Salesforce.com (see previous CloudAve coverage) today announced that it is acquiring DimDim, a low priced Webex competitor, for approximately 31 Million in cash. DimDim was founded in 2007 with its development office in Hyderabad, India. They offered real time collaboration service with video, presentation, whiteboard, etc.. I have been using/following DimDim ever since they launched touting open source principles. As they gained traction, they abandoned their open source roots and went completely SaaS. DimDim offered better features than Webex or GoToMeeting at a much lower costs. However, they were a big buggy and unpolished compared to their well established competitors. I am hoping that Salesforce.com’s acquisition will change that.
We have been hearing from Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com, about how we need a Facebook equivalent for enterprises. They unveiled Chatter to bring in that kind of experience into enterprises and, according to Mr. Benioff, DimDim acquisition will help them deliver to the enterprise the same integrated collaboration and communication experience that made Facebook the world’s most popular Internet site.
Over the next year, DimDim will be integrated with Chatter, making it even more collaboration friendly. I couldn’t find out if this will be part of the free Chatter offering or not but DimDim itself was using a Freemium model and I am expecting Salesforce to keep this model even after Chatter integration. Clearly, this is a great move by Salesforce.com to make Chatter more palatable for enterprises. This also adds the much needed low cost competition to the likes of Webex and GoToMeeting. It will be interesting to see how it plays out as they go about integrating the two services.