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Salesforce.com Chatter Unlocks Doors to Enterprise Collaboration

By Erika Morphy
May 25, 2012 5:00 AM PT

Salesforce.com is adding more functionality to its Chatter tool -- in this case, real-time communication capabilities. The two new features soon to be available are Chatter Messenger and Chatter Screensharing.

Salesforce.com Chatter Unlocks Doors to Enterprise Collaboration

Chatter Messenger is an instant messaging application to be used within the Chatter application. When it launches as part of Salesforce.com's Summer release in a few weeks, it will give users live chat functionality.

Chatter Screensharing, a limited pilot expected to launch in Q3 of this year, will let employees share screens and presentations with colleagues via a chat session.

'Massive Transformation'

Chatter Messenger and Chatter Screensharing is a massive transformation for Salesforce.com and companies that use its Chatter product, Kendall Collins, SVP and GM, Salesforce Chatter, told CRM Buyer.

Despite the many collaborative tools and applications companies have deployed over the years, they still tend to find that collaboration cannot move off certain islands within a corporation, he said.

A certain group might work well communicating and collaborating on a specific workflow, for example, or IM might be used -- but only for certain types of conversations. Implementing collaboration throughout the enterprise on one platform with integrated content is still a struggle for most firms, said Collins.

"If you are working on an application that requires input from someone else, you want to be able to ping them and get their feedback quickly without a lot of back and forth," he pointed out. "What we are offering is a real-time communications systems delivered from the cloud that is secure and in context."

User-Friendly Features

There are a number of user-friendly features to Chatter Messenger and Chatter Screensharing, noted Collins.

Chatter Messenger, for example, lets employees put the conversation in a separate browser window. It also provides one-to-one or multiperson chats. The group chat supports up to 10 people in a single chat session.

There is also a presence element. Employees can see who is online in Salesforce and connect to them via Chatter.

Another feature, Chat Roster, automatically populates Chatter Messenger with the employee's social graph. There is also a My Favorites feature that lets users add up to 100 people and groups, which will appear at the top of the chat list.

Chatter Screensharing will let an employee launch a meeting or presentation with teams and groups using slides or documents as a common reference point.

Salesforce Chatter, including Chatter Messenger, is available for free at Chatter.com.

Erika Morphy has been writing about technology, finance and business issues for more than 20 years. She lives in Silver Spring, Md.

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