Salesforce.com has quietly acquired a startup called EntropySoft, a maker of content management and integration software, in a move likely meant to bolster Salesforce.com's Chatterbox service.
The acquisition was first reported late Tuesday by VentureBeat. As of Wednesday, EntropySoft's website redirected to a page stating the company had been acquired by Salesforce.com. A Salesforce.com spokesperson confirmed the deal had occurred, but would not provide any further details regarding the rationale for the purchase, or even when it occurred.
Salesforce.com announced Chatterbox last year, describing it as something that will allow Salesforce.com users to "manage and share files in the context of business -- all with the trust customers expect from Salesforce."
Chatterbox, which will also provide real-time document synchronization across multiple devices, is supposed to enter a pilot phase in the first half of this year. Once it arrives, Chatterbox will present fresh competition for the likes of Dropbox and Box, both of which are Salesforce.com partners.
Salesforce.com may have viewed EntropySoft as something that can provide Chatterbox with differentiated features from those competitors, and more quickly than building out similar functionality on its own.
EntropySoft's technology is "more than just [content management], it orchestrates how content interacts with repositories and applications," said analyst Ray Wang, CEO of Constellation Research. "This is particularly useful when it comes to content-dependent applications like marketing or service. For example, if you need to tie a bunch of creative assets for a marketing campaign and they're sitting in Box, Filenet or SharePoint, EntropySoft makes it easy to let them stay federated and also integrated."
In addition, EntropySoft has a number of other products in areas such as search, archiving and e-discovery. "Think of it as a smaller and more palatable acquisition than a Box plus the ability to federate and orchestrate content for Salesforce.com," Wang said.
The acquisition has "obvious potential benefits," Real Story Group analyst Apoorv Durga wrote in a blog post Wednesday. "EntropySoft connectors (or perhaps more pointedly, new connectors the EntropySoft team can build) could link various Salesforce CRM and Social Media services to enterprise back-end repositories, for things like archiving and -- in the future -- potentially even hybrid storage."
"But that's in theory. In practice, Salesforce applications have not played well with on-premise enterprise systems," he added. "The issues tend to revolve less around technology than Salesforce culture, so EntropySoft can't be considered a game-changer here."
Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com