Salesforce Chatter: Facebook for the Enterprise

Salesforce is announcing today a Salesforce Chatter, an enteprise collaboration application akin to Facebook. The move puts SalesForce in competition with offerings from other providers, including IBM Lotus.
Written by Dave Greenfield, Contributor

Salesforce is announcing today a Salesforce Chatter, an enteprise collaboration application akin to Facebook. The move puts SalesForce in competition with offerings from other providers, including IBM Lotus. Here's what's being delivered. Features:

  • Profiles: Just like profiles on popular consumer-oriented social networking sites, Salesforce Chatter profiles include contact information, area of expertise, work history and a photo. Profiles will
    allow employees to quickly identify and connect with colleagues who have the information and expertise they need to get their questions answered, expanding employee networks and increasing productivity.

  • Status Updates: With status updates, employees will be able to keep everyone informed of what they are working on. Instead of using Intranets or participating in endless email chains, conference calls or meetings, employees can broadcast their latest status with real-time updates in Salesforce Chatter.

  • Feeds: Salesforce Chatter's feed will stream relevant, real-time status updates, not only from people, but also from content and apps. Content will notify users in the Salesforce Chatter feed when new or updated content is available. Apps will join the conversation by posting when there is a change in status, like when an opportunity closes or a case is escalated in Salesforce CRM. The real-time nature of Salesforce Chatter's feed will ensure that employees are accessing the most current information possible and have the ability to filter results to gain the most insight.

  • Groups: In business today, people frequently work on a number of teams focused on specific projects or objectives. The groups feature in Salesforce
    Chatter will allow employees to easily create their own groups within Salesforce Chatter and share updates, content and more, making it easy to collaborate with groups at work.

  • Social Apps: With Salesforce Chatter, business apps will have the ability to talk to users through Chatter's feed. Relevant updates from the Sales Cloud, Service Cloud and Custom Cloud, like a new lead or an alert that inventory is low, will be represented on Chatter's feed. For the first time, enterprise apps will be part of the real-time conversation, and employees will be connected with the information they need to close more deals, satisfy their customers and grow their bottom line.

  • Social Content: Business content, like documents, spreadsheets and presentations, will be able to alert the entire company when any updates have been made through Salesforce Chatter's feed, just as people are alerted when new photos are posted on popular social networks. With Salesforce Chatter, content will be a part of the enterprise conversation for the first time, adding the context needed to ensure more effective communications and decisions.

  • Social Sharing Model: When sharing and collaborating on information in an enterprise, it is essential that the right employees have access to the right data. Salesforce Chatter leverages Force.com's proven, multi-tenant sharing model, enabling companies to decide which employees have access to what information. Like all salesforce.com products, Salesforce Chatter will run on the company's trusted and secure infrastructure.

  • Twitter: Salesforce Chatter will enable users to filter the most relevant Twitter feeds into their Chatter app. For example, a user can set-up a Twitter search for a competitor and automatically stream the real-time results into Chatter. The integration will keep users informed in real-time with the most relevant content from Twitter.

  • Facebook: Employees will be able to pull information from their Facebook profiles to auto populate their Salesforce Chatter profiles.

  • AppExchange: Now any native app built on the Force.com platform can be social, streaming updates to Salesforce Chatter's feed and effectively joining the conversation.

  • Mobile: As with all salesforce.com apps, Salesforce Chatter will be available on any BlackBerry, Windows Mobile device or iPhone. Companies and their employees will be able to take the conversation with them, regardless of where they are located.

The Salesforce Chatter social platform also includes a set of pre-built social components that developers can easily add to new or existing native Force.com apps. With Salesforce Chatter, all 135,000 custom apps built on the Force.com platform can now be social. Chatter social platform components include:

  • Profiles: Now developers will be able to add profiles to any app with the Salesforce Chatter social platform, giving every app for every part of the enterprise the same foundation as the social networking apps on the consumer Web.

  • Status Updates: With the Salesforce Chatter social platform, developers will be able to add status updates to any custom app, enabling users to start conversations inside every app around any object or record.

  • Groups: Custom apps built natively on Force.com will be able to add the group functionality from the Chatter social platform, bringing team collaboration into any custom app. Users will be able to self-organize into groups and share updates, files and feeds.

  • Feeds: Salesforce Chatter makes it easy to add real-time feeds into any custom app built on Force.com, plugging any application into the real-time conversation. Feeds aggregate status updates from social content, social apps built natively on the Force.com platform and integrations to other systems and people.

  • Social Content: With the Salesforce Chatter social platform, developers will be able to build apps that include the ability to share content, like documents, spreadsheets and presentations.

  • Chatter APIs: The Salesforce Chatter social platform contains a powerful new set of APIs that enable developers to push data from any app into Chatter feeds. Developers can build integrations to pull data from any app, including on-premise software apps, so that any enterprise app can join the conversation.

  • Security and Sharing Model: With the Salesforce Chatter social platform, developers can leverage the same security and sharing model they use to build any app on Force.com. And because these apps run on salesforce.com's trusted infrastructure, there is no hardware, software or datacenters to buy or maintain.

  • Google Developer Toolkit: Leveraging the developer tool kits salesforce.com developed for Google Apps and the Google App Engine, developers can build custom enterprise apps that bring data from Google Apps into Chatter.

  • Facebook Developer Toolkit: Announced at Dreamforce last year, Force.com for Facebook is a developer toolkit that powers secure, two-way communication between the Force.com platform and Facebook. Developers can easily pull Facebook information into their custom apps or create brand new Facebook apps that run on SalesForces' secured and global infrastructure

  • Twitter Developer Toolkit: Companies and developers will be able to filter the most relevant Twitter feeds into their custom Force.com apps using the Salesforce Chatter social platform. The integration will help custom apps remain relevant with the real-time content from Twitter.

Pricing and Availability

  • Salesforce Chatter is currently scheduled to become available in calendar year 2010. Customers who purchase salesforce.com applications should make their purchase decisions based upon features that are currently available.

  • Salesforce Chatter will be included in all paid editions of Salesforce CRM and Force.com.

  • A new Chatter Edition will be sold for $50 per user per month and will include Salesforce Chatter, Salesforce Content and Force.com.

Editorial standards