Corporate performance management (CPM) technology provider Adaptive Planning is launching its Sales Forecasting & Analysis solution on the Salesforce AppExchange.

Integrated with Salesforce, Adaptive Planning says the Sales Forecasting & Analysis solution enables sales, finance and executive teams to view, modify and collaborate on pipeline and other sales data. It also automatically integrate sales and financial forecasts.

For example, sales managers can augment their Salesforce forecasts with outside data without changing the underlying CRM data. They can also create and compare multiple snapshots of the pipeline, period-to-date quota achievement and other data for variance analysis. In addition, both sales and finance executives can make top-down adjustments to the bottom-up forecast before incorporating the sales forecast into the overall financial plan. 

Everybody Loves Salesforce

Salesforce is becoming a rival to Microsoft SharePoint as the platform with the most integrations from third-party service providers. Adaptive Planning is one of numerous vendors of all types of business solutions that has integrated with some feature of Salesforce this year. Other notable Salesforce integrations during 2012 include Actiance, which integrated its Socialite social media management platform with Salesforce through a new connector, and Mindtouch, which integrated its social help system with Salesforce. Still other integrations include a connector for Salesforce Sales Cloud from content management provider Kentico, and Kapow Katalyst Apex Generator, an enhancement that lets businesses deploy Katalyst-built integrated automated business processes directly into their Salesforce environment.

As previously pointed out by CMSWire, Salesforce is one of the most-used sales automation solutions in the world. Although many companies have embraced the technology for managing their sales teams, there are still communication issues between the marketing and sales teams, which can result in lost revenue opportunities. The ultimate goal of the majority of these Salesforce integrations is to improve marketing and sales communication and data access to ensure that Salesforce investments deliver the greatest possible ROI.

Salesforce Pursues Integration Strategy, As Well

Commentary on this week’s Dreamforce conference in Fortune suggests that Salesforce itself is pursuing what could be called an “integration” strategy by acquiring smaller business technology vendors it thinks offer complementary features. Fortune cites Salesforce pickups such as, Buddy Media and Radian6. According to Fortune, Salesforce does not have any viable competitive options other than acquiring smaller niche vendors.

“Branching out from its core product … [is a] necessity for the company to keep growing and keep investors happy, not to mention stave off increasing competition from larger enterprise players who are entering the cloud-based software space,” the article stated. For the future, Fortune predicts Salesforce will make ”more acquisitions and more attempts to push itself as a platform for developers, not just an application provider.”

Adaptive Planning is used by more than 1,300 organizations worldwide, including AAA, Boston Scientific, CORT, Konica Minolta, NetSuite, Philips, and Vail Resorts. The solution is available on Salesforce using single sign-on capability built on the Salesforce platform.