Like the inner tube with the pinhole leak that suddenly explodes, the hissing of rumors coming out of the much-hyped April 14 "important announcement" by Salesforce.com has finally blasted out something of substance: a purported deal to resell or otherwise feature Google's Apps as part of the Salesforce.com CRM offering.
It should come as no surprise, if you've read my posts on Salesforce and Google, that I'm tempted to scoff at this idea, partly because I've been conditioned to believe that most rumors of significant announcements by Salesforce, particularly involving Google, can be take with a kilo of salt, to say the least. I'm also stifling a yawn because I don't think that Google Apps are going to make much difference in the Salesforce.com world: As I written more than once, Google's terms of service severely hamper the usability of its Apps in the real world of corporate computing, and as such it would seem to me unlikely that a Google+Salesforce deal would either make any significant inroads into CRM user productivity or make an appreciable dent in Microsoft Office's position in the Salesforce.com customer base.
Such a deal might be good for Salesforce.com's stock price, which is slightly off its 52-week high but otherwise doing well, certainly better than Google, relatively speaking. But that's where the deal's obvious value, if indeed the rumor is true, stops. It's hard to imagine that adding a tab inside Salesforce.com for Google Apps is going to do that much to add value to either partner, and making Salesforce.com available as an on-line service with the Google Apps family would add some hype-factor to Salesforce's marketing, but I'm having trouble looking at the nascent Google Apps user base as a channel for Salesforce.com.
I have to confess that, like many of my fellow Salesforce.com watchers, I'm getting a little tired of the hype-uber-alles mentality of the company. To hype everything to the nth degree is certainly in the company's DNA, but it's one of the Salesforce.com's least attractive attributes. You can't blame them for going with what they're good at, it's just a shame that hype is what they are becoming best known for, instead of some objective measure of value. There may be more value in this pending deal than what I've surmised, but, having cried "wolf" so many times, it's hard to take Salesforce's hype-machine very seriously any more.