Salesforce, maker of the world’s best selling CRM software solution, has taken various strides to show that it fully embraces the social revolution. One of the biggest of the moves was the introduction of Chatter, the company’s social networking platform that brings Facebook and Twitter-like functionality to enterprise applications. Chatter was just the recipient of an update that promises to make Salesforce even more valuable to the social enterprise.
Unified Communication and Collaboration
Salesforce recently announced that it has added real-time instant messaging as a feature in Chatter. Sales team can take advantage of this new functionality by getting more from their communication and collaboration systems. In many organizations, tools such as email, file sharing, and instant messaging are useful, but often disconnected in a way that limits their potential. With real-time messaging, Salesforce is aiming to unify these technologies and thus, enable sales teams to enjoy the maximum benefits when using them.
Among the most significant advantages the real-time messaging update brings to the table is ease of use. In fact, the feature is said to work in a manner similar to user-friendly instant messaging tools such as Facebook and Google Chat. There is no need to leave the system and fire up a third-party app. Users can launch the chat function right from within Chatter – how about that? They also have the ability to chat in groups as the feature supports up to 10 people per session. A “Presence” notification lets team members know just who is and who isn’t available to participate.
In addition to real-time messaging, Salesforce also added screensharing functionality to its Chatter application. According to the announcement, this feature will allow organizations to conduct training sessions, presentations, and various other activities directly from within Chatter. For sales teams, the beauty of this feature lies in being able to visualize collaboration sessions from profiles and discussions in Chatter. The addition of screensharing has some thinking Salesforce is trying to directly compete with Cisco and Citrix, which offer similar capabilities in WebEx and GoToMeeting respectively.
Salesforce Schedule Outlook
Salesforce users have been looking forward to the addition of real-time features for a while now. The company really stirred the excitement with its acquisition of Dimdim, a startup known for its web conferencing and collaboration technology, in January of 2011. Users got a sneak peak of instant messaging in an October update, but until recently, there was no word on its arrival. Now we know that the feature will start to roll out some time in June as a free offer to those who use Chatter via Salesforce, as well as those who use the free, standalone version of the app.
Sales teams will have to wait a bit longer for the screensharing feature. According to reports, this
one is not scheduled to launch until the third quarter of the year, when it will first be made available in a limited pilot offering.
Abel is a writer, online marketing expert, and advocate for email marketing software company, Benchmark Email.