The technology was introduced at an one-day event, here in New York, that drew roughly 1,300 attendees. Chatter, which augments Salesforce.com’s platform, is a social enterprise collaboration tool that works like Facebook and Twitter. “Something huge is happening right now and you have to be ready for change,” said Marc Benioff, chairman-CEO of Salesforce.com and author of “Behind the Cloud.” “Facebook and YouTube have outpaced search and new mobile devices like the iPad are creating entirely new ways to interact with information.”
Indeed, Facebook recently surpassed Yahoo as the number-two most popular site (behind Google) in the U.S., with nearly 134 million unique visitors in January 2010, according to Compete.com.
Salesforce.com has already introduced Chatter in private beta to more than 250 of its Service Cloud 2 customers, such as Canon, Cisco Systems and Dell. The technology allows sales execs to monitor priority cases in real-time and share the latest case and opportunity updates, for example. By summer all 75,000 of Salesforce.com’s customers will have access to the service, Benioff said.
(Cloud computing, also known as Software as a Service, is Internet-based computing, whereby shared resources, software and information are provided to computers and other devices on-demand, like a public utility.)
Kraig Swensrud, senior VP of product marketing of Salesforce.com, said the Chatter technology is based on the Facebook model and operates within a private and secure environment. “We’ve baked Chatter into Sales Cloud 2 and all of the functions of the Salesforce.com automation suite,” he said.
“The value is to have a universal workspace so everybody can access ideas and content,” Swensrud added. “Chatter creates an organizational consciousness…No more routing. Customer service is unified through the cloud, not just the Call Center, but the entire company: service, finance, sales, billing and product.”
Disclosure: ZoomInfo is a partner of Salesforce.com