SAN FRANCISCO: Salesforce is to launch a new range of productivity apps specifically for small businesses, using technology based on the firm's acquisition of social productivity startup Manymoon.
Sean Whiteley, head of Salesforce's small business strategy, said in an interview with V3.co.uk that the apps are designed for mobile use.
"There's some cool stuff coming for small businesses and I've been waiting to say that for four years. I've been chomping at the bit to do something," he said.
"Coming out next month are small business productivity apps from the Manymoon acquisition. They are the number-one product app in the Google apps marketplace. Their original portfolio was not mobile, but the new technology will be mobile."
Manymoon was acquired earlier this year for an undisclosed sum. The firm's technology adds productivity and collaboration tools such as the ability to create projects and alerts on information received in an email and web apps like Gmail.
Whiteley explained that Salesforce has enlarged the Manymoon team significantly since the acquisition.
He was speaking at Dreamforce, the annual Salesforce customer event in San Francisco, where the firm made a stream of announcements focused mainly on the development of its Chatter business collaboration platform.
These included the launch of Chatter Customer Groups, which will allow users to invite customers outside their organisation to collaborate.
Whiteley added that this capability will be given much more focus over the next year, although he could not give more development details.
"The next Dreamforce will be about customers being in your networks with you. Now you can create a group and invite customers in there with you, and this will explode so you can collaborate in external groups as well, and with partners," he said.
Gartner analyst Chris Pang said that while Salesforce has technology well suited to small businesses, its marketing strategy has been lacking.
"Salesforce started off selling to SME's but in recent years it has gone up market, and in all the events you hear about big players like Starbucks and Dell," said Pang.
"In recent years, it's fair to say the Salesforce strategy has been redirected to large enterprises but the technology for SME's is still there."
Pang said Salesforce could concentrate more on how SME's can consume its products. "Perhaps they could offer more consulting to SME's," he said.
Dark matter holds the Universe together - and gravitational waves could help identify it
Addison Lee is working on autonomous taxis for commuting and pleasure
IBM and Technical University of Munich team demonstrate how Shor's algorithm, which can't be cracked by conventional computers, can be solved quickly with quantum computing
Hubble Space Telescope finds superflares from young red dwarfs could strip away planetary atmosphere
Younger stars are 100 to 1,000 times more energetic than when they're older