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6/22/2010
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Salesforce.com Creates Some Industry Chatter

Traditional boundaries among software companies are falling to the wayside with the movement to social networking systems. Salesforce.com has become the latest vendor trying to craft a business version of Facebook.

Traditional boundaries among software companies are falling to the wayside with the movement to social networking systems. Salesforce.com has become the latest vendor trying to craft a business version of Facebook.The vendor announced Chatter, which supports social networking features, such as document sharing, groups, profiles and information feeds. The software is designed to help executives follow colleagues and other relevant business information in real time.

Initially, more than 60 Chatter enabled applications will be available from vendors, such as Akritiv, Avankia, Bluewolf, CA Technologies, CloudApps, Cloud Conversion, DocuSign, FinancialForce.com, Jobscience, SaasPoint, and SupplierSoft. In addition, the software can be integrated with Force.com, Salesforce.com's development platform. Chatter is available at US$15 per user per month for customers that are using the Professional, Enterprise or Unlimited Editions of Salesforce.com. At this time, it is not being offered to non-Salesforce.com customers.

Salesforce.com has been a popular supplier of applications to small and medium businesses. Recently, the company has been trying to broaden its base and become a more broad base software supplier rather than just a CRM vendor. The move into the social networking space offers the company the potential to continue that transformation.

The announcement could interest SMBs who are the vendor's traditional customers. They have been searching for a simple way to incorporate social networking functions into their businesses. The initial reports about Chatter have been positive. If the software provides robust capabilities, it could find a home in many SMBs.

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