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2/25/2004
04:08 PM
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Salesforce.com Partners With IBM For Customization

Under the agreement, customers who run IBM's WebSphere application-integration server will be able to use WebSphere Studio Application Developer to customize their hosted Salesforce software.

CRM application service provider Salesforce.com Inc. on Wednesday disclosed a partnership with IBM under which its customers who run IBM's WebSphere application-integration server will be able to use WebSphere Studio Application Developer to customize their hosted Salesforce software and integrate it with other business applications. Salesforce also said it has added SunTrust Banks Inc. and Automatic Data Processing Inc. to its customer list.

Under its partnership with IBM, Salesforce is releasing its sforce Toolkit for IBM to WebSphere users. The toolkit will enable them to create custom modules in their Salesforce implementations in order to capture and integrate business data from other applications, regardless of platform, into their CRM environment. Salesforce has previously disclosed similar agreements with BEA Systems, Microsoft, and Sun Microsystems.

Although IBM offers a hosted CRM service in partnership with Salesforce rival Siebel Systems Inc., Salesforce chairman and CEO Marc Benioff says he's not concerned about any potential conflicts. "It's a big market," he said in an interview following a customer event Wednesday in New York.

Also Wednesday, SunTrust Banks said it will deploy Salesforce for its 2,000 corporate sales representatives, eliminating the nine different applications it had been using previously. "Each piece was independently failing," SunTrust senior VP Ernie Magazzini says of the company's need to find a common CRM environment. Automatic Data Processing Inc., the largest provider of outsourced payroll-processing services, also said it has signed a deal to deploy Salesforce software to 2,000 users. John LaMancuso, ADP's president of sales, says he feels comfortable with tapping Salesforce's hosted offerings because ADP is itself a provider of outsourcing services. Says LaMancuso, "Their business model is our business model."

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