Salesforce buys Dimdim for $31 million, bolsters Chatter collaboration

Dimdim resembles Cisco's WebEx and Citrix's GoToMeeting. For Salesforce.com, those capabilities are a logical extension to Chatter.

Salesforce.com said Thursday that it will acquire Dimdim for $31 million in a move to add real-time communication technology to its Chatter platform.

Dimdim, founded in 2007, has presence, messaging and screen sharing technologies.  In a nutshell, Dimdim allows you to share screens, documents and communicate in meetings via a browser.

Salesforce.com said it will add to its development team with the Dimdim purchase. In many respects, Dimdim resembles Cisco's WebEx and Citrix's GoToMeeting. For Salesforce.com, those capabilities are a logical extension to Chatter. Salesforce.com said it will integrate Dimdim into Chatter, but has no plans to enter Web conferencing. Dimdim will cease as an independent product, but continue to support existing customers.

George Hu, director of Salesforce.com marketing, platform and corporate development, said on a conference call.

Our vision is that the market's moving to an integrated collaboration and communication kind of platform, a la Facebook. So it made sense for us to really focus our efforts and our product development on that vision, and that, of course, means integrating it into Chatter. Also, we just really felt like, in terms of bringing it to Chatter, just continuing existing service would enable us to really maximize the speed at which we could really make that migration to this integrated vision. So that's the basis of our decision.

In a statement, Salesforce.com reiterated its Facebook for the enterprise argument to justify the purchase.

The acquisition won't have any impact on Salesforce.com's fourth quarter revenue but will shave its non-GAAP earnings by a penny a share. For fiscal 2012, Salesforce expects the Dimdim purchase to shave about 4 cents a share to 5 cents a share from annual earnings.

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