My friend and colleague Jim Shepherd of AMR set me straight this morning about what Salesforce.com is doing with Facebook, and I'm embarrassed to admit I didn't get it right the first time. According to Jim, when it comes to SFDC and Facebook, CRM actually stands for Child Relationship Management. This realization comes as a relief to me personally and professionally. On the professional level, I was honestly feeling confused about why Salesforce would bother to do a deal with the teen/tween market leader. And on the personal level, I can't wait for my beta system and get started managing my own ill-bred brood according to established industry best practices.
This new definition of CRM is a desperately needed addition to the enterprise software market, and I for one applaud SFDC's leadership in this arena. In case you haven't noticed, the kids on Facebook do tend to run amok, not only in terms of what they post on Facebook, but what they do with all the social interactions they spawn (pun intended) through their unmanaged use of social media. With teen pregnancy up, drug use through the roof, and disrespect to their elders rampant, it's time parents become empowered to manage their child relationships in a proactive, comprehensive manner.
While I know I'm violating an NDA (no dads allowed) agreement when I reveal this, here are the main features of the new CRM capabilities in Facebook.
1) Friend Manager: The essential starting point for Child Relationship Manager. As a parent, you get to control all friendships in Facebook, block the ones you don't like, and force your kids to befriend the ones you think will be better role models, even if your children actually loathe your nerdly choices. The ROI on this feature alone is worth the product's price.
2) Kid Watch with GPS: Use of Facebook CRM automatically initiates the Kid Watch feature, which provides a direct Google Maps mashup feed to a PDA or laptop. You can define off limit geographies in Kid Watch -- such as a smoke shop, liquor store, or tattoo parlor -- and use the Obedience Analytics (below) to maintain a running score on your child's compliance with your commands.
3) Stud Watch: Parents are alerted to friendships with known sexual deviants, especially young unmarried fathers who father children with the daughters of self-righteous social conservatives. Depending on the relative Stud score, this feature can automatically trigger the Virtual Chastity Belt feature (below.)
4) Bikini-line Watch: Using some rather impressive visual analysis tools, Bikini Watch can search photo albums and alert parents to suggestive pictures that show too much flesh, too little fabric, or promote Abercrombie and Fitch products. This feature includes controls that allow parents to adjust the allowable amounts to reflect geography, season, religious values, or sexual orientation.
5) Comprehensive Obedience Analytics: This is one of the best things about Child Relationship Manager. Obediance Analytics allow parents to maintain a comprehensive obedience tally on such important key performance indicators like overall room cleanliness, percent homework completed, number of emergency teacher conferences, net sibling punches, and other factors that make up a well-managed child relationship. This feature ties into KPIs that are segmented by race, religion, gender-preference, voting record, among others, and then allows parents to manage according to best practices in their demographic.
6) Virtual Chastity Belt. Despite its name, this feature is actually not meant to be gender specific, though early beta tests reveal it to be a favorite feature among the fathers of teenage girls. Basically, the VCB is an upgrade of the Virtual Birth Control feature: by using patented remote electro-shock technology, VCB can anticipate when a child is potentially in a compromising position, and, by inducing a low-grade electric shock, force the child to call a parent and get them to either unlock the VCB, or come and take them home.
There are many more features, but those are the highlights. So, hats off to Salesforce for this ground-breaking development. This is truly the first-ever CRM meets social meets the home enterprise, and I'm excited about how much better everyone will be able to manage this uncontrolled and dangerous social world for children and their parents that Facebook has created. Who says enterprise software can't serve society in a positive manner?