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Salesforce.com Mobilizes Apps With Sendia Acquisition

Salesforce.com said Tuesday it is acquiring Sendia, a wireless business-application platform company, and plans to use the new technology to "mobile-enable" third-party applications in its environment.

The hosted software provider said it’s already using Santa Monica, Calif.-based Sendia’s technology to bring in-house and third-party apps to a wide range of mobile devices, including BlackBerries, Treos and PocketPCs.

The Sendia technology promises to bring full Web 2.0 functionality, including "mashups" even to tiny screens, said Kendall Collins, vice president of product marketing at San Francisco-based Salesforce.com, which is slated to preview the capability on Tuesday in its hometown.

"People tend to think of mobile screens as really limited, but in terms of access, in realtime updates and even enabling mashups--maybe using mapping technology to get directions--all of those things can be done," Collins told CRN.

The goal is for developers to offer one definition of their application and not worry about the target device. All of the transcoding--that is, the fitting of key information into the display at hand--will be done on Sendia/Salesforce.com infrastructure, Salesforce.com executives said.

In theory, that means all Salesforce.com AppExchange applications from partners such as Bluewolf Group, CRM Orbit, Ascendus Technologies, eCredit, Remend and Visual Mining will be able to take advantage of this capability.

The Sendia technology is deployed and doing the work "on the fly and in realtime," Collins said.

To leverage this capability, developers and users must pay an additional monthly fee unless they are Salesforce.com unlimited customers. In that case, the mobile access is included in their $195 per-user per-month payment. Users on the Team, Professional and Enterprise versions will be charged $50 per month extra if they want to use this capability.

Salesforce.com said the addition of Sendia’s technology to its base infrastructure had nothing to do with last week's outage.

Salesforce.com saw its service go down for a good part of the day last Friday, a day after issuing a press release that touted the company’s uptime performance. Bruce Francis, vice president of corporate strategy, conceded that Salesforce.com’s statement tempted fate.

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