Salesforce.com is launching Chatter to its entire customer base today. The adoption means that Chatter will now be part of the entire Salesforce.com stack, available as a stand alone application and as a platform for application development.
Chatter is now integrated into the entire Salesforce.com product line, including its sales and support offeirngs; Force.com and AppExchange, its marketplace for enterprise cloud computing offerings.
We hear a lot these days about Facebook and its connection to the enterprise. Salesforce.com seems to have imprinted Facebook into its DNA. That may infruriate many who see Facebook as something entirely different, compared to an enterprise service. But for Salesforce.com it's Facebook that we hear about over again in its briefings.
It's the activity stream that matters here. An activity stream that is also an application stream. That is the fast moving trend. The ability for people to communicate effectively in the deep stream of data. We are in a time where machines communication is a must in order to organize and share information in the flow of a dynamic supply chain.
Sugar CRM has an activity stream. Success Factors recently acquired CubeTree for its contact centered service built with an activity stream environment. The Enterprisre 2.0 world has its share of companies with activity streams. Soclaltext is moving its concept of the activity stream forward with its adoption of the Twitter Annotations spec. Socialcast, one of the earliest adopters of real-time activity streams, has been making headway with its service that combines real-time conversations with intergration into back-end legacy applications.
Chatter has had its fair share of skeptics. But customers do speak for themselves. Going into the launch, Salesforce.com has 5,000 customers in private beta and more than 50 applications that have built Chatter into its product infrastructure.Less Software has built an app that enables customers to bring in FedEx package updates to their Salesforce CRM and Chatter when its status changes.
BMC is using the Chatter platform for a real-time feed designed for IT departments and with internal users.
For the launch, Salesforce.com has implemented the capability for anyone to create groups inside the Chatter environment. That's already a primary feature with services like Status.net and Yammer. People need to break out streams into smaller trickles that apply to their own group.
Salesforce.com has come to dominate the CRM category. But it has not created its own category in the market like a company such as Success Factors, which has a place on every employees desktop. It has done that by positioning itself as a employee production service.
The company has a host of competitors, including Microsoft Sharepoint and IBM Lotus collaboration services. But with Chatter, Salesforce.com is increasing its odds of being more universal, providing real-time feed to employees across the organization.