News.com writes about Salesforce.com’s new strategy – letting customers build their own systems.
Multiforce is also aimed at giving independent software vendors an opportunity to create products that expand the capabilities of Salesforce’s existing tools. Using the development platform, customers and ISVs are promised the ability to create new systems in the form of so-called Web services that blend seamlessly with Salesforce.com’s user interface and draw on data housed in the company’s CRM tools.
For instance, Salesforce has already created a tool that taps into the application programming interface for Google’s street mapping software. The hosted application is designed to let a Salesforce user generate maps to a customer’s offices using data from online CRM systems and Google’s code.
One partner, DreamFactory Software, which makes customization and integration technology for hosted software, is using Multiforce to extend the more basic CRM features built into Salesforce’s offerings.
At the heart of Benioff’s new strategy is the idea that companies with deep industry knowledge will have more success creating their own specialized programs than Salesforce could ever put together. Unlike rivals such as Siebel Systems, which already offers six different flavors of its own hosted CRM tools for customers in different vertical industries, Salesforce is betting customers, and more importantly ISVs, will clamor to build their own applications.