Deliver Your News to the World Acquires Dimdim for $31 Million From Dow Jones


SAN FRANCISCO (Dow Jones) -- Inc. (CRM) said Thursday it acquired messaging and screen-sharing company Dimdim for about $31 million as the software company looks to build on the rapid adoption of Chatter, its new business-collaboration software.

“It’s all about Chatter,” Chief Executive Marc Benioff said in an interview with Dow Jones Newswires. “We want more collaboration services than ever before in Chatter” for things like instant messaging and online meetings. Salesforce did not have the in-house expertise to build those services, he added.

The move comes amid ongoing consolidation in the software industry. Last month, Salesforce said it would acquire the Heroku cloud platform for $212 million, a move it hopes will give it a leading position in programming tools for applications residing on the Internet.

Features from Dimdim will be integrated into the next major version of Chatter, Benioff said. That new version will either be announced or rolled out in August at the company’s annual customer meeting, he said.

The San Francisco-based company launched Chatter in June, offering features reminiscent of Facebook and Twitter for corporate collaboration. Chatter is Salesforce’s first product marketed through a company, rather than just to the sales or customer service departments that are the company’s traditional customer targets.

Today, about three-quarters of the companies that are Salesforce customers use Chatter, the company has said.

“Facebook has fundamentally changed the way we communicate in our personal lives,” Benioff said in a statement. “The acquisition of Dimdim will help deliver to the enterprise the same integrated collaboration and communication experience that made Facebook the world’s most popular Internet site.”

The company expects the Dimdim deal to reduce its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings by a penny and its earnings for fiscal 2012 by 4 cents to 5 cents. The deal won’t materially affect revenue in either period.

“We bought it for a relatively low cost,” Benioff said in the interview. “We’re buying it primarily for the technology.”

Dimdim was founded in 2007 and has offices in Lowell, Mass. and Hyderabad, India. Its platforms let users host or attend live online meetings, demos and webinars using a web browser.


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