Salesforce.com buys Web content management firm

Purchase of start-up Koral lets Salesforce expand offerings into Web content management, as it details two new products.Image: Managing documents Web 2.0-style
Written by Martin LaMonica, Contributor
Salesforce.com, best known for its hosted sales applications, is pushing into Web content management.

The company on Tuesday expects to detail new products and the acquisition of start-up Koral, which created a Web content management service tied to Salesforce.com. Terms of the purchase of Koral, a small company based in San Mateo, Calif., which first launched its product last fall, were not disclosed.

Later this year, Salesforce.com will release two products designed to help people manage so-called unstructured data such as Microsoft Office documents and multimedia files.

Image: Managing documents Web 2.0-style

One of the new products, Salesforce ContentExchange, is an extension to existing applications which lets users view and manage documents.

For example, a salesperson could search on documents related to a customer, including PowerPoint presentations and video clips. The content system uses tools common on consumer Web sites, such as tags for categorizing information.

Salesforce.com also intends to release the content management and collaboration software as a standalone service called Apex Content, company executives said.

This will provide underlying services, such as search and document versioning, to software developers who want to create hosted applications on Apex Content, said Mark Suster, general manager of Salesforce Content and former CEO of Koral.

Bruce Francis, the company's vice president of corporate strategy, said that the content offerings will be a "major area of expansion" for the company because it can be sold to all types of employees, rather than only sales and support people.

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