Salesforce.com updates Chatter, eyes broader collaboration market

Salesforce.com is adding messaging and screensharing to Chatter in an effort to grab a larger chunk of the collaboration market.

Salesforce.com on Tuesday will update its Chatter social enterprise tool to add instant messaging and screensharing. The move will put Chatter in competition with Citrix's GoToMeeting, Cisco's WebEx and other collaboration tools.

The company, which has 150,000 Chatter networks, is continually adding features to its primary social enterprise tool.

"The collaboration market has failed to deliver on connecting the enterprise," said Dave King, director Chatter Product Marketing. Screensharing and messenger will launch from your feed in context, said King. As a result, there won't be a need to enter a WebEx or GoToMeeting numbers. "There are a number of tools out there, but none of them are contextual," said King.

In many respects, Salesforce has replicated Facebook for the enterprise. Salesforce is betting that Chatter customers will forgo various collaboration tools---IM systems, video, and presence---if they get Chatter. Salesforce has pitched Chatter as a way to increase productivity, but new features such as screensharing are designed to bolster the ROI.

Among the key features:

  • Instant messaging via Chatter buddy lists available in June.
  • Individual and group chats via drag and drop.
  • Group chats for more than 10 people.
  • Screensharing will be available for groups and individuals in a limited pilot in the third quarter.

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