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Salesforce.com to acquire collaboration tool GoInstant

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10th Jul 2012
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Salesforce.com has announced it has entered a “definitive agreement” to acquire Canadian-based start-up GoInstant.

The collaboration tool allows users to co-browse online without the need of a download, plugins, Java or Flash. Using only a shared URL, GoInstant claims to enable all users to interact together in real-time with browsing sessions available for customer support, sales, ecommerce, training and more.

Marcel LeBrun, SVP at Salesforce.com, said in a blog post: “We believe there is tremendous potential for social enterprises to benefit from what the GoInstant has built, particularly when combined with salesforce.com's industry-leading social, mobile, and open apps and technology.”

No financial details were disclosed but undisclosed sources told the Wall Street Journal the deal is worth more than $70m.

GoIntant co-founders Jevon MacDonald and Gavin Uhma added: “Many have understood our vision for shared web experiences and have been essential to the growth of our company, but few have understood our vision as quickly and as thoroughly as salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff.

“It is his dedication to the future of our technology and the incredible organization he has built to support it that convinced us to take this bold step with them.”

Analyst Angela Eager from TechMarketView said: “The GoInstant value point is that it can be used by businesses to run sales presentations online, or customer support sessions. It will bolster Salesforce.com’s growing portfolio of social applications, complementing Chatter capabilities.

“Its prime value is likely to be extending Salesforce.com’s Service Cloud, sitting alongside products like the social helpdesk Desk.com and the BMC-originated Remedy force that Salesforce.com has repositioned as a social IT help desk.”

Chief analyst Carter Lusher commented: “While not a dramatic purchase like Radian6, GoInstant does provide customers with useful functionality and puts pressure on competitors to continue advancing their platforms.

“Ovum’s MANTRA analysis is that the GoInstant acquisition has fewer motivations than one like Buddy Media or Radian6. The most important motivation is adding new functionality to the Salesforce platform that can be leveraged by other Salesforce applications (e.g., Sales Cloud or Service Cloud) or third-party developers. The secondary motivation is acquiring R&D talent, though at the reported $76m this is not a pure acq-hire.”

The acquisition of the two year-old firm is the latest purchase in Salesforce.com’s buying spree. In June the enterprise giant acquired perks management firm ChoicePass for an undisclosed amount and Buddy Media for $689m.

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