Salesforce.com Updates Chatter

Salesforce.com has added a series of new features to its Chatter enterprise social collaboration tool, enabling customers and partners to share content and update records on any device.

Because Chatter, which was launched three years ago, is a social layer built on the Salesforce platform, all of Salesforce.com applications, as well as partner applications in the AppExchange (there were close to 2,000 in the fall of 2012), will have access to information regarding customer accounts, campaigns, leads, opportunities, and custom applications right in the activity stream.

As Anna Rosenman, Salesforce.com's senior manager of Chatter product marketing, points out, "Customers wanted to be able to access all of their critical sales, service, and marketing records on their phones" in a manner that was "enterprise-ready" and completely secure. Because the crux of Salesforce Chatter is its activity stream, the latest update utilizes the social nature of the heritage Chatter product, but enhances it with the ability for anyone following an account or opportunity to be included on relevant posts pertaining to that account.

Now, users can also take action directly in the feed and post files, photos, and tasks through the Publisher feature; partners are able to build on top of the platform to enable usage of their apps on the fly. Because the platform is compatible with Salesforce.com's sales performance management platform, Work.com, employees can send "thanks" via Chatter for completed tasks or meeting deadlines.

Although the latest version of Chatter is available today, some of the editing functionalities will not be ready until late 2013. "Every single one (of an organization's) employees needs to be ale to contribute to ideas" and share information related to customers and partners, Rosenman says, and Salesforce Chatter is built to bridge that gap.

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