How Significant Is Salesforce Link with Facebook?


Last Wednesday I wrote a post on SAP's investment in LinkedIn and the broader implications of linking social networks with enterprise CRM applications. I cited a smart post from ZDNet UK contributor Ian Hendry. He responded to my shout-out by noting that two companies had called him to discuss the idea shortly after he posted his thoughts. Wrote Hendry: "Marc Benioff was not one of them... YET!"

Maybe Benioff was on hold?

Salesforce.com announced it's integrated its new application development technology for the Force.com platform -- called Sites -- with Facebook, reports TechNewsWorld. Sites also integrates with Google's and Amazon's cloud computing technologies, and plans are under way to add it to other social networking sites such as LinkedIn and MySpace.

Just as Hendry and I did last week, TechNewsWorld highlights the significance of having customers, rather than CRM systems, keeping information current. From the article:

Using Facebook's widgets and up-to-date demographic data, companies can develop applications that leverage customer knowledge that enables them to better sponsor and understand communities of interest without the expensive and time-consuming effort of keeping a customer list current. By definition, a user of Facebook or other social site will keep his or her data current out of necessity, and this will move us a long way toward relieving the problems associated with aging lists and duplicate entries.
To folks who've never tried to keep customer databases current, this may sound pretty innocuous. But to anyone who's ever actually been saddled with such a task, it's a big deal.

Though LinkedIn has a higher profile with business users, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg told attendees at this week's Dreamforce conference that <a href="http://www.internetnews.com/software/article.php/3782481/SalesforcetoRollWebHostingWithForce.htm">more than 300,000 Facebook applications are in use at businesses today, reports internetnews.com. The article has a nice round-up of some of the other Salesforce announcements.

In other buzz from Dreamforce, which IT Business Edge blogger Loraine Lawson wrote about yesterday, Salesforce partner Informatica is deepening its relationship with Salesforce with a Web-based integration service that allows customers to synchronize data from their on-premise applications and databases with Salesforce's hosted CRM systems.