Salesforce.com's Balancing Act

As the maker of CRM software expands into new areas, it risks rankling rivals small and big alike

Sooner or later every software company succumbs to the law of gravity that pulls down its pace of growth as it swells in size. Case in point: Revenue at Salesforce.com (CRM), the maker of software that helps corporations manage customer relationships, is expected to grow 45% this year, compared with 60% growth in 2006 and 76% in 2005. Like its peers, Salesforce.com will try to buck the trend by mining new areas, but it needs to do so without treading on the toes of the companies that build add-ons to its products that boost its own sales.

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