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Salesforce.com Acquires Google-Focused Startup

Salesforce.com has acquired a four-person startup specializing in paid search technology that will be tailored to work with the on-line business applications of Salesforce.

At a press event in Boston on Monday night Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com announced the purchase of Kieden Corp. whose technology is the basis for the new Salesforce for Google Adwords. The product is an on-demand service allowing companies to create, manage and track the effectiveness of their search engine campaigns from all from within Salesforce applications.

The new service essentially allows marketing managers to analyze existing campaigns by viewing which people use Google AdWords thereby becoming sales leads. The service can gather together a range of different information, including the amount of sales from Google AdWords and then offer that information to managers through a dashboard interface.

“Applications are moving to the Business Web and this product is a perfect example of the sort of innovation that is possible when you embrace the reality that the future of software is on-demand business services,” Benioff said.

Benioff said Salesforce will continue to center its efforts on Google Adwords given that Google controls 80 per cent of the market with Yahoo a distant second with 15 per cent and Microsoft even further back at 5 per cent.

Kieden, based in San Francisco, built the product on the AppExchange platform. According to Kieden co-founder, Kraig Swensrud, his company developed a working prototype of the product just weeks after its foundation on Jan. 2 of this year. The product entered beta testing in May, he said.

The product allows marketing and sales staff to closely track Google Ad campaigns. Taking standard information like page impressions and actual click-throughs per adword, Saleforce users can drill down to see the specific leads, sales and revenue generated from particular Google Adwords and search terms.

“The nice thing here is it can tell you from within the Salesforce dashboard how many impressions you got and of that number how many click throughs, and how many turned out to be legitimate leads,” Swensrud said.

The service can be accessed through the AppExchange at www.appexchange.com. Company officials said there are over 300 applications from 200 different companies currently on AppExchange. Since the beginning of this year users of salesforce.com have installed more than 12,000 applications from AppExchange.

Starting today Salesforce for Google AdWords is available as a free 30-day trial for all Salesforce users. The product will be broadly available sometime during the second half of this year and cost $300 per organization per month.

About the Author

Ed Scannell is the editor of Redmond magazine.

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