Intuit and Salesforce: dating or just good friends?

Intuit and Salesforce: dating or just good friends?

Summary: What is this Intuit and Salesforce thing about?

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Last week's announcement by Intuit of its new found love for Salesforce perplexes me. On my personal weblog I said this is about:

  • Co-market selected Salesforce.com applications in Intuit’s marketplace
  • Develop an integration between Intuit and Salesforce

I then went on to put some perspective into the announcement

  1. My contacts at Salesforce tell me this is an Intuit announcement. As at the time of writing I haven’t seen anything from Salesforce and they could tell me no more than was in the release.
  2. I don’t see how “This collaboration will merge CRM and financial management.” Salesforce will still run as a separate application. Some data may be merged between the two apps but which will take precedence or will there be two way communication?
  3. It does look as though some QuickBooks data will end up in Salesforce, presumably debtor information but again, it’s not clear.
  4. No-one seems quite sure what Salesforce apps will be available in the Intuit App Center. Whatever turns up though will need to compete with ‘free’ in the shape of Driven and Active.
  5. Nothing I’ve seen in the announcement tells me whether this will be available globally or just in the US markets. Intuit doesn’t travel especially well but Salesforce has a good number of users outside the US.
  6. Right now this looks more like marketing than product solution but I am prepared to be surprised.

ReadWriteWeb sees it as a coup for Salesforce. Is it? I see plenty of signs that very small businesses find value in CRM but is this the style of integration they want? I can definitely see a strong case for sales people using their own app while oblivious to what happens in the back end financials. But I equally see strong arguments for the same interface between applications. Perhaps such considerations matter less or not at all in the very small market though again I remain far from convinced.

I would have been far more impressed if Intuit had announced it was developing on the Force.com platform as FinancialForce has done. To me, that would have created a much stronger value proposition going forward. But then that would be Intuit eating its own branded lunch in the eyes of some people.

A research paper I saw from Citi said: "We believe the alliance gives more leverage to Salesforce which should benefit from Intuit's broader reach into the SMB space. Intuit, which scuttled its own CRM development, will fill in a gap in its own cloud offerings." If that's the case then I wonder why Salesforce is not giving prominence to this announcement. Perhaps this is another case of Salesforce spreading itself among as many ecosystem players as it can find as it tries to move from $2 billion to $3 billion in revenue but not placing too much reliance on the deal? At least not for the time being.

Topic: Enterprise Software

Dennis Howlett

About Dennis Howlett

Dennis Howlett is a 40 year veteran in enterprise IT, working with companies large and small across many industries. He endeavors to inform buyers in a no-nonsense manner and spares no vendor that comes under his microscope.

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  • Recently adopted Zoho CRM

    I am a small IT services consultant who uses QuickBooks. I just recently converted my obsolete desktop contact management system to the cloud based Zoho CRM, which is free for up to 3 users. So far, so good. Zoho is easy and fast.
    robajoseph15
  • RE: Intuit and Salesforce: dating or just good friends?

    Intuit, Salesforce.com Announce Strategic Alliance to Offer Customer Relationship Management to 4 Million QuickBooks Customers

    I've had quite a few calls on how the recent announcement of Intuit and Salesforce's Strategic Alliance and if or how this would effect InterWeave's Salesforce to QuickBooks Smart Solution. First, we would would like to commend both companies on an alliance that make sense not only for the companies, but more importantly, their customer base. Salesforces typical customer is not the small SMB that you will find in the Intuit Marketplace, but this offering will now allow them to start understanding the power of integrated CRM (front office) and their Financial application (back office).

    A major contributing attribute is the acceleration of the adoption of social, mobile and open cloud CRM solutions into small businesses. There is a learning and adoption curve here, but packing a combined solution will ease the way for many small business owners.

    And now to the question of how or will this effect InterWeave's Salesforce_QuickBooks Smart Solution. The answer is yes. Firstly, it will provide members of the Intuit Marketplace the entry into what CRM, Social Media and Accounting, when combined, provide to the business, the owners and the customers. Secondly, when the customer is looking to take the next step; to look at integration with eCommerce, ERP, eMail, MSSQL, Telephony and on, in a configurable setting where business process and workflow can be defined by the customer - this is where InterWeave Smart Solutions come in. We look forward to meeting them
    Best Regards,

    Bruce

    Bruce Magown
    CEO
    bmagown@interweave.biz
    bmagown
  • RE: Intuit and Salesforce: dating or just good friends?

    I too, am ready to be surprised! So, let???s just wait to whether Salesforce apps will be in Intuit marketplace. It looks like they are just doing it for the sake of marketing in other words just for <a href="http://www.checkingaccount.ca">checking account</a> and <a href="http://www.irishnames.ca">Irish names</a>. It is a battle of the efficiency of their lawyers, that???s why <a href="http://www.car-accident-attorney.ca">car accident attorney</a> is important.
    megan027