It's the rumour that just won't go away, plugging away like Hillary Clinton panting after the Presidency. I'm talking about 'GoogleForce', the vision of the software as a service market (SaaS) predicated on the premise that Google and Salesforce.com are destined to be together.
The latest voice adding to the calls to get together comes from analyst firm The 451 Group. Analysts Brenon Daly and China Martens argue that the two firms' deal, whereby Salesforce.com can use Google Apps for free, is something of a lame duck because Salesforce.com's sales staff doesn't have incentives to push Google Apps. As such the deal is unlikely to bump up the prospects for Google Apps in the enterprise.
"They get paid for selling Salesforce.com software, regardless of what software it's hooked into," the analysts wrote. "A sales agent on the cusp of pocketing a handsome commission by selling hundreds of seats of Salesforce.com's SFA module has virtually no incentive to push an unrelated product.”
The alternative? Yup, you guessed it, a full-blown merger which The 451 Group reckons would set Google back about $10.5 billion – small change for the search giant. That figure is based on Salesforce.com's market value of about $8.5 billion right now and Google offering a 23% premium to Salesforce.com’s shareholders.
"Google could ... pay the bill from the cash and equivalents it has on hand and still have some coins left over," reckon Daly and Martens. "If the search engine wants to be an enterprise player, it needs to buy big.”
And if there's still doubters in Google, they point out: "It’s only $1.5 billion more than the amount Oracle was rumored to be considering paying for Salesforce.com last year."