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Salesforce takes Haagan Dazs to the Clouds

Salesforce.com is trying to expand on its already popular web-based CRM SaaS by launching Force.com- an environment made for developers to create applications that can work in unison with its CRM software. As a forerunner for the service, the company has announced Haagen-Dazs as its first high-profile client.

Salesforce describes “Force.com” as a “platform-as-a-service,” in which developers can create applications that have nothing to do with CRM- that can all work together as a hosted platform for business users, according to InformationWeek. The customized features of the soon-to-be force.com platform were originally created for Haagen-Dazs in 2005, two years before Salesforce formally announced Force.com in the first place.

Haagen-Dazs has been a long-time customer of Salesforce, and wanted to expand on the CRM features it was already using. Since the corporate side of Haagen-Dazs is made up primarily of franchisees, the company needed a customizable CRM that let it manage real estate leads and potential franchise owner leads from its website and other sources. When the company wanted to expand beyond this, Salesforce together with Reside, a Minneapolis-based software consulting firm, further customized the service to let Haagen-Dazs track franchise store openings, remodel dates, inspection results, and track the training status of new shop owners.

This combination and further development of Salesforce’s core CRM technology on behalf of Reside, was the birth of Force.com. Salesforce has been looking for opportunities to expand its offerings while staying close to its roots of an all-inclusive CRM- offered as SaaS (Software-as-a-Service.) By rolling the CRM into other business applications, as well as throwing third-party developer creations into the mix, the idea of “Platform-as-a-service” (PaaS) might just work. It would be one of the many upcoming companies trying the new idea of “cloud computing.”

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