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Salesforce.com Taps HP To Build Virtual Instances of CRM Platform

Salesforce.com and Hewlett-Packard have inked a deal to let customers build virtual instances of the Salesforce.com CRM platform.

The companies announced the pact at Salesforce.com's annual Dreamforce conference, taking place this week in San Francisco. Using HP's "Converged Infrastructure" of servers, storage and network gear, the companies will collectively build the Salesforce.com Superpod. 

"The Salesforce Superpod will allow individual customers to have a dedicated instance in the Salesforce multi-tenant cloud," said Marc Benioff, the company's chairman and CEO, in a statement announcing the deal.

However, Salesforce.com will host the Superpods in its own datacenters, not HP's. In fact, the Superpods will be identical to the existing 15 pods in Salesforce.com datacenters used to host the company's CRM platform, InformationWeek reported. The key difference is that Salesforce.com will equip the Superpods with HP infrastructure.

Furthermore, Salesforce.com is only offering the Superpods to the largest of enterprises, the InformationWeek report pointed out, adding that they're intended for those who have governance and security requirements. "For the vast majority of customers, this is not appropriate," Benioff reportedly said. "But there are customers who want to go to another level."

That may address governance and security questions for some, but for those organizations who must keep data on their premises, the virtual instances may not be enough. On the other hand, Salesforce.com is not seeing a slowdown in its growth.

The company on Monday reported third-quarter revenues of $1.08 billion, up 36 percent over the same period a year ago. Benioff noted on the company's earnings call that it's the first time Salesforce.com had a quarter that broke the $1 billion in revenues barrier. And it comes just four years after Salesforce.com first exceeded $1 billion in a single year. Now the company is in a $5 billion run rate for fiscal year 2015, Benioff said.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 11/21/2013 at 1:13 PM


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