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2/17/2010
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Salesforce Launches Private Beta Of Chatter

The program will bring Facebook- and Twitter-type capabilities to businesses using applications on the Force.com cloud computing platform.

Salesforce.com on Wednesday launched Chatter in private beta, bringing Facebook- and Twitter-type capabilities to a select number of businesses using applications running on the Force.com cloud computing platform.

The 100-company beta program includes large corporations, such as Reed Exhibitions, the Schumacher Group, and TransUnion. Participants are from various industries, including financial services, manufacturing, high tech, and professional services. They were chosen based on existing Salesforce.com technology deployments and potential Chatter use cases, the vendor said.

Salesforce.com introduced Chatter last November as a collaboration and social networking platform that companies might choose to use in place of Microsoft SharePoint, Outlook, and IBM Lotus Notes. The platform lets developers add pre-built profiles and employee status updates, similar to the ones people set up in Facebook and Twitter, to applications running on Force.com.

In launching the private beta, Salesforce.com announced new mobile capabilities for Chatter. Participants' employees will be able to access the service's real-time feeds via Research in Motion's BlackBerry or Apple's iPhone. The feeds provide updates on people, applications, and documents. Application updates, for example, could include a deal closing in Salesforce.com's customer relationship management app.

Chatter goes beyond in-house collaboration and social networking. The platform also lets users filter relevant Twitter and Facebook feeds into their applications. For example, a person could set up a search for a competitor on the social networks and view the feed through an application.

Salesforce.com plans to make Chatter generally available this year. The platform will be included at no additional charge to paid editions of Salesforce CRM and Force.com. For $50 per user per month, new customers will be able to get Salesforce Chatter, Salesforce Content, and Force.com.

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