Salesforce.com dives into lower cost accounting

Summary:Accounting company Coda and on-demand specialist Salesforce.com claim to have come up with a way for companies to handle their accounting software without having to pay for a full-scale application.

Accounting company Coda and on-demand specialist Salesforce.com claim to have come up with a way for companies to handle their accounting software without having to pay for a full-scale application.

Coda@2Go offers a full-scale accounting software system available through the Force.com, platform-as-a-service (PaaS) model running on Salesforce.com, the companies claim. Coda@2Go will be officially launched on Wednesday at the Dreamforce Europe '08 conference in London.

This tie-up allows customers to run Coda's financial software without having to go to the expense of buying a complete application, according to Coda's chief executive, Jeremy Roche. "Our customers can get up and running with our software very easily by doing this," he said.

The result is a less costly entry price for companies wanting to put their users on the system. To use a full set of Coda financial software costs between £65 and £75 per user per month, according to Roche. But sub-sets of the full package will be made available in the future priced accordingly. "As we get up and running with this the plan is that we will make different parts of the accounting suite available for users who do not want all the features," Roche said. "That will obviously cost less."

The product will be available in Australia at the same time as the London launch and will cost AU$125 a month, according to a spokesperson for Salesforce.com

Force.com is Salesforce's effort to get its PaaS model accepted by companies around the world. By using Force.com companies can build their own applications and development platforms using Salesforce's own well-established model. They can then bring out applications and tools for their customers to use, all running on the same on-demand economic model familiar to the Salesforce.com user, where users pay for as much or as little of the software they want to use.

This joint agreement between Salesforce and Coda is one of the first in which a leading accounting company has signed up to take the Salesforce software incorporated into their own application for re-sale to other customers. Usually, accounting software companies will keep their own development in-house. In this case, Coda's reasons for leaning on Salesforce are economic.

"We simply could not afford to develop our own system," said Coda's Roche. "Well we could but I cannot justify the cost to our shareholders. In any case, we don't have the expertise in the on-demand market. Our expertise is accounting systems. This way, we get to use Salesforce's expertise and that huge user base and experience at a fraction of the cost and our customers get the software at a fraction of what it would cost if we had to do it all ourselves."

Topics: Salesforce.com

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Colin has been a computer journalist for some 30 years having started in the business the same year that the IBM PC was launched, although the first piece he wrote was about computer audit. He was at one time editor of Computing magazine in London and prior to that held a number of editing jobs, including time spent at the late DEC Compu... Full Bio

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