Taking aim at Microsoft SharePoint and IBM's Lotus technology, Salesforce.com has launched a private beta of its Salesforce Chatter enterprise real-time enterprise collaboration application and platform.
Salesforce.com introduced its Salesforce Chatter solution at the company's annual Dreamforce '09 developer conference in November 2009. Since then the company's customer base has requested access to the enterprise collaboration and social networking technology. And this private beta includes 100 of Salesforce.com's leading customers, including Reed Exhibitions, Schumacher Group, and TransUnion. In the private beta, customers will also be able to have anytime, anywhere access to Chatter's real-time feeds via BlackBerry or iPhone mobile devices.
Salesforce.com officials said Salesforce Chatter is scheduled to be generally available in 2010. Moreover, Salesforce Chatter will be included in all paid editions of Salesforce CRM and Force.com. And a new Chatter Edition is expected to be available for $50 per user per month and will include Salesforce Chatter, Salesforce Content and Force.com.
"Salesforce Chatter is the killer app we've been waiting for," said Dominic Shine, group CIO at Reed Exhibitions, in a statement. "With Salesforce Chatter, we can empower our employees with real-time collaboration to know it now and be more productive."
Indeed, Salesforce.com officials said Chatter is easy to use and delivers relevant information to each user based on the people, documents, and applications they decide to follow. While similar to the look of popular consumer social networking sites, Chatter targets the enterprise and enables companies to collaborate in real time through profiles, feeds and status updates.
"The end of legacy collaboration software like Microsoft SharePoint and IBM Lotus Notes is here," said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com, in a statement. "Consumer Internet services like Facebook and Twitter have shown us better ways to collaborate. Using the same social features and real-time feeds popularized by these consumer services, Salesforce Chatter changes the game for collaboration in the enterprise - all without the cost and complexity of software."
Salesforce Chatter features include support for profiles, status updates, chatter feeds, application updates, document sharing, security and social sharing, access to social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, support for Salesforce.com's AppExchange, and support for mobile and desktop platforms.
Moreover, according to Salesforce.com, with the release of Chatter, the more than 135,000 custom applications built on the company's Force.com application development platform may become social and collaborative. And all of the social features of Chatter will also be available as part of the Chatter collaboration platform. This includes Chatter feeds, status updates, custom app updates, profiles, and content sharing, the company said.
"Salesforce Chatter enables a new level of collaboration for our sales and service reps, and real-time awareness for TransUnion leadership," said Matthew Brady, director of sales automation at TransUnion, in a statement. "We view Salesforce Chatter as a potential game changer because it presents great promise in our drive toward deeper customer engagement and 360-degree visibility into those relationships."