Salesforce.com has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Rypple, a cloud-based social performance management company, for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition signifies salesforce.com’s entry into the human capital management (HCM) market for the social enterprise. Salesforce.com plans to re-launch Rypple as “Successforce” and create a new HCM business unit, which will be run by John Wookey.

With this acquisition, salesforce.com will embed some of Rypple’s next-generation features into its existing products. For example, people will be able to thank colleagues, win badges and provide recognition – all from within Salesforce Chatter. And customers of core Salesforce products – the Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, and Force.com platform – will be able to connect with new employee feedback tools to help drive business goals and power the future of their employee social networks.

The transaction is expected to close in salesforce.com’s fiscal first quarter ending April 30, 2012, subject to customary closing conditions.