Salesforce buys startup, launching CRM platform ahead of earnings

|By:, SA News Editor

Ahead of this afternoon's FQ3 report, and in tandem with the start of the company's annual Dreamforce conference, Salesforce (CRM -2.8%) has announced the acquisition of cloudconnect, a startup that was founded by Adam Gross, once the co-founder of Salesforce's Heroku cloud app platform (PaaS) unit. Cloudconnect will be joining Heroku; GigaOm thinks the acquisition is tied to the pending launch of Heroku1, a new version of the platform specifically meant to build and run apps interacting with Salesforce's apps.

The deal coincides with the launch of Salesforce 1, a common platform for building apps for Heroku, (focused on simpler enterprise cloud apps), and ExactTarget Fuel (used to create online marketing apps that work with ExactTarget's offerings). Salesforce is promising a giant number of APIs for Salesforce 1, and compatibility with existing apps.

Heroku is a giant in the PaaS space (2.7M apps deployed as of February), and (360K as of February) isn't doing badly either. Both face competition from Microsoft, Red Hat, EMC/VMware's Pivotal unit, and others. IDC recently forecast the PaaS market will grow at nearly a 30% CAGR from 2013-2017, leading it to ultimately be worth over $14B.

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