Customer Relationship Management (CRM) giant Salesforce.com has launched a new platform aimed at helping its customers develop, market and sell their sales, service and marketing apps in the company's public and private app markets (AppExchanges).

The cloud giant is billing its new Salesforce1 platform as the first true CRM offering for developers, independent software vendors (ISVs), end users, admins and customers looking to build and administer mobile apps in the cloud.

For developers, Salesforce1 offers an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) platform for building and deploying apps that's powered by Heroku, the cloud company that Salesforce.com acquired in 2010, and using 10 new APIs.

Mobile is a also big focus of Salesforce1. Admins can customize and deploy custom AppExchange apps to employees on smartphones and tablets through a revamped administrator app available on iOS and Android devices.

Big backing

Salesforce1 launched with the backing of major ISVs including Dropbox, Evernote, Kenandy and Linkedin, which have their own apps on the platform. GE is using the platform to connect aircraft engines to provide data to service teams to monitor performance.

Though it may still be a few years away from widespread adoption, businesses are thinking about the Internet of Things, and Salesforce believes its new platform's poised to take advantage of the phenomenon.

By encouraging businesses to build and deploy apps designed to connect and interact with potentially billions of every day devices, Salesforce1 could be a way for the company to gain insights through analytics, though it's not yet whether it will build its own service or make an acquisition to achieve this.