth. "We're just trying to get to a billion dollars in on-demand [software] before anyone else does," he said. "We're willing to do anything."

At the same time, Microsoft, a prime competitor of Google in the search and Internet advertising arenas, is marshalling its own set of Windows Live online services, including a hosted version of its Dynamics CRM software.

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