Chatter has been a popular Salesforce offering since it was launched in June 2010. It gives inside and outside sales teams a way to establish profiles about themselves, discover expertise in the organization, communicate about contacts, meeting, and deals, and collaborate on how to counter moves by competitors.
It's offered as a stand-alone applications at $15 a month per user; existing Salesforce.com CRM and Force.com customers may use it as a free extension of their applications or they can subscribe to a $15 a month Plus edition. CEO Marc Benioff says most of Salesforce's existing 80,000 customers use it.
Oracle Social Network does many of the same things. It makes information in Oracle Fusion CRM and Fusion Human Capital Management applications available to network users. It provides a chat form of communication that is more secure than an online service, such as Facebook or Twitter. And it allows information on a project or deal to be collected and stored in an Oracle database.
[ Want to learn more about Oracle's cloud initiatives? See Oracle Takes Plunge Into Public Cloud Computing. ]
Files may be shared through OSN and documents created with multiple editors and contributors. It's also equipped with search to pull relevant information on a project out of different sources within the company, according to information posted to the Oracle OSN Web pages. OSN was mentioned by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison at Oracle OpenWorld on Oct. 5, but few details were divulged at that time.
He said OSN will work with Fusion applications as they are made available as software as a service in the Oracle Cloud. So far, CRM and HCM are the ones available.
Mobile workers may participate in OSN conversations through OSN applications that work on the iPad, iPhone, and Android phones.
With OSN, not only employees but business partners and consultants may participate in conversations, share contents, create documents, and see information relevant to a deal through the social network, if they've been given access to the network. Updates to information are pushed in real time out to team members.
Oracle Social Network is an addition to the services in Oracle Cloud, which includes Fusion CRM and HCM applications as software as a service, an Oracle collaborative development platform for producing Java database applications, and an Oracle database service.
A Nucleus Research examination of Salesforce's Chatter found that employees were more likely to update their bosses in a timely manner over a social network than they were through more formal procedures, such as submitting reports.
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