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Salesforce.com Invests in ERP, Supply Chain

By Vangie Beal     Feedback

Kenandy and Infor investments show that Salesforce is keenly aware of back-office software opportunities.

Partner announcements at this week's Dreamforce conference show that cloud CRM leader Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) is keenly aware of opportunities in back-office software like ERP and supply chain management.

Salesforce announced investments in and partnerships with supply chain startup Kenandy Inc. and ERP vendor Infor, as well as expense management and HR applications from Concur and Workday.

Kenandy, which offers a new manufacturing management application built for the cloud, announced the closing of a $10.5 million Series A round of funding led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), with Salesforce.com and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich Rosati also participating. Ray Lane, managing partner at KPCB, will join Kenandy's board of directors.

Kenandy has operated in stealth mode for more than a year. So far, a limited product introduction to select prospects has garnered a positive reception with companies looking to leverage the cost benefits of the cloud with the communication benefits of social media, said Kenandy.

Kenandy said it combines the core manufacturing functions for inventory management, engineering, purchasing, production and requirements planning with the mobile and social capabilities of Force.com, Salesforce.com's cloud computing platform.

"Today's manufacturing is collaborative. It doesn't happen inside four walls," said Sandra Kurtzig, Kenandy founder, chairman and CEO. "By building the core manufacturing applications on a social platform, we're providing the structure to use the new tools of social media and collaboration for greater efficiencies in global supply chain networks."

The company expects Initial customer deployments of its Force.com-powered manufacturing management application to reach production by the end of the third quarter.

Kenandy said companies may use the Salesforce Chatter collaboration tool to collaborate in the cloud and stay better informed.

Other vendors announcing Force.com and AppExchange implementations this week include Concur, Infor and Workday.

In addition to the Salesforce investment, Infor said it will deliver a comprehensive, global marketing automation and order management system on Force.com that integrates with Salesforce CRM, providing "a complete view of the customer across the social enterprise."

Concur will build an expense management application, giving small and mid-size business users a single view of expenses, sales and pipeline.

And Workday will deliver an application that securely moves key Workday data to Force.com, bringing workforce content into the Chatter feed and "making it more social and mobile."


With additional reporting by Enterprise Apps Today Editor Paul Shread


This article was originally published on September 2, 2011
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