The monthly subscription service--which includes more storage and administrative help--is the company's latest step toward delivering bundled services beyond CRM applications.
Salesforce.com Inc. on Monday added a new Unlimited Edition monthly subscription that includes all the features of the Enterprise Edition and increases storage capacity and administrative help.
The move is the latest step toward delivering bundled services beyond customer relationship management (CRM ) applications. Analysts said it could help Salesforce.com compete against bigger rivals Microsoft Corp., Oracle Corp. and SAP AG by providing tools to make building out platforms and deploying applications less expensive.
Denis Pombriant, managing principal at the Beagle Research Group LLC, calls the news "significant" because it opens a path other software makers will need to follow. "Economics drives the market," he said.
For years, software companies have "camped out on the edge of software wilderness," concentrating mostly on delivering ERP and supply chain applications, paying little attention to legal services, healthcare, education and human resources, Pombriant said.
Salesforce.com made an "architectural breakthrough," improving on the data model by allowing customers to run an unlimited number of applications, said Kendall Collins, vice president of marketing at Salesforce.com. "We went from offering customers 200 custom objects in Enterprise Edition, increasing that 10 fold with Unlimited Edition," Collins said. "Now customers have 2,000 custom objects and additional flexibility to run unlimited applications."
The service comes with increased storage, providing 120 MB per user, up from 20 MB in the Enterprise Edition. It allows customers to store drawings and larger files from audio to video, as well as other types of data and media associated with running applications beyond CRM.
Salesforce Sandbox, and Premium Support and Administration, are two services Salesforce.com offered previously, are now bundle with Unlimited Edition. Sandbox provides IT departments with a production environment to test and develop applications, as well as train employees to use them.
Unlimited Edition sells for $195 per user, monthly, compared with $125 per user for the Enterprise Edition.
The bundled offerings and services follow Salesforce.com chairman and chief executive officer Marc Benioff's vision to build a "business Web" through a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model that enables companies to manage and share information as needed.
Today, a "handful" of customers run Unlimited Edition. Salesforce.com began marketing the application to customers in mid-February. The new suite aims to give customers who have been downloading some of the 188 available AppsExchange tools an outlet to integrate the proprietary applications into the Salesforce.com platform. Collin's counts 4,400 deployments since AppsExchange's January launch.
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