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Salesforce.com taps into 'Graph' craze with latest Chatter update

It's all about mapping out the data with lots of graph infrastructures these days, and Salesforce.com is boosting the graphs under Chatter today.
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Written by Rachel King on
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Salesforce.com is aiming to make its Chatter enterprise social network smarter with a new update intended to offer better insights while connecting more users.

The CRM giant described that this upgrade is centered around an organization's Social Graph and Interest Graph, mapping out and then connecting data based on users' interests and contacts to chart trends and influence.

This includes the addition of Chatter Topics and Expertise, two features designed to analyze and then categorize structured and unstructured information within Salesforce solutions.

From there, Chatter Topics and Expertise are supposed to connect experts, files, groups and other information all onto a single topic page, which is then automatically curated through Salesforce's algorithms into news feeds.

The San Francisco-based enterprise suggested the following potential use cases:

For example, a new hire will be able to discover topic pages and groups to help her become productive within a few hours versus days or weeks. Additionally, any employee will be able to identify and connect with experts in real-time, whether it is a product expert who provides insight into a development roadmap, or an influencer who drives thought leadership. Now, every employee can contribute, discover and connect like never before.

If any of this sounds familiar, that's probably because it's the similar idea behind some other well-known graphs over at Facebook. Maybe we're even in the midst of a whole "graph" craze.

It might also ring a bell just because of the similar names.

At the heart of this, it looks more like a growing favor of a mapping infrastructure approach to handling big data and analytics -- at least within social networks, personal or professional.

Vanessa Thompson, a research manager for IDC's Enterprise Social Networks and Collaborative Technologies group, hinted as much in the announcement, positing that social intelligence through graphs like this will make enterprise social networks "more pervasive by adding context to the funnel of data available and providing insight into past, current, and future actions."

Image via Salesforce.com

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