Z-z-ZAP! Salesforce.com reveals Lightning release and price hikes

More functions mean price hike shouldn't be very very frightening, says analyst


Salesforce.com has revealed new and more expensive versions of its products.

The crown jewel is a new release called “Lightning” that adds integrated VoIP, the better to help sales folk make calls fast and have them logged for managerial approval. There's also more analytics, tied to email if required, to help send more and better-targeted messages to prospects and customers. Easier customisation and application development is promised.

Some repackaging accompanies the new features, as there's now “core Salesforce editions” for Sales Cloud and Service Cloud. Those new editions mean that “Professional Edition, Enterprise Edition and Unlimited Edition for Sales Cloud and Service Cloud will be replaced by new Lightning Professional Edition, Lightning Enterprise Edition and Lightning Unlimited Edition for Sales Cloud and Service Cloud,” at US$75, $150 and $300, respectively.

Analysis from Liz Herbert, Forester's principal analyst for application development and delivery professionals, suggests “the new pricing comes across as an increase across core modules.”

But Herbert doesn't think it's time to get your pitchforks and flammable effigies of Marc Benioff, because the price rise is justifiable on grounds that the service offers more capabilities. Whether or not you want them, which is the beauty of software-as-a-service: Salesforce will just add the features whether you ask for or want them. And there they will be, tempting you to commit even more deeply to Salesforce, all without that nasty need for upgrades that come with software delivered in other modes.

Lightning will strike in calendar Q2 (which Salesforce calls Q2 FY2017). ®


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