It remains to be seen whether Salesforce.com rolls out a similar offer for Oracle customers. Such a thing would directly clash with Oracle's own Social Network service, which was announced earlier this month and is scheduled to be available sometime next year.
Still, the move makes sense, Forrester Research analyst China Martens said via e-mail. "I guess with SAP still shaping its overall social strategy pillar, Salesforce.com senses a gap to go after. SAP's focus to date has been StreamWork, collaboration specifically tied to decision support and linked to business intelligence, so a different focus from Salesforce.com's Chatter."
The announcement could be "part and parcel of Salesforce.com's push to use Chatter and/or its social enterprise message as the Trojan Horse to get into enterprises it's previously not been able to get into with its CRM or with Force.com," she added. "Once in the door, then the vendor would hope to expand the enterprise's use of its software."
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.