Consolidation in the software-as-a-service space took a step forward as RightNow acquired Salesforce.com competitor Salesnet. According to the press release, the "acquisition will accelerate RightNow's customer experience management development efforts by combining RightNow's patented knowledge foundation with Salesnet's sophisticated workflow engine."
In more plain English, RightNow, which is known more for its call center solution than its sales force automation offering, acquired Salesnet to better position itself against the market leader Salesforce.com and NetSuite. The price was reportedly $9 million in cash. Salenet has 26 employees and a dozen offshore contract developers.
When I talked to Salesnet co-founder and President Jonathan Tang at the end of January, the company described itself as the "no bull alternative to Salesforce.com." (See Infoworld's January 2006 comparative review of RightNow, Salesforce.com, Salesnet and NetSuite.) As of January, the privately held Salesnet had about 40,000 subscribers compared to Salesforce.com's more than 350,000, and 4,000 to 5,000 customers versus Salesforce.com's nearly 19,000 at the time. Currently Salesforce.com has 440,000 subscribers across 22,700 companies. Publically traded RightNow has about 1,500 customers, listing British Airways, British Telecom, Cisco Systems, Continental Tire North America, John Deere, Nikon and the Social Security Administration on its Web site.