Chatter To Gain IM, Screen Sharing - InformationWeek
Cloud // Software as a Service
07:03 PM
Connect Directly
50% Chatter To Gain IM, Screen Sharing

Salesforce will add instant messaging and presence in June, followed by a pilot of screen sharing for Chatter.

 7 Examples: Put Gamification To Work
7 Examples: Put Gamification To Work
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)'s Chatter social collaboration tool will be going real-time in the coming months, adding presence detection and instant messaging capabilities this summer, with a pilot version of a screen sharing tool to follow later this year.

Salesforce has been promising to add real-time features since it acquired the startup Dimdim in January 2011. A preview of the instant messaging feature arrived as part of an October batch of feature updates.

Chatter Messenger instant messaging and presence will be generally available as of June, while a "limited pilot" of the screen sharing feature is scheduled for the third quarter of 2012. The real-time products will be offered as free additions to Chatter for both customers and users of the free version.

[ From ERP to social business? SAP Plays Social Collaboration Game By Own Rules.]

"We believe real-time is a core feature," Dave King, director of Chatter product marketing, said in an interview. "This is going to be a really important part of the social enterprise." While many businesses use either consumer products like Yahoo Instant Messenger or corporate instant messaging tools, Chatter Messenger will distinguish itself with "real-time IM or screen sharing directly from a business workflow," according to King. That means participants in an asynchronous discussion on Chatter will be able to see who is online and available for real-time collaboration about the same topic.

"Everybody is now a click away from having these real-time, contextual conversations," King said. Chatter Messenger also supports group chats for up to 10 participants.

A just-released Forrester Research report on enterprise activity streams identifies Chatter as one of the leaders in the market segment for tools built around a social feed, with Yammer and Tibco's Tibbr closely matching Chatter in functionality and vision. Tibbr also includes an instant-messaging feature, as do some of the broader social products like IBM Connections and Jive Software's social business platform.

Chatter's great strength is its integration with CRM, and one of the other Chatter enhancements Salesforce is delivering capitalizes on that connection. For big organizations, the ability to filter the stream is critical to making social collaboration useful, and Chatter users can now filter on custom criteria--for example, users could filter a feed for just those conversations related to sales opportunities, as identified in the CRM system, with an estimated value over $50,000. The criteria can be based on any object in the platform, according to King.

In combination with Chatter Messenger, a manager could filter for the biggest opportunities, identify those requiring his input, and launch a real-time collaboration to push the sale forward, King said.

The logic behind Chatter screen sharing is the same: allowing users to launch a visual, show-and-tell collaboration session from a Chatter discussion or user profile, King said. At least initially, is targeting its screen-sharing technology at collaboration between the users on the enterprise social network. In other words, it won't be competing with products like Cisco's WebEx or Citrix's GoToMeeting (which is what King used for this product briefing).

King showed a demo of the screen-sharing app, but he said it still needs to go through a pilot project shakedown, just as the instant messaging app did last year. "The customers who have gotten the early preview are excited about it."

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

The Enterprise 2.0 Conference brings together industry thought leaders to explore the latest innovations in enterprise social software, analytics, and big data tools and technologies. Learn how your business can harness these tools to improve internal business processes and create operational efficiencies. It happens in Boston, June 18-21. Register today!

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Deb Donston-Miller
Deb Donston-Miller,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/11/2012 | 9:43:03 AM
re: Chatter To Gain IM, Screen Sharing
These features are truly important for making Chatter more compelling internally (IM) and externally (screen sharing).

Deb Donston-Miller
Contributing Editor, The BrainYard
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Digital Transformation Myths & Truths
Transformation is on every IT organization's to-do list, but effectively transforming IT means a major shift in technology as well as business models and culture. In this IT Trend Report, we examine some of the misconceptions of digital transformation and look at steps you can take to succeed technically and culturally.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll