Salesforce.com pushes new model for AppExchange

The company that famously claims software is dead is selling pay-as-you-go versions of its application sharing service to software vendors
Written by Colin Barker, Contributor

Online CRM vendor Salesforce.com has launched a $25 per user version of its application sharing system AppExchange that will be available for sale only to independent software vendors.

The new strategy means software companies can sell their software through Salesforce without the CRM solution that, up to now, has been Salesforce's source of revenue.

"This removes us from the equation," Chris Boorman, Salesforce's European marketing director, told ZDNet UK. "The relationship is between the customer and the OEMs [software makers]. They can sell directly to any customer." Companies can use AppExchange to build, sell and deliver their applications and just pay $25 per user per month for using it.

So far four companies, DreamFactory, MyLoanBiz, Rally Software and Remend, have signed up.

AppExchange has been seen as a key product for Salesforce.com as it tries to grow outside of its traditional CRM market. "We have had over 8,600 downloads of AppExchange and 250 applications -- it is growing all the time," said Boorman."We are on record as saying that we believe it will be the eBay of business applications."

On the business outlook for Salesforce, Boorman said that while Europe was doing well it was still "slightly behind" the US in take-up, but the situation was improving. "We are now available in 12 languages and that helps," he said.

Boorman said the company is happy there has been no repeat of the service problems that dogged it around Christmas. "We have had issues," he said, "but the challenge still remains and still no one will match us by publishing their service level."

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