Following a well-publicized pact between Salesforce.com and Google, SuccessFactors has integrated its performance and talent management SAAS (software as a service) suite with the Google Apps SAAS collaboration software and other tools.
SuccessFactors, which boasts 4 million users in 2,000 customer businesses, offers Web-based software that helps gauge employee performance, including skill sets, interests, career aspirations, ability to relocate and other details.
The company now lets its customers use Google Talk, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Book Search and Google Maps.
Presumably, SuccessFactors' customers use this software, also known as human capital management software, to help better motivate workers.
SuccessFactors developed and integrated the following solutions with Google products.
With Google Talk, SuccessFactors adds Google's instant messaging and VOIP app to its suite, letting team members chat about goals, do performance reviews or put their heads together on project development.
Thanks to a tie-in with Google Calendar, SuccessFactors users can now track key events and monitor deadlines against a goal plan.
An integration with SuccessFactors and Google Docs lets workers work on relevant documents, spreadsheets and presentations from the SuccessFactors system and make them available to audiences through Google Docs.
The next two integrations include a tie-in between SuccessFactors and Google Book Search to help employees find relevant literature that might help with their careers. Finally, SuccessFactors and Google Maps lets users find where other colleagues are located, which presumably leads to better collaboration.
Personally, I'm more interested in the Google Apps-Salesforce.com tie, in which 1 million paying customers can access Google Apps.
Compared with the 4 million users that may access Google's software in the SuccessFactors tie, that isn't much to brag about.
But talent management is but a niche compared with CRM apps and the Google-Salesforce.com tie unites what I consider the two biggest cloud apps players in the space. I feel this pact will lead to tighter synergies or even an acquisition if Google becomes serious about offering CRM apps to enterprises through its extensive cloud infrastructure.
Still, I'm encouraged by the work that SuccessFactors has done.
The ties between Google and other SAAS providers make sense as we continue through this new era of cloud computing, or Internet-based apps that are hosted on a software service provider's servers instead of downloaded to a computer via a CD.
Remember that Microsoft solicited help in building its software empire from several Windows and Office integrators. Similarly, integrations between SAAS players will bolster the cloud-based ecosystem in the 21st century.