Cloudforce: Salesforce Chatter Goes Real-Time

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Salesforce.com gives its Chatter social network some real time chat

Salesforce’s Chatter social networking product will include real-time instant messaging (IM) and screensharing in releases later this year, the company announced at its Cloudforce event in London today.

The Chatter Messenger client will be available as a free download  from next month, but is designed for sharing within organisations. Screensharing – which will allow staff in a company using Salesforce to share presentations and information more easily, will be added at some point during the third quarter (i.e. before September) of this year, TechWeekEurope was told.

Bridging islands of collaboration

“Collaboration is a multi-billion dollar market, but it has failed to deliver on the promise of connecting the enterprise,” said Dave King, director of marketing for Chatter. “Businesses are littered with silos of information, many of them from the same vendor.”

A sales rep may have to hop between multiple islands of collaboration, using IM, email, paper, GoToMeeting and any number of other tools, said King.

In a demonstration given to TechWeekEurope, King showed the very Facebook-like interface to Chatter with a “Chat” link at the lower right hand side. In response to a query from one colleague, he opened chats with other colleagues by clicking on their names, and shared files and screens within those chats. The chats were launched in the same browser, and in separate browser windows.

“Chatter Messenger brings the immediacy of real time conversation, that is in a private and secure environment  for your employees,” he said. “This is better than Skype running in parallel with your app, which is the approach some others have taken.”

Chatter, first launched in 2010, is now in use at 150,000 companies, according to King.

Salesforce also announced growth at the Cloudforce event, which was attended by 14,000 people. The company will expand by 750 jobs in Europe.

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