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11/30/2011
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Appirio Social Enterprise Toolkit Links To Chatter

Cloud consulting company Appirio is bundling a greatest hits collection of Salesforce.com Chatter tools for integration and compliance.

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Cloud integration specialist Appirio has introduced a Social Enterprise Toolkit, which is essentially a greatest hits collection of apps for Salesforce.com's Chatter.

The toolkit is a collection of software assets accumulated through many integration projects, as well as a developer crowdsourcing collaboration with CloudSpokes, said Narinder Singh, co-founder and chief strategy officer at Appirio. "A lot of them are new, added over the last few weeks or months, because we've been adding to the asset library so quickly," he said.

Features include:
-- Google+-to-Chatter and Twitter-to-Chatter integrations, in which posts on those public social media services that include a special hashtag will also be added to Chatter.
-- Cross-posting from Chatter to other services, including Facebook, with the use of a hashtag.
-- A Chatter influence score.
-- Chatter compliance tools, including alerts to an administrator when proscribed keywords (such as words associated with confidential projects) are used in Chatter.

For a full list, see www.socialenterprisetoolkit.com.

The cross-posting capability is particularly useful for spurring adoption of Chatter, Singh said. "I might see an article that I want to post for my coworkers to see, but it's equally relevant to my Twitter followers," he said. Rather than going through the gymnastics required to post to multiple sites, users typically do one or the other. The hashtag integration method makes it easier for them to do both, he said.

[ Salesforce is making a bigger play for social brand management and customer engagement. See Salesforce.com Steps Past CRM, Into Social Marketing. ]

While Appirio has a close relationship with Salesforce, it also works with other cloud and social software vendors and bridges between them, for example with its Social Selling integration between Salesforce.com and Jive. Singh said the company does the majority of its work with cloud applications for Salesforce, Google, and Workday.

While it is not quite a packaged software or software-as-a-service offering, the Social Enterprise Toolkit is meant to give customers an idea of the range of integrations that Appirio can deliver relatively inexpensively because they are such common requirements. "A lot of them are now just checkboxes," Singh said. The price of entry for an Appirio integration blueprint consultation starts at about $10,000 to 20,000 and ranges into the six figures for larger enterprises, he said.

At the end of an engagement, Appirio aims to leave its customers self-sufficient, Singh said. "We believe savvier customers are better customers for us." Appirio doesn't operate like a traditional systems integrator, he said. "We're trying to disrupt that model the same way Salesforce disrupted Siebel."

Follow David F. Carr on Twitter @davidfcarr. The BrainYard is @thebyard

The Enterprise Connect conference program covers the full range of platforms, services, and applications that comprise modern communications and collaboration systems. It happens March 25-29 in Orlando, Fla. Find out more.

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