Salesforce tips Telstra for social enterprise

Salesforce tips Telstra for social enterprise

Summary: Telstra would be a prime example of a company that would be interested in adopting Salesforce's concept of the social enterprise, according to Salesforce general manager Chatter, Kendall Collins.

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Telstra would be a prime example of a company that would be interested in adopting Salesforce's concept of the social enterprise, according to Salesforce general manager Chatter, Kendall Collins.

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(Credit: Suzanne Tindal/ZDNet Australia)

"Telstra is a pretty significant customer down there," he said. The company most recently decided to use Salesforce for ideas management, which enables innovation by allowing people to submit, discuss and vote on ideas for the company.

Salesforce last year released Chatter for all companies, a social network for businesses to use internally. It has now announced some additions to the product, including Chatter service, which helps users to find answers to their problems sourced from social networks and company knowhow.

It's also enabling presence and instant messaging inside Chatter, with screen sharing and the ability to bring customers not connected by Chatter into the conversation.

It's all a part of Salesforce's vision of a "social enterprise", which makes use of social technologies to boost their brand and serve their customers.

Although Telstra has often struggled with its enterprise technology because of complexity and legacy systems, Collins believed that the company would be interested in the social enterprise.

"They, I think, recognise that they have a lot of advancements they need to make," he said.

Telstra CEO David Thodey has beenleading a customer service push, attempting to improve Telstra's reputation with its customers. The company no longer wants to be aloof, but, rather, listen to customers. And Thodey's background in technology meant that he would approach this problem in novel ways.

"I think that he is looking to reinvent Telstra in some really exciting ways," he said.

Spreets was also a likely candidate, according to Collins.

"When we were down there last, Dean [McEvoy], who is the CEO of Spreets, was giving me a quick update.

"I think they're very interested in a lot of these new announcements."

Even the government might get on-board, Collins said, who pointed to the Victorian Department of Business and Innovation, which is using Salesforce to build applications for grant management.

Collins echoed Benioff's comments in the opening keynote that the social enterprise was going to be driven by employees who won't settle for enterprise apps, especially for Australia, because it had an "extremely savvy social networking community".

"My experience has been that the UK, Australia and the US are pretty much in lockstep when it comes to adoption of leading-edge technologies."

Suzanne Tindal travelled to Dreamforce as a guest of Salesforce.

Topics: Cloud, Telcos, Telstra, Social Enterprise

Suzanne Tindal

About Suzanne Tindal

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for the site.

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