To a rapidly increasing degree, Salesforce Chatter is becoming the communications platform for essentially all classes of business, in both the public and private sectors. There was a time when Salesforce tools were considered to be leveraged against Twitter and Facebook as social platforms, but for certain segments of the user base, that leverage is reversing itself.
Now the mobile application framework provider Appirio, which ReadWriteWeb introduced to you last June, is opening up a kind of persistent contest for the open source community, with a channel for distributing a new class of tools that would effectively leverage these consumer social tools on Salesforce’s business social tool.
Today at the Cloudforce conference in New York City, Appirio is launching a Social Enterprise Toolkit built with its mobile apps framework. It serves as a kind of gathering place for members of the Cloudspokes development community to present tools, also made with the framework, for spreading the reach of Chatter further to mobile devices. Some examples include simple tools letting users cross-post Chatter messages to Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter by way of hashtags.
“Today, SharePoint doesn’t compare very well to Facebook as a collaboration platform,” states Narinder Singh, Appirio’s chief strategy officer, in an interview with RWW. “Facebook is everywhere; it’s connected to everything that you do, it brings in information from a ton of different places. So we really thought there was a play for the ecosystem to create innovations that connected to Salesforce’s Chatter, Google+, and other collaborative enterprise social platforms in a way that makes them much more valuable.”
Singh believes that rather than producing a comprehensive, pre-configured environment for integrating the separate messaging queues, companies would benefit from exercising its options to develop its own – to borrow Singh’s term – “social enterprise blueprint.”
“Some organizations are very collaborative; others are very structured,” remarks Singh. “We want to provide a plan for how they can take advantage of things like Chatter. Then when it comes time to execute on that plan, the Social Enterprise Toolkit [provides] a dozen-plus apps that are relevant to different dynamics… One of the problems you don’t want users to have to deal with is to repost information, or to figure out where they should put certain data. The first thing we did with the Social Enterprise Toolkit was connect it to multiple public social networks, because we felt people were wanting to be able to interact in a seamless way.”
From either Chatter or any of the four major social services, when you create a post in one service with a certain hashtag recognized by the Toolkit component, it will automatically be distributed to the other four. Or, for instance, a post that includes the
#ch hashtag will be copied into Chatter.
Concepts posted by the community to the Toolkit distribution point will be entered into a contest, where other members will be invited to judge them for “uniqueness, creativity and practicality, and popularity,” according to the Toolkit’s home page. Prizes of $1,000 will be awarded to individuals who apply for the contest between now and December 2. The contest winner(s) will be announced on December 12 on Appirio’s corporate blog.