Bloomberg News

Salesforce.com to Offer Companies Social-Network Data Sifting

January 24, 2012

Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Salesforce.com Inc., the largest seller of online customer-management software, is working on technology to help corporate clients sift through social-network traffic to track what potential customers are saying.

The company may add the products through internal efforts or through acquisitions, Chief Scientist JP Rangaswami said today in an interview in Munich, declining to comment further. That would allow Salesforce to add to a lineup that includes Social Marketing Cloud, which enables companies to react to messages such as tweets sent by users of Twitter Inc.’s network.

“Lots of devices, lots of people on the network means lots of noise,” Rangaswami said. “The next generation of value is, what is the smartest way to create filters? How do you know which of all these tweets to listen to?”

Chief Executive Officer Marc Benioff is expanding Salesforce’s offering beyond Web-based software for managing sales and customer service to include social-media tools that track customer preferences and connect clients’ staff directly with potential buyers. Salesforce has won contracts provide such tools to companies including Toyota Motor Corp., Burberry Group Plc and Coca Cola Co., Rangaswami said.

Salesforce, which is based in San Francisco, had to cut the price of the first version of its Chatter internal business- collaboration platform to $15 a user per month from $50 to gain more customers, Benioff said last year. Chatter will be able to command higher prices as services are added, such as temporary subscriptions to content such as messages regarding a specific customer problem, Rangaswami said today.

--Editors: Tom Lavell, Thomas Mulier

To contact the reporter on this story: Cornelius Rahn in Munich via at crahn2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net


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