On Monday, Benioff called Kieden a "great addition to Salesforce's marketing technology," but also "a demonstration how two entrepreneurs can start an application with no infrastructure, start a company. Get going and become a success."
Not entirely surprising, the announcement is still significant, Kaplan said.
"It validates some speculation that AppExchange could be more than just an ecosystem. It could be an incubator for new business opportunities and new acquisitions for Salesforce.com. It's fertile ground for new businesses to emerge, evolve, and be acquired over time," he said.
While Salesforce.com gets the lion's share of the media attention and credit for pioneering the software as a service (SaaS) model, it is by no means the only company who stands to profit from the model, Kaplan said.
"This validates idea of platform like AppExchange that others will emulate, but the real model for this is a company like IBM and its partner network. It's not as prominent a platform, but it's just as powerful a mechanism for them to test the working relationship between third parties and (IBM)," he said.