Google and Salesforce.com announced on Monday that they are extending their relationship for customers of both companies.
Salesforce customers will now be able to use their customer relationship management (CRM) software with a range of Google software including Google Apps, Gmail, Calendar and Google Talk messaging. What this means is that a Gmail or Google Talk response can be added to the customer information stored by a Salesforce CRM application.
"This is simple and easy integration of our CRM with Google Apps," said Woodson Martin, Salesforce's vice president for EMEA. "It was natural for us to do this as we had over 16,000 customer requests for this through our Idea Exchange." This is a Salesforce.com website where customers can bring their ideas, thoughts and complaints about the company's software and exchange their ideas and applications they have developed.
Although this service for Google is new to Salesforce, it is not the first of its type for the company. Salesforce already links up its software to Microsoft's Office and Outlook, offering some similar facilities to those offered by Google. However, Martin described closer links between Google software and Salesforce.com applications.
The basic service is offered free but companies that want to include more features to give their users a richer experience can sign-up with Google Apps Premiere for £5 per user per day.
The companies first announced they were linking up in June last year, when they launched a combined website designed to allow Salesforce to act as a reseller for Google's AdWords. Salesforce Group Edition lets companies connect to Google AdWords and have their advertisement displayed on Google.com when related search terms are entered on the site, and it will distribute their ads on Google AdSense.
While Salesforce's Marin told ZDNet.co.uk he was "very excited" about this development and said it was "a step forward for cloud computing", Google hasn't ruled out working with other partners. "We're committed to advancing the web as the platform and partners are key to our growth, whether it's a developer doing custom applications and gadgets, a company such as Appirio making calendar sharing even easier, or Salesforce.com deeply integrating Google Apps into their CRM products," said Scott McMullan, the Google Apps partner lead for Google Enterprise.
Mike Ricciuti of CNET News.com contributed to this report.