Salesforce Chatter

AuthorSalesforce
Version-Spring ´13
Linkwww.salesforce.com
Similar SolutionsJive, Drupal
Salesforce.com is a company that offers its clients web-based business applications in the form of Software as a Service (SaaS). The company is entering the social software market with its development of Chatter, which strongly resembles Facebook in its functional principle. Chatter is generally included free of charge in the purchase of the other Salesforce solutions; it can however also be bought separately. We have evaluated Chatter exclusively separately from the other Salesforce solutions. .

Salesforce Chatter - Use Cases

Enterprise Communication

Enterprise communication in Chatter is similar to the functionalities of Facebook. The core of the platform is an activity stream that runs through all its spaces and allows users to post their status, publish documents and links or create surveys. They can also “like” the posts of their colleagues, comment on them or initiate polls. However, Chatter does not feature a forum or a rating function.

Collaboration and Knowledge Exchange

All users can set up groups, invite colleagues to join, and limit access to their groups. Members can be assigned various roles within a group. Group founders (owners) and managers can assign these roles, add or remove members, and change group settings. They are also able to delete posts and comments by others. Group members can only post and comment. Groups can be set up either as public or as private groups.
o Public: Anyone can see the group's posts, comments, and files, but only members can post, comment, and add files. Anyone can join a public group.
o Private: Only members can see and add posts, comments, and files. People must ask to join or be added by the group's owner or managers. People with “Modify All Data” permission can see posts, updates, and files, and join private groups directly.
A special feature of groups is that it is possible to set up sub-private groups and invite external clients to join these. This does however have the disadvantage that once a client has been invited, it is not possible to remove him/her.
Collaboration in groups again centres on the activity stream, which can be used to inform and to comment/discuss posts, documents and mashups. Groups have no option to create wiki pages or assign events and tasks. Chatter also provides chat functionality.

Social Networking and Expert Search

Every Chatter user has a personal profile page with a profile image, contact data, a brief individual description and an activity/community influence index (observer, active influencer, top). The profile page is again centred around the activity stream, which chronologically records all the respective user’s activities. Visitors to profile pages can see which profiles, groups and documents a user is following and who is following him/her, the user’s group memberships and uploaded documents. Visitors can leave comments for the user via the activity stream or send him/her a direct message. A full text search allows users to find experts, documents or content.

Personal Information Management

Here too the most important means of information is the activity stream, where users can optionally follow the activities of their colleagues, documents, groups, clients, bookmarks etc.; they can also filter their streams for specific objects. There is no personalised area for bookmarks etc.

Project Management

There is no conventional project management functionality allowing users to create and assign tasks or plan milestones. Collaboration on projects is only possible via groups and activity streams. Separate calendar and task management functions are only available if other Salesforce solutions such as the Sales and Service Cloud are used.

 

 

Salesforce Chatter - Technology and Product

 

Operational Flexibility

Salesforce.com offers its solution exclusively as a SaaS solution via a licensing model. This makes Chatter very flexibly scalable. It is also possible to individually extend Chatter by adding apps via the Salesforce AppExchange. Chatter supports all standard smartphones and browsers, and can also be used via a desktop application.

Customization & Extensibility

The sidebar links, company logo and dashboard snapshot can be individually customized to adapt Chatter to the respective corporate design. Via the Salesforce AppExchange, Chatter can be individually extended as required; MS Office, Sharepoint and Lotus Notes integration are also possible.

Data & Security

Single Sign On (SSO) Username and password authentication is delegated to a corporate database such as Active Directory® or LDAP, instead of the Salesforce user database.

Vendor Position

Salesforce.com operates in the field of on-demand software for corporate applications. Their first successfully marketed product was a CRM that ran entirely in the browser. Salesforce.com pursues an aggressive expansion and sales strategy, which is also apparent in the company’s growth rate of almost 30 percent in 2010 and 2011. Market research company Gartner rates Salesforce.com with its vision of a social enterprise as an industry leader in its quadrant.

Support & Service

In Germany, Salesforce maintains offices in Munich, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt. All its services are offered in 16 languages. Online documentation for developers and community managers is available on the Salesforce website. To keep its products up to date, the company publishes a new release every three months.


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