Businesses looking to boost their messaging and collaboration capabilities have a new option through Salesforce.com.
Cloud computing specialist Salesforce.com introduced Skype-like real-time technologies for its customers through the Chatter Messenger and Chatter Screensharing platforms. Messenger, which can be accessed for free after signing up, allows social enterprise users to collaborate in real-time and collaborate on sales deals, service cases, marketing campaigns, files and dashboards through one platform, while Screensharing enables employees to share screens and presentations with colleagues.
The cloud-based Chatter Messenger is scheduled to be available in June, and the service will be free for all Salesforce customers, including Chatter.com customers. The Screensharing component is scheduled to be available as a limited pilot in the third quarter of 2012, according to a company release. Messenger allows up to 10 employees to chat simultaneously or have one-on-one sessions, while a presence and a chat roster lets users see who is available.
Other features include the File Sharing Links tab, which lets users securely send files to coworkers, partners, and customers directly from the Chatter feed using an encrypted URL, navigation shortcuts to switch from people to groups to files, and a YouTube player for sharing and watching videos in the Chatter feed. To protect the company's private business information, all participants in the Chatter network must have an email with the company's domain name. The platform also has mobile capacity, allowing satellite workers and road warriors to connect to the home office.
"Since we started using Chatter over two years ago, it's become the killer app to manage one client's work across eight regional offices. Chatter Messenger and Screensharing will provide the real-time communication that our client group has been looking for. With every new release of Salesforce Chatter, our team is able to work more efficiently, Jonathan Zimmerman, director of digital technology and innovation, Saatchi & Saatchi, said in a prepared statement.
The company also conducted an internal survey of more than 5,500 Chatter customers, who include Nikon Instruments, Dell and Pandora, with users reporting a 26 percent reduction in email usage and a 25 percent reduction in meetings. In addition, users reported a 33 percent increase in employee productivity, 34 percent increase in employee engagement and satisfaction, a 29 percent increase in innovation and idea generation.
"Chatter Messenger and Screensharing will empower employees to have real-time conversations around any process. Since conversations are the foundation of many social relationships, this rich new approach will enable companies to get more done, faster and with greater certainty. These innovations continue to position Salesforce Chatter as a trusted and proven platform," Denis Pombriant, managing principal of Beagle Research Group, said in a prepared statement.
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.