Salesforce made its second major announcement of the week today when, along with Intuit, it announced a partnership between the two companies to deliver an integrated front and back office solution for small companies. Salesforce will integrate its SaaS based CRM technology with Intuit’s very popular QuickBooks. The price point for the integrated solution was not offered in the announcement.
Under the agreement Intuit will resell Salesforce CRM with QuickBooks integration that synchronizes customer data with QuickBooks and QuickBooks Online. The solution will be available through the Intuit App Center. The announcement gave no information about when the solution will be available.
Small businesses are among the last holdouts for automation technology like this and while QuickBooks has more than four million users, it is still somewhat unusual for these users to rely on CRM. Many still use spreadsheets or other manual approaches to track deals, opportunities and customers. That works for a time but every company reaches a point where manual systems break under the pressure of keeping up with growth.
You might wonder how this announcement fits into Salesforce’s overall strategy, especially since the company owns FinancialForce, an accounting package that also integrates with Salesforce CRM. According to Jeremy Roche, CEO of FinancialForce it’s a good fit. Roache said, “It’s important to note that we don’t compete with QuickBooks for deals. Our customers are typically larger, looking for an advanced financial system, with all their apps on the same platform as Salesforce, or with accounting embedded in rather than interfaced to Salesforce.”
You could have predicted that response but it’s nice to know that all parts of the organization are in synch. So Salesforce shores up its low end strategy and gains an important reseller. Intuit gets into the CRM game which is important for that company. Other vendors like Sage which has a plethora of ERP and CRM offerings aimed at the same market will be in direct competition.