Friday, December 31, 2010

Salesforce acquires Etacts - about time.

I'm happy to see that salesforce acquired Etacts, because, I hope, it means that Salesforce should be refreshing its support & integration with Google Apps. Etacts has a browser plugin for Firefox and Google Chrome, which adds functionality to the gmail web interface.

Salesforce has always been good about bridging the gap between enterprise messaging apps, for example, Outlook and Lotus Notes. That strategy is crucial in providing a path to enterprise users into the SFDC cloud eco-system. It's well over due that Salesforce pays proper credence to integration with other Cloud players, such as Gmail/Apps. The balance is tipping from on-prem to in-cloud, which doesn't make their Outlook/Notes connectors irrelevant by any stretch of the imagination, but they have to better embrace their neighbouring cloud peers. I hope, this latest purchase is just that.

I'm curious if gmail has a set interface to allow for this integration, or if the Etacts plug in lives and dies by the Gmail upgrade cycle. I imagine the Etacts plugin model works similar to any old grease monkey script. I'm hoping that this little plug in will be retrofitted to work with Salesforce allowing users to display some Contact/Account info directly in gmail, as well as pushing emails into their SFDC org and associating said emails with Contacts/Ops/Cases/Custom objects.

Lets just hope the Salesforce/Etacts team can retrofit and roll this out in short order. I'm hoping they do some pilots, so us plebeians can get some hands on early on.


I have found the GMail gadgets API here: which is what Etacts must be using. It's the same API that tools like Rapportive also use. Rapportive is a similar product to Etacts, but it does not support, despit seeing some comments from last year stating that they would support in the future.

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