Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Google and Salesforce - Meeting in the Clouds

The news last night from the US that Salesforce.com was to integrate Google Apps into its offering (See Google joints software project with Salesforce) is really the most natural coupling and yet another step in the (now rather long) road towards world dominance for the SaaS and cloud computing models that both companies have pioneered.

Eric Schmidt, Google's CEO, said cloud computing is supplanting "the old model that all of us grew up with." He noted that while the software-as-a-service concept has been worked on for more than 20 years, "we now know what it takes to build this next generation of services."

“Google and Salesforce.com have always had similar models and philosophies about delivering innovations made possible by the Internet," said Schmidt.

"The combination of our leading CRM applications and Google's business productivity applications pushes forward the transformation of the industry to cloud computing," Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff.

The Salesforce/Google coupling is hardly revolutionary but it is another evolutionary step and is, of course, yet another threat to the dominance of Microsoft. Microsoft’s reaction to the deal was to say that it validated their own hosted platform - Dynamics CRM Online - which is already integrated with Microsoft Office productivity suite applications, including the Microsoft Outlook scheduler and e-mail program.

I think when you get all the main players agreeing on the shape of the future, a “tipping point” has surely been reached. I’ve been banging on about Mobile Data for many years – then last year subscribers leaped 10-fold and it has become mainstream. I’ve been banging on about SaaS for over 10 years (well, I called it ASP originally) and I now really do think that is about to go mainstream too. Once ‘tipping points’ are reached, takeup tends to be extremely fast and we all wonder why it has taken so long.

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