Salesforce.com's reach is about to get wider both in terms of functionality and target audience with the arrival of Do, a project management application announced in public beta on Tuesday.
Do is built on the Manymoon software Salesforce.com acquired earlier this year, and is "probably the closest thing to a consumer product we've ever done," said Sean Whiteley, senior vice president. "We took the Manymoon product, poured gasoline on it and lit it on fire."
The application resides on Salesforce.com's Heroku cloud platform and has been rewritten in HTML5 for easy deployment across multiple device types. But Salesforce.com has created a native iOS client as well, Whiteley said.
Salesforce.com won't be continuing to invest in Manymoon, which has been one of the most popular applications available on Google's Apps Marketplace.
Manymoon customers will be offered ways to migrate to Do, which will be sold under a "freemium" model, with basic versions available at no charge but costs assigned to premium features, according to Whiteley. Those could include things like improved central administration, he said.
The core concepts of Manymoon appear to be intact within Do, which is organized around lists of tasks, and gives users the means to collaborate on tasks with others. It features integration with Gmail and Google Apps and file sharing with Dropbox. Salesforce.com users can also start projects from within that application.
Users can tweak Do's interface to suit their preferred method of organization. For example, projects could be grouped via date, or in broader categories such as "high-priority" and "medium-priority."
Its functionality can be applied to personal as well as business-related projects. For example, people in the process of a home remodeling job could devote a task to the materials purchasing and ongoing communication with contractors on a certain part of the project.
It will be available through sites such as Google Apps Marketplace, Apple's App Store, Salesforce.com's AppExchange, the Chrome Web Store and LinkedIn Applications.
While Do shares some broad themes with Salesforce.com's Chatter social collaboration software, there are some key differences, Whiteley said. For one, it works best with smaller groups of up to perhaps a dozen people, while Chatter is geared for interactions with thousands, he said.
That said, Salesforce.com will soon finish building a strong integration between the two products, according to Whiteley.
With Do, Salesforce.com is hoping to skim off business from long-time project management vendors such as Basecamp. One difference between the two is that Do is "modern and updated," Whiteley claimed. It's also easier to use by anyone, not just project managers, he added.
Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com
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