Salesforce.com adds premium 'Performance Edition' bundle

Analyst: Bundles carry risk since customers may not end up using all the features

Salesforce.com has rolled out a new product bundle that includes even more applications than its high-end Unlimited Edition, albeit at a higher price.

The new Performance Edition provides access to Salesforce.com's sales, service and development platform software, as well as customer-lead information from Data.com, Work.com performance management software and identity management functionality.

It will be available starting Nov. 4 for US$300 per user per month, compared to $250 per month for Unlimited Edition, which will still be available. Unlimited Edition customers can also upgrade to Performance Edition.

Monday's announcement comes a few weeks after the release of Sales Performance Accelerator, another product bundle aimed at making sales representatives more productive.

Whatever the case, "they are simplifying pricing and also up-bundling," said analyst Ray Wang, CEO of Constellation Research.

Bundles can help companies that want to adopt a broad array of a vendor's technology save money. But there's a caveat, Wang said: "With every bundle, you don't always use everything you aspire to."

In June, Salesforce.com appointed Keith Block president and vice chairman in charge of global sales, customer support and consulting services.

Block left Oracle last year after the release of a number of instant-message conversations in which he was critical of Oracle President Mark Hurd. The messages were made public as part of a lawsuit between Hewlett-Packard and Oracle over software support for the Itanium processor.

A nearly 30-year veteran of Oracle, Block is known for his hard-charging sales style . He's being paid handsomely at Salesforce.com, with $1 million in base salary, at least $1 million in annual bonuses, and 200 hours' use of a corporate jet annually, with the opportunity to request more, according to his job offer letter, which was filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The new bundles were in the works before Block's arrival, according to Salesforce.com spokesman Daylan Burlison. They are "part of an ongoing process based on feedback and best practices of our most successful customers," he said.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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