Salesforce.com Chatter is Social Networking with a Business Twist
By Tony Bradley, PCWorld
Salesforce.com officially launches Chatter today at Cloudforce 2010–the largest cloud computing event of the year. Chatter brings social networking to the enterprise in much the same way salesforce.com brought Web 2.0 to the enterprise–enabling the benefits of social networking to be utilized for new strategic advantages.
Chatter is a real-time enterprise social collaboration application and platform. Salesforce.com has made Chatter available in private beta with more than 5,000 customers over the last five months to rave reviews. Today, Chatter goes live for all of salesforce.com’s more than 77,300 customers globally.
Salesforce.com developed a YouTube video for Chatter which illustrates the power of social networking. The Internet took four years to reach 50 million people–Facebook did it in five months. Facebook has more than 500 million users spending more than 500 billion minutes per month on the site. Every minute there are 24 hours of new video content added to YouTube. There are more than 55 million Twitter tweets per day.
The list goes on, but the point is that social networking and cloud-based mobility represent an evolution in the way people–both businesses and consumers–consume and distribute information. The goal of Chatter is to harness the advantages of social networking and deliver them in a platform that is more enterprise friendly.
Chatter delivers the familiar look and feel of social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter to enterprise customers in a secure platform. With Chatter, customers can capitalize on the social networking concept to allow users to establish networks of coworkers and team peers to follow, and enable them to streamline productivity by posting status updates on documents and projects.
Mitch Varhula, marketing consultant for Farmers Insurance, is quoted in the Chatter press release explaining “Farmers Insurance is one of the largest insurers in the US and we have multiple stakeholders all working on different aspects of our marketing strategies. With Salesforce Chatter, the advertising department has increased collaboration across marketing initiatives and improved service levels to our internal customers of more than 14,000 agents. What’s been most amazing about Chatter is how it leverages a secure platform with a trusted sharing model to enable continuous collaboration within the enterprise.”
Social networking services like Facebook and Google Buzz have drawn intense scrutiny and backlash over privacy concerns–making them less than ideal platforms for enterprises interested in protecting proprietary information or concerned with regulatory compliance rules governing data protection. Chatter provides standard social networking platform features like profiles, status updates, real-time news feeds, and content and file sharing, but without the security concerns inherent with public social networking sites.
“Salesforce Chatter is the most exciting thing I’ve worked on in my career,” said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, salesforce.com. “Delivering Chatter is a seminal moment and one that marks the arrival of Cloud 2.”