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Salesforce.com buying Buddy Media

Salesforce.com is buying the US marketing company Buddy Media for $US689 million in a deal that underscores the growth in both social media and the delivery of software over the internet.

As more companies promote themselves on Facebook, Twitter and other social media, Salesforce has been looking to add more products that can help its clients manage their marketing campaigns. Salesforce makes software designed to make it easier for companies to track their current clients' needs and identify new sales opportunities. It already markets Chatter, a microblogging platform similar to Twitter, nevertheless for internal communications.

Like Salesforce's other offerings, the social-media products will be delivered over the internet, an approach known as cloud computing. The company is one of the early proponents of providing business software applications over the internet, a contrast to the traditional method of licensing and installing software on individual computers kept in companies' own offices.

The rise of cloud computing has been a boon for Salesforce, which started in San Francisco in 1999 at the height of dot-com boom. The company's stock price has soared by 12-fold since its initial public offering in 2004, minting Salesforce with a market value of $US18 billion. Stock market analysts predict Salesforce's annual revenue will hit $US3 billion while the current fiscal year.

The company's success has spurred long-established business software makers Oracle and SAP to launch aggressive expansions into cloud computing, primarily by spending billions of dollars buying other companies.

More information: Theage.com