Salesforce.com continues to build out its application ecosystem with an OEM Edition of AppExchange. For $25 per user per month, developers can create and deliver on demand applications built on the Salesforce.com platform and infrastructure. The OEM Edition excludes Salesforce.com's CRM applications, and AppExchange OEM Edition developers are responsible for pricing, availability and billing of their solutions. It's the logical extension of Salesforce.com's goal to become a broader-based applications platform rather than just an on demand CRM software provider.
"We have a lot of momentum with AppExchange by our measures and with customers, " Kendall Collins, vice president of product marketing at Salesforce.com told me. "In the first 120 days, we have over 250 applications, hit 8,600 installs and have had 122,000 test drives since September 2005. The OEM Edition is leveraging our platform, fueling the next wave of on demand companies that go beyond CRM. It's allowing partners to gain faster time to value for their businesses."
The OEM Edition is launching with only four partners showing applications--DreamFactory, MyLoanBiz, Rally Software and Remend. DreamFactory Software, for example, has developed a service that provides project management, collaborative calendaring, document management, and team communications. The Pro version is $40 per user per month and an Enterprise version is $60. Remend built an application that automates processes for loan management. The base subscription fee is $895 per user per year. myLoanBiz is new company that has created an application for loan officers, and Rally Software has developed as service for Agile software lifecycle management.
AppExhange OEM Editon includes up to 5 custom tabs and 50 custom objects. If developers exceed that capacity, they could go for the more costly Enterprise or Unlimited Edition today. Collins said that Salesforce.com is exploring the possibility of tiered pricing for the OEM Edition on a one-off basis, as an alternative to the more pricey editions.
I asked AMR Research's Bruce Richardson what he thought about the latest move from Salesforce.com. "I would categorize Marc’s [company CEO Marc Benioff] newest move as very logical even if he once said he wouldn’t do it. Whether they sell a lot or not, Marc can say he was responding to partner demand. I think it allows him to further position Salesforce as the world’s best-selling On Demand platform. I think this is another clever move. How much does it cost to provide the same platform that his company already uses? His sales message is simple: You want to make your software available as a service. For a modest amount, you can use my secure, reliable, scalable platform. Better yet, save your scarce R&D monies that would be spent on building inferior infrastructure. Put it into software features that customers need."