Competitors Skeptical Of Salesforce Plays In Health Care

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Health care represents a massive business opportunity for the right IT players, but regulations and privacy concerns make it a challenging space to enter. Salesforce has made recent moves into the vertical, but its competitors have some doubts around whether the gargantuan company can find quick success in the medical field.

"We come up quite a bit against Salesforce in the market, and they’re clearly making a very concerted effort to play in the space," said Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at Boston-based enterprise software solutions provider Kyruus, Julie Yoo.

Salesforce announced a partnership with Philips in April 2014 to develop health-care-focused applications. However, business models that work in other industries don't always translate easily to health care.

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"Salesforce, and how they deal with HIPAA and privacy issues and a database management platform, it's been very interesting to see," Yoo said.

Yoo said Salesforce’s CRM technology has "a lot of gaps" that do not "address unique requirements" posed by health care.

"The technology can be applied conceptually, but I think they are coming across a lot of the technicalities," Yoo said.

Michael Salerno, Executive Vice President of Boston-based software platform Cohealo, competed directly with Salesforce for years in his previous role at Oracle.

"They've built a core fundamental platform for building CRM," said Salerno.

"They now say, 'Well why not move it to patient relationship management -- PRM?'"

Salerno predicted Salesforce's forays into health care will be "just an extension" of its current offerings, tailored for the health-care vertical.