Service Bridges Teamwork Gap Adds tools to share documents and invests in reliability and security improvements
Hosted customer-relationship management software vendor Inc. last week unveiled major enhancements to its service and struck several alliances, including a marketing deal with Dell Computer.

The upgrade, S3, has more than 100 enhancements, including a business-process workflow manager. New tools let users share documents and plan sales strategies across teams. Tools to facilitate team-based selling look good to Bettina Slusar, senior VP for global sales at SunGard Software. "We have many accounts where we need to pull people from across the company," she says, "so this could help us manage that a lot more effectively."

Tools to improve security and business continuity include a data console to maximize control over who has access to customer data and software that lets users replicate Salesforce data on a local database.

S3 is the result of what Salesforce says was a $100 million research and development effort. About $10 million of that was spent on data-center improvements "to help the experience be more scalable, have higher security, higher performance levels, and more memory," says Tien Tzuo, VP of product management at Salesforce.

Dell will offer its small and midsize business customers access to the CRM applications through its small-business Web site beginning in August. Salesforce runs almost all its software on Dell servers.

In a partnership with Tibco Software Inc., Salesforce and Tibco will jointly market the Salesforce Tibco Integration server. The bundled APIs will let companies integrate Salesforce apps with back-end systems without the need for custom coding.

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