Salesforce.com and Hewlett-Packard are taking their budding friendship to the next level by unveiling a new cloud offering for enterprises that includes technology from both vendors.
Salesforce SuperPod, a new offering unveiled Monday at the opening of Salesforce's Dreamforce conference in San Francisco, is a dedicated instance in the Salesforce cloud that runs on HP's server, storage, and networking hardware and software.
HP and Salesforce plan to market SuperPod jointly to enterprises that need extra security, especially ones with regulatory compliance requirements. Salesforce says SuperPod will be available to customers "for an additional fee" but did not disclose pricing. HP is the first SuperPod customer.
It's the latest example of what appears to be a deepening relationship between the two vendors. HP has been selling "a fair amount of data-center infrastructure" to Salesforce in recent months, a source familiar with the matter told CRN Monday.
HP started using Salesforce last year as part of CEO Meg Whitman's campaign to invest in IT to make the company's business processes more efficient. In May at the Sanford Bernstein's Annual Strategic Decisions conference, Whitman said HP has put its entire sales team onto Salesforce.com.
"This for the first time gives us a 360 degree view of customers and partners and it is a modern way to run a sales force. These investments were absolutely critical," Whitman said at the event, according to Seeking Alpha's transcript.
HP is using Salesforce to improve its quote-to-cash capability. "We were behind our competition in the ability to deliver a quote in a short period of time for a configured order system. We are catching up," Whitman said at the event.
HP also is moving aggressively to get its top partners working hand in hand to do account planning with the company on its Salesforce.com platform.
Rick Chernick, CEO of Camera Corner Connecting Point, Green Bay Wis., a member of HP's SMB partner advisory council, said the HP Salesforce.com partnership opens the door to drive not only tighter customer relationship planning between HP and its partners, but also new Salesforce.com sales opportunities.
"Giving us the opportunity to sell a Salesforce SuperPod would be a big plus," said Chernick. "Besides that, this could allow us as partners to be a more efficient sales force working with HP. Once you are using Salesforce.com, it's going to be a lot easier to sell it."
Chernick said many partners are looking for CRM software like Salesforce.com to make their sales teams more efficient.
The HP-Salesforce.com union follows a partnership that Salesforce.com entered into with Oracle in June.
Under the nine-year pact, Salesforce.com said it will standardize on Oracle's database software, Linux operating system, Java middleware and Exadata Database Machine servers.
Oracle and Salesforce.com also said they will integrate Salesforce.com's CRM and other cloud applications with Oracle's Fusion HCM (human capital management) and Financial Cloud Software-as-a-Service applications, and Salesforce.com will adopt those Oracle applications to run its own business.
Steve Burke contributed to this article.
PUBLISHED NOV. 19, 2013