Salesforce launches new social media software to fend off competition
By Gerry Shih
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Salesforce.com Inc unveiled on Wednesday a new software suite that reflects the company's aggressive push into fields like marketing and human resources as it battles heightened competition from rivals.
CEO and founder Marc Benioff announced the new products at the company's Dreamforce conference in San Francisco, promising to bring about a "social revolution" to how large companies use software to manage their business.
One of Salesforce's new offerings, dubbed Marketing Cloud, helps businesses keep track of Facebook and Twitter chatter about their brand, and also manages social media posts and calculates the reach of that content.
Marketing Cloud - a product of Salesforce's closely watched, $689 million acquisition of Buddy Media in June - represents Salesforce's newest attempt to bring consumer social media features into business and industrial settings.
"Are you and your company going through a social revolution? We see your customers and your employees and your partners are all connected," Benioff told the audience at Dreamforce, one of the largest conferences on the tech calendar with more than 90,000 registered attendees this year.
Salesforce's new product line is a departure for a company founded in 1999 to provide online software that managed the sales process. Under Benioff, the company has grown rapidly and, at $157.98 a share, trades at one of the highest price-to-earnings multiples among tech stocks.
But in recent years Salesforce has broached new markets like social media marketing in order to sustain growth amid fierce competition from some of the biggest names in enterprise computing, like SAP and Oracle.
On Wednesday Salesforce also announced Work.com, a human resources management software offering as well as Chatterbox, a new file-sharing tool that will pit Salesforce against the likes of Google Drive, and storage startups Box.net and Dropbox. Continued...