Salesforce.com launches mobile access with acquisition

Salesforce.com Inc. announced Tuesday that it has acquired wireless technology developer Sendia Corp. for US$15 million in cash.

Using Sendia's technology, Salesforce.com also launched AppExchange Mobile, a platform that allows enterprise customers to access on-demand applications from handheld computers and smartphones.

AppExchange Mobile is an extension of AppExchange, the Salesforce.com online service where enterprises can try out and use applications from Salesforce.com or from partners that have developed applications compatible with its CRM (customer relationship management) service.

AppExchange Mobile will make it easier for software developers to create mobile versions of their applications, according to Salesorce.com. Developers can write an application once for the AppExchange platform, and it can then be accessed from mobile devices including BlackBerry, Palm and Windows Mobile handhelds without additional development, the company said. Wireless application developers typically have to tweak applications for each device operating system.

AppExchange Mobile provides wireless access to Salesforce.com's on-demand applications as well as more than 60 other applications already part of AppExchange, Salesforce.com said.

Access to the mobile service costs $50 per user per month, in addition to any access charges from mobile operators. Access is free for customers whop subscribe to Salesforce.com's premium "unlimited" service.

Sendia, in Santa Monica, California, has 35 employees. All of its 79 customers are also Salesforce.com customers, the company said.

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