Salesforce.com Launches Company Communities

After launching a mobile application framework for developers called Platform Mobile Services last month, cloud computing company Salesforce.com has gone one step further to support enterprise business processes via mobile devices with today's launch of Salesforce Company Communities.

Salesforce Company Communities is, essentially, a social and mobile corporate intranet for a single enterprise, while its sister solution, Salesforce Communities, incorporates the customer, partner, and employee network. Both are powered by the Salesforce Chatter collaboration feed, enabling posting, sharing, updating, and approval of content and files, and are accessible from any mobile device.

The latest Platform product, which will be made generally available to customers later this year, now has 10 to 20 active customers using the service, according to Jim Sinai, director of product marketing for Salesforce Platform.

"The Platform is one and the same, and that's the beauty of how we're trying to build and deliver our products," Sinai tells CRM. "Users can work in and out of different communities. [Although] the services you need to deliver to employees are different than the services you need for customers, they still have to be social and mobile [and]have integrated applications, and our Communities products will deliver on that."

For instance, wine and spirits producer Brown-Forman, an early user of Salesforce Company Communities, has 3,000 employees in 135 countries using the solution to keep connected. "Employees can personalize their intranet experience, and automatically discover and share information around the latest product and promotion updates," said Jennifer McClinton, director of technology development for Brown-Forman, in a statement.

Additionally, the Company Communities product can streamline mobile application management on the back end for enterprises, and securely house Salesforce and third-party applications. At present, Brown-Forman hosts 30 applications in the cloud, which can now be delivered through custom communities.

"Being in the spirit business, they do a lot of promotion and a lot of advertising, and so they work with a lot of vendors, and they've created an app that's all about helping them onboard vendors fast," Sinai adds. Using the Salesforce Platform to create the application has allowed any Brown-Forman employee to begin the vendor on-boarding process directly from a mobile device, as well as "execute promotions much faster than their competitors," Sinai says.

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