Cush said while that scenario is exciting, he is even more excited by the potential for collaboration among employees, which he expects to happen mostly through mobile devices because "90% of the people who work for our airline never sit down at a desk or sit down at a computer." Salesforce's strong support for mobile devices was one of the deciding factors in favor of Chatter over its competitors, he said.
Cush also sees potential for breaking down silos in what traditionally has been a hierarchical industry. Running an airline is a "logistical nightmare where about 20 steps have to go right to get a passenger and their bag to the final destination," he said, and better collaboration might allow workers to bypass some of those steps when necessary and jump straight to a solution.
Others who vouched for Chatter:
--Ed Steinike, CIO at the Coca-Cola Company, who described Chatter as "a new way to work in a faster environment," something the company will need if it is to fulfill its stated goal of doubling revenue over the next decade.
--Andy Lark, chief marketing officer at Australia's CommonwealthBank, who talked about "providing the ability for the narrative of the organization to be captured and shared."
--Activision CIO Robert Schmid, who discussed improving customer service by using Chatter both internally and externally. "We're hoping that with Chatter, as soon as somebody can't answer a question, we [can expose] that problem to all our smart people" and get the answer for the customer.
Social media make the customer more powerful than ever. Here's how to listen and react. Also in the new, all-digital The Customer Really Comes First issue of The BrainYard: The right tools can help smooth over the rough edges in your social business architecture. (Free registration required.)