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Redefining social networking for businesses

Shanthi Kannan

Chatter is “a Facebook for the enterprise”


CHENNAI: Blog, tweet, update Facebook status — that is the message the Australian government is sending out to its bureaucrats as part of its efforts to break down barriers between public servants and the people. The government wants its employees to use these social networking tools as mechanisms to discuss ideas and gather feedback.

Realising the potential these platforms could provide enterprises, Salesforce.com launched Chatter. It will reportedly be the first enterprise-wide application, bringing the power of cloud computing to every employee.

Secure sharing model

Bruce Richardson of AMR Research calls Chatter “a Facebook for the enterprise.” He feels it will change the way businesses think about collaboration. “Salesforce has created Chatter for enterprises by combining real-time, familiar, social networking features like profiles and feeds, with the enterprise-tested, secure sharing model required by businesses.”

Jeremy Cooper (Vice President-Marketing, APAC), Salesforce.com, says groups on Chatter help teams get organised, share information, collaborate on documents and work more productively together. With real-time feeds on Chatter, teams will now be able to work together on fast-moving issues such as sales pursuits, customer projects and marketing campaigns.

Social platform

In addition, Chatter is a social platform that will enable developers to make any custom or third party application social. Platform developers will be able to build custom social applications and even connect with other enterprise applications.

Real-time feeds

Enterprise collaboration is cumbersome and can be out of sync because content, applications and people are not connected as they live in silos like intranets, file servers and business applications. With Chatter, content, applications and people are connected by real-time feeds.

Then there is the security issue, vital to enterprises. Administrators can customise policies and sharing models for Chatter; no information stored on Chatter can leave the enterprise, Mr. Cooper claims.

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