• August 31, 2011
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Salesforce.com Unveils the Social Enterprise

SAN FRANCISCO (DreamForce 2011) -- Salesforce.com today used its user ninth annual user conference to unveil its vision for the social enterprise, leveraging social, mobile, and open cloud technologies to revolutionize companies’ relationships with their customers.

In front of a crowd of 45,000 registered attendees and 35,000 online attendees from 60 countries, Salesforce.com chairman and CEO Marc Benioff announced several new products and services, including Chatter Now, Chatter Approvals, Chatter Customer Groups, Chatter Service, and Data.com. In addition, bringing mobile apps to the social enterprise, touch.salesforce.com will leverage HTML5 to deliver an optimized experience on touch devices for all Salesforce and native Force.com apps. Other launches included Heroku for Java, Chatter Connect, and Database.com.

Part of the company's new vision for building a social enterprise in this new social world where twice as many people browse the Web with a mobile smartphone than with a PC, was what Benioff called a "three-step formula."

The first step in this formula is to create a social customer profile that keeps track of the customers' social media presence, including handles, what they "like" on Facebook, what they are saying on Twitter, who they are connected to on LinkedIn, and more.

Step 2 is to create employee social networks that can deliver information directly to users, rather than making them search for it themselves. The Salesforce Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Chatter, Data.com and Force.com help companies build the private employee social networks that help people at work rapidly collaborate across their company so they can engage, sell and service their customers more effectively.

The third step is to build customer and product social networks that allow companies to build stronger relationships with their customers on today's most popular social channels, like Facebook and Twitter. With Salesforce Radian6, Heroku, and Database.com, companies can listen to, engage with, and analyze what people are saying about them and create apps where customers can interact with their brands. These apps leverage cutting-edge social and mobile technology, can be location-aware, and can be accessed on any device. And companies can also bring their products into social networks so they can be part of the conversation, allowing consumers to not just "fan" a product, but become its "friend."

"Our social enterprise vision fundamentally changes how companies collaborate, share, and manage information," Benioff said. "By creating social customer profiles, employee social networks, customer social networks and product social networks, companies can delight their customers in entirely new ways."

Benioff also noted that Salesforce.com "is creating a new social enterprise" that follows the revolution that began with the mainframe, then moved to the PC, and is now mobile on smartphones and tablets. "This new social revolution is unlike any other paradigm shift before," he stated.

Salesforce.com is helping companies transform into social enterprises by introducing new applications for its Chatter social network applications, including the following:

  • Chatter Now: : a presence app that delivers real-time collaboration by enabling users to see when their colleagues are online, instantly chat with them in context, and share their screens without leaving Chatter.
  • Chatter Customer Groups: : which will allow Chatter users to invite people outside of their organizations into their Chatter networks. Benioff called this "an amazing advancement."
  • Chatter Approvals: which will allow users to act on any approval process from directly within their Chatter feeds.
  • Chatter Service:: which will become the ultimate self-service destination for the social enterprise, allowing users to ask their questions once in familiar social feeds and have the answers come to them in an instant, whether it's from the knowledge base, the community of experts, or a service agent. Chatter Service will also connect to public social networks, such as Facebook.
  • Chatter Connect: : which connects Chatter to custom and third-party applications. The Chatter REST API allows developers integrate Chatter into other applications, such as intranets and portals and custom mobile and enterprise apps. In addition, Chatter for SharePoint allows companies to embed Chatter feeds into a Sharepoint MySite or TeamSite and share documents from Sharepoint to Chatter.

With all of these innovations to Chatter, "one of the biggest things to come out in the past 18 months is the ability to share files right within Chatter," said Kraig Swensrud, chief marketing officer at Salesforce.com

Some of the other innovations being unveiled by Salesforce this year include the following:

  • Data.com, which lets users import contact information from Jigsaw and company information from Dun & Bradstreet into one place to help them build and maintain social customer profiles.
  • Touch.salesforce.com, which leverages open-standard HTML5 technology to allow users to access salesforce.com from the most popular smart phones, tablet devices and operating systems. With this app, users can run apps natively on their devices but store them in the cloud. That's something Benioff called "a huge change in hardware and software."
  • Heroku for Java,< which now gives more than 6 million enterprise Java developers a clear path to build social, mobile and open cloud apps. Enterprises and developers have made significant investments in Java skills. Now, those skills and investments can be applied to creating the social enterprise by developing customer and product social networks. Java joins Ruby on Rails, Clojure, and Node.js as the fourth language for the Heroku platform.
  • Database.com, a multitenant database that allows users to "store sensitive data in their own data center or in the Salesforce data center," according to Benioff.

Finally, Benioff unveiled a new Social Enterprise License Agreement, which includes enterprise-wide access to Salesforce Sales Cloud, Salesforce Service Cloud, Salesforce Chatter, Salesforce Radian6, Force.com, Heroku and Database.com, giving customers predictable pricing.

"In general, the Sales Cloud is more exciting and dynamic than ever now," Benioff concluded.

CRM Covers
for qualified subscribers
Subscribe Now Current Issue Past Issues
Buyer's Guide Companies Mentioned