Wednesday, November 18, 2009's Chatter: Better Business Collaboration and Customer Care in 2010?

Why is it easier to follow friends or strangers on Twitter or Facebook than it is to keep track of what your colleagues at work do and with whom they communicate? CEO Marc Benioff has been asking himself such questions, and he and the team at his company have come up with a pretty interesting answer – what he calls “our biggest breakthrough ever.” The call it “Salesforce Chatter.”

It’s designed to bring “the magic of Facebook and Twitter” to the enterprise – real-time links among content, applications and people. It’s basically a collaboration cloud – a private social network for businesses, and a platform that can enable any application built and run upon it. This means that business collaborators can communicate, collaborate and keep track of one another more easily and consistently. It also means that custom applications can gain and use social networking features, including real-time feed updates, user profiles and all kinds of interaction.

This is new and different. It’s basically a social cloud, analogous to the Sales Cloud and Service Cloud solutions has introduced previously. It’s got a lot of the dynamic, interactive flow and feel of many of the demos I’ve seen of Google Wave, but it’s focused on business functions. Oh, and it enables applications and content (such as PowerPoint presentations) to “talk” to people as easily as people talk to each other. So things that happen across the enterprise can appear as events in your organization’s Chatter-empowered social cloud.’s Chatter could turn out to be the foundation for bunches of different types of business collaborations and communications. (It’s already at the heart of the most recent versions of’s Sales Cloud and Service Cloud offerings.) If you’re interested in such things, whether you’re a customer or not, you really ought to dig into Chatter, starting at Then, let me know what you think, preferably by joining the conversation about Chatter at Focus, which you can find at