Salesforce.com brings social media to hosted CRM

Salesforce.com has joined other enterprise software suppliers in trying to use social networking in the business space.

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Salesforce.com has joined other enterprise software suppliers in trying to use social networking in the business space.

AppSpace is a hosted portal which forms part of the Spring 07 release of the Salesforce hosted CRM (customer relationship management) software.

It will provide a secure space for collaboration for a company's staff and its external partners. In particular, Salesforce.com is hoping that customers will choose to share applications they've acquired from its AppExchange Web site.

The hosted CRM vendor set up AppExchange in January 2006 as a place to showcase its own and third-party applications and is working to fully commercialise the site as a complete online software marketplace by the end of this year.

AppSpace will include space for wikis and blogs, " Salesforce.com said.

Salesforce.com's move with AppSpace follows Microsoft's announcement last week at its Convergence show of its take on MySpace. The software giant is creating a series of online communities for users of its Dynamics ERP (enterprise resource planning) and CRM applications.

It is starting with a site for finance professionals to exchange best practices. So far, Microsoft hasn't positioned the communities as a place to share applications.

Microsoft, which is already offering Dynamics CRM, is set to more fully enter the on-demand market in the third quarter of this year with the release of CRM Live, a Microsoft software-as-a-service offering.

The CRM Live service will initially only be available in North America and pricing has yet to be released.

Salesforce.com will make AppSpace available in a limited customer release in April, priced from US$995 (£500) per organisation per month.

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