Salesforce.com is unveiling some new social-networking features for Chatter as its Dreamforce conference kicks off.
is introducing a new round of features to its Chatter social-networking
platform, in effect increasing its bet that businesses will want to give their
workers a Facebook- and Twitter-style experience.
allows employees to post comments and share files in a Facebook-style
environment. These additions will include Chatter Now, an instant messaging
tool that shows when colleagues are online; Chatter Connect, which will
integrate Chatter into third-party applications; and Chatter Customer Groups,
which will let employees invite people from outside an organization into the
Chatter network. Salesforce plans on making all three available sometime in
announcement is timed to its Dreamforce conference, which runs from Aug. 30
through Sept. 2 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The company will use
the event to advocate the presence of social-media tools within the enterprise.
In addition to Chatter, Salesforce offers a variety of subscription-based
platforms, including its Sales Cloud and Service Cloud.
In a bid to
ease customer concerns about data security in the cloud, Salesforce recently
acquired Navajo Systems
, an Israeli security encryption
vendor that previously offered encryption services for Salesforce's customers.
It plans on revealing more details about the acquisition at Dreamforce,
although for the moment, it remains unclear whether Salesforce will continue
working with other encryption providers.
assurances their information is safe in a vendor's cloud, particularly in the
wake of some high-profile breaches and pranks by Anonymous, LulzSec and other
competes fiercely with not only Oracle, but also SAP and Microsoft. All these
companies seek to profit from businesses' increased interest in CRM and its
ability to not only make customer service more efficient, but also blunt the
occasional public relations snafu. In presentation after presentation, executives
from companies like Salesforce and Microsoft will demonstrate how one creative
Tweet or YouTube video, designed to savage a company's performance or product,
can translate within hours into a tidal wave of negative attention.
paired with white-hot competition, drives the involved companies to constantly
add new features and functionality to their respective platforms, in order to
hone an edge-however temporary-over their rivals.
been locked in a particularly vicious battle with Microsoft, which in December
2010 posted "An Open Letter to Salesforce.com Customers" dangling a
$200-per-user rebate for any organization that switched to them from
Salesforce. The two companies spent a significant portion of 2010 hurling
IP-infringement lawsuits at each other, a situation that resolved last August
with Salesforce agreeing to compensate Microsoft for its patents.
own CRM efforts center on Microsoft Dynamics CRM, which emphasizes the ability
to leverage real-time data and streamlined analysis.
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