The cloud -based CRM company is featuring customer success stories it hopes will encourage other enterprises to jump on its social enterprise bandwagon. Specifically, Salesforce .com is working to show the benefits of its recently introduced Chatter application for the iPad.
Salesforce.com says it created Chatter for iPad to take advantage of the iPad's unique capabilities while keeping users connected to the people and the records that matter most, whether they are working in the office or on the road.
"The biggest thing I see in Chatter is it clearly starts driving down the volume of e-mail traffic ," says Enrique Salem, president and CEO of security-software maker Symantec. "It's information being sent to people who need it."
"Wherever I am," Salem elaborates, "I can now very effectively communicate with the 18,000 people at our company. I would tell you, the biggest game-changer over the next five years in business productivity will be how companies use social media and we've chosen to use Chatter."
Chatter for iPad lets users view updates about the people, groups, and records they follow. It also lets users view documents and links shared by others, and find and follow people in their organization. Chatter sets the stage for collaboration. The free mobile app lets users find and join groups within an organization, view coworker profiles, e-mail them directly, and more.
Essentially, Chatter for iPad leverages the social features made popular by Facebook and Twitter -- such as profiles, status updates, and real-time feeds. Salesforce.com characterizes Chatter as a Cloud 2.0 app. Cloud 2 came onto the scene with consumer social-networking sites like Facebook and Twitter that people use every day to connect and collaborate with friends and family.
Lord Rothemore, chairman of publishing house DMGT (Daily Mail and General Trust), credits Chatter with bringing in more innovative ideas from employees in the last three months than he had seen the previous 12 years. He said he sees his company embracing tools like Chatter and using them to drive their top line and relationships with customers and staff.
"Companies that don't use social collaboration internally will find it harder to recruit talent and will lose significant competitive advantage," Rothemore said.
Any Salesforce user can invite any colleague -- even those who aren't Salesforce users -- to collaborate with Chatter. The goal is to create a network effect, as the pool of Chatter users widens and deepens across a company. Salesforce.com pointed to the security of Chatter Free, noting that because it's built on the Force.com platform, enterprises are assured employees only see what they are authorized to see.
Bob Beauchamp, Chairman and CEO of business-app maker BMC Software, remembers the first time Salesforce.com CEO Mark Benioff talked to him about Chatter. Intuitively, he thought it was a great idea.
"It's obvious that this is a change that's going to last forever. This way of doing business just makes sense," Beauchamp said. "I want BMC to be a company where the employees feel like they are working for a cutting-edge company that's setting the pace -- not a follower but a leader."