Yahoo, and AOL are bickering
with each other, Google is trying to pad
its own lead by making deals of its own. Google expanded its collaboration deal
with Salesforce, a leading Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution
Google and Salesforce worked out a deal that will integrate Google Apps,
including Gmail into Saleforce's software. Saleforce's user base will now
have access to these integrated options neatly inside their standard CRM
software. The software had previously only had the Google AdWords
component built into it.
Many see Google Apps as a direct assault by Google on Microsoft's Office suite,
one of Microsoft's most long-standing and most valuable businesses. With Google
pushing for an offline version of its Apps, which include an office suite,
and it incorporating the programs into business software, many see the move as
an attempt to cut away at Microsoft's Office business. Said Garett
Rogers of the blog Googling Google, "Google Apps is quickly
becoming a pain in Microsoft’s side."
The deal has yet to be officially announced by Google and Salesforce, but the two
companies published several papers on the deal. According to Salesforce,
clients can use Gmail, Google Chat, Google Docs, Google Calendar, and Google
Startpage with sales and marketing dashboard components. Users can
associate Google Docs with sales data inside the Salesforce apps.
It is clear that Google Docs lags behind the capabilities of Microsoft Office,
and would not meet all the needs of power users. Also, many business
users likely write off Microsoft Office license fees as business
expenses. And many note that Salesforce users already likely have
Microsoft Office on their notebooks, making Google Apps less critical.
Nonetheless, Salesforce is touting a few of its clients as Google Apps success
stories. Many hope that these examples will both encourage Microsoft's
Office team to stay competitive and innovative, and likewise will motivate
Google's Doc team to improve on its bare bones functionality.