Salesforce.com is leading the new wave of migrations from the traditional in-house-resident application model to the hosted service model. With its new summer offering, this CRM services vendor has gone one step farther. Mutliforce.com provides an operating system-like platform on which the company and its partners can develop other applications that support just about any business process, all inside a single homogeneous environment and using a common data model. Such pitches are attractive: A single hosted application platform offers organizations a low upfront investment, quicker implementation timeframes and lower operational cost. But as the hosting company’s customer base grows, what happens to performance, to data security and to the customer need for customization to deliver “must have” pieces of functionality? Ventana Research believes that Salesforce.com may well be able to deliver on its promise, and that early adopters will find this a very attractive proposition. However, organizations that are more risk-averse may choose to wait a while to see how the product matures.
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