Salesforce Adds E-mail Contact Mangement With Near-Shuttered Etacts Acquisition


Salesforce.com quietly acquired nearly shuttered e-mail contact manager Etacts, marking the second acquisition for the cloud CRM software giant this month.

Salesforce on Wednesday confirmed the Etacts acquisition to CRN, but would not provide additional details. The terms of the acquisition were not released.

Etacts is a Web application and a Google Gmail plug-in for email contact management. The Etacts service scans e-mail messages and determines which contacts are more important. Etacts fetches email headers to figure out who users have talked to and when. The plug-in prompts users which contacts to keep in touch with and reminds users to respond to e-mails from their most important contacts.

Additionally, Etacts users can set reminders that prompt them to maintain relationships with contacts, whether those notes are sent weekly, monthly or quarterly. It also jogs users memories by highlighting the last time users spoke with certain contacts and presenting the subject lines of the most recent email exchanges. Etacts' service can also keep tabs on phone conversations with user permission.

Salesforce saved Etacts from near-extinction, as the Y Combinator-funded company recently said that it would close its doors early next year.

"We have decided to pursue other opportunities and will be shutting down our service on January 31, 2011," said a message on Etacts' homepage. "Thanks for supporting us and for all you've done." The site adds that it is not accepting new registrations, but the service will remain fully operational throughout the transition.

While Salesforce would not disclose its specific plans for Etacts' technology, it is likely the company will integrate it directly into its cloud CRM software suite, especially as Salesforce has looked to wrap more social media and networking into its products.

The Etacts buy marks the second acquisition of a Y Combinator-funded startup that Salesforce has made this month. At its Dreamforce conference in San Francisco earlier this month Salesforce announced that it had acquired Heroku and its Ruby platform-as-a-service application. The acquisition of Heroku for $212 million in cash brings Salesforce a platform for developing cloud applications based on the Ruby programming language. San Francisco-based Heroku, founded in 2007 and Y Combinator funded, is a platform for more than 105,000 social and mobile cloud applications.