Chatter.com is ‘live’.
Previously an integrated feature of Salesforce.com’s paid CRM package called ‘Chatter’, the new website-based service Chatter.com offers direct online access to the same basic functionality and free, too.
Even if it would not be free, even in its currently still first & ‘basic’ online version of the application, it works and looks quite slick. Send some of your IT marshals down now to check out Chatter.com, and learn how to use it, as it is likely to become hot or addictive tomorrow. Its current features are well worth a look.
Social Media Integration
Chatter.com has been taking best-of-breed features of a variety of applications and created its own version that builds upon Salesforce.com’s core strengths in cloud computing. Or to be specific, Chatter combines the benefits of multiple worlds: Twitter, Facebook, micro-blogging, and Sharepoint. It means that not only only employees but also business data can ‘talk’ to you, offering you relevant information. For example, a la ‘Sharepoint’ your data could notify you that sales team #A has reached its sales quota. You can then congratulate your team with a Tweet and invite them for a celebration lunch; and then show the whole company the chart with actual sales figures vs. targets, in a newsfeed a la Facebook’s updates and micro-blogging.
Functionality and Benefits
1. SECURITY. Chatter.com offers your distributed organization an opportunity to share proprietary and confidential corporate information. Beyond application integration, even though it is not there yet with its full functionality (just wait for a few releases down the road), Chatter.com is already the answer to many a prayer: it offers social media privacy as only your employees can see your information.
Yes, it is possible to slice and dice ‘friends’ in Facebook and tailor communication to an exclusive group, but in general sophisticated privacy settings in Facebook don’t really exist. Furthermore, given last week’s Facebook hack, society is now appropriately concerned about its security. Unintentionally, eager to communicate quickly, lots of people have been giving away way too much confidential information in public social media. As a company I’d be really concerned if my employees would tweet and chat all day using Twitter and Facebook. We can have more confidence in the confidentiality of Chatter.com. It is owned by Salesforce.com, who’s been building a track-record in secure enterprise cloud computing. To them, security of corporate information is not something the Tech team does on Friday, but rather a full time concern of its CEO.
2. COMMUNAL BUSINESS PROCESSES. Next key benefit, the way I see it, that Chatter.com is a cloud-based application that can reel in employees in far and away places, out-of-town support staff and home-based workers. Likewise they can create groups for work projects and joint-document development ~ another productive way to use Chatter.com.
Particularly for corporate cultures that are based on teamwork, collective preparation and sharing of large documents can be manage effectively. A key Sharepoint-like feature is its version control. Internally shared systems usually require a call to the IT department to retrieve last week’s stored version of a particular document. With its Sharepoint-like features, Chatter.com offers you the opportunity to share all the changes by everyone on the team, and to go back to prior versions as is required.
Aligned with the trends, Chatter.com is both for desktop and mobile.
3. INFORMATION DISSEMINATION. There are some other interesting little features that could potentially be gems. Having Twitter-like features, employees can ‘follow’ corporate experts in the fields that are relevant for the project they are currently working on.
Chatter.com also has a trending feature. What’s hot and talked about in the company will be clearly visible.
Overall, I see a new way of managing organizations and a revolution for corporate communication strategy coming up because real tools now have become available to migrate organizations to embrace social media-based communication.
In the cloud computing/social media competitive scene, I see Chatter.com develop in two ways:
1. As a lead generating marketing platform for Salesforce.com’s paid Chatter, CRM, enterprise cloud computing services.
2. Chatter.com is direct response to the need in the market place, and new competition in the cloud computing market like Yammer, who offers a similar service to Chatter.com. So, I see Chatter.com catch up and then exceed in functionality and further leverage its integration with enterprise cloud computing services.