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6/22/2010
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Salesforce.com Launches Chatter Collaboration Tool

The "Facebook for business" brings social networking elements to the 160,000-plus custom applications available on Force.com.

Salesforce.com Tuesday unveiled Chatter -- nicknamed the "Facebook for business" -- a communication and collaboration tool designed to help organizations work more efficiently and effectively.

"Salesforce Chatter is the most exciting thing I've worked on in my career," said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com, in a statement. "Delivering Chatter is a seminal moment and one that marks the arrival of Cloud 2."

Using the type of features embraced by Facebook and Twitter users, employees can tap Chatter's social, mobile, and real-time technology to collaborate on documents, business processes, projects, and application data. Components include profiles, status updates, and real-time feeds inside Force.com.

With the availability of Chatter, all 160,000-plus custom applications available on Force.com immediately can become social, according to Salesforce.com. Developers or internal IT departments can tap Chatter's social networking capabilities for resale or internal use.

"With Salesforce Chatter, the advertising department has increased collaboration across marketing initiatives and improved service levels to our internal customers of more than 14,000 agents. What's been most amazing about Chatter is how it leverages a secure platform with a trusted sharing model to enable continuous collaboration within the enterprise," said Mitch Varhula, marketing consultant at beta tester Farmers Insurance, in a statement.

Effective Tuesday, Salesforce.com's existing 77,300 customers can use Chatter, according to the company. There is no additional cost for paid users of Salesforce CRM and Force.com. Chatter-only user licenses are available for customers using Professional Edition, Enterprise Edition, or Unlimited Edition for $15 per user, per month, Salesforce.com said.

Chatter, which began beta testing in February, was unveiled live at Google's Cloudforce 2010 conference in San Jose, Calif. The announcement also will appear on a webcast.

Salesforce.com used Google's Developer Toolkit for Google Apps and the Google App Engine to build Chatter.

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