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Salesforce Adds Cloud-Based IT Service Management Tools To Cloud Lineup

The acquisition of Heroku and its development platform could bring millions of Ruby developers into the Salesforce ecosystem.

Salesforce.com is adding an IT service management application to its cloud offerings through an expanded alliance with BMC Software, the company said Wednesday.

Salesforce also unveiled a new release of its Force.com cloud application development platform and said it has signed an agreement to acquire Heroku and its Ruby platform-as-a-service application.

The announcements came Wednesday at Salesforce's Dreamforce conference in San Francisco. The crowded event has approximately 30,000 attendees, exceeding attendance estimates the company was providing just a few weeks ago.

RemedyForce, the new IT service management platform, expands Salesforce's lineup of cloud applications and services including the flagship Sales Cloud CRM application, Service Cloud, Chatter social media application, Force.com, Jigsaw Data Cloud for acquiring and managing business contact data, and the Database.com platform the company debuted Tuesday.

RemedyForce, is built to run natively on Force.com and incorporates technology from BMC's Remedy IT service management suite. The core of RemedyForce is the IT service desk application, which Salesforce previously offered as Service Desk on Force.com under an earlier alliance between Salesforce and BMC.

The new RemedyForce adds problem, change and knowledge management applications and a configuration management database. The service also provides mobile access, reporting and analytics capabilities.

"It's the killer app," said Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff in his keynote speech Wednesday morning. "I can't tell you how many times customers have asked me why don't we have native Remedy running on the cloud."

"IT service management is, conservatively, a $15 billion market," said Bob Beauchamp, CEO of BMC, who appeared on-stage with Benioff. But most owners of IT service management systems tend to be bigger companies, he said. "It's been expensive for other [smaller] enterprises to implement," Beauchamp said, adding that a Software-as-a-Service version of BMC's product offered through Salesforce would appeal to smaller organizations.

Next: What The Heroku Acquisition Brings To Salesforce


The acquisition of Heroku for $212 million in cash will bring to Salesforce a platform for developing cloud applications based on the Ruby programming language. San Francisco-based Heroku, founded in 2007, is a platform for more than 105,000 social and mobile cloud applications.

Ruby is used by more than 1 million developers and is the programming language that such Web sites as Twitter, Hulu and Groupon are developed with.

"Ruby truly is the language of Cloud 2," Benioff said, using the Salesforce nomenclature for next-generation cloud services. And of Heroku, he said: "They're doing some of the best computer science I've ever seen. It's really about how next-generation developers think about how to build and run and manage applications."

The Salesforce platform currently supports the Java language and the Heroku acquisition, which the company expects to complete by Jan. 31, will broaden the company's developer audience. While Heroku will be offered as a development service in conjunction with the Force.com platform, Benioff said Salesforce would continue to provide it as a separate service.

The new Force.com 2 is an update of the Salesforce development platform upon which more than 185,000 custom applications have been developed.

The platform offers five new services: Appforce for building collaborative departmental applications; Siteforce for developing Websites without code; ISVforce, which enables ISVs to build and deliver multi-tenant cloud applications; and VMforce (created through Salesforce's partnership with VMware) that allows Java developers to use Java environments, such as the Spring Framework and Eclipe IDE, to build apps and run them on the Salesforce cloud platform.

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