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Posted March 15, 2012 By Pedro Hernandez     Feedback

Achievement unlocked! rolls out new socially-driven features powered by its recent human capital management HCM buy. hopes the social hooks it gained by acquiring Rypple  late last year will do for its business cloud services platform what they did for the Web at large. That is, make it more collaborative, mobile and just plain indispensable.

Salesforce snapped up cloud-based social performance management specialist Rypple in December amid a period of market shake-ups and furious deal making in the human capital management (HCM) space. Shortly after Oracle launched its self-branded Public Cloud service with in its sights, SAP acquired cloud-based HCM firm SuccessFactors for $3.4 billion. More recently,  Oracle sent waves across the HCM landscape by announcing that it was acquiring Taleo for $1.9 Billion.

Today, just six weeks after closing the Rypple deal, Salesforce rolled out new integrated services called, succinctly enough, Salesforce Rypple.

Salesforce's approach to HCM straddles two huge trends affecting not only IT, but broader business culture: social engagement and mobility. " is seeing unstoppable demand for the social enterprise as companies see their customers and employees become more social and mobile by the day," said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of Salesforce.

Salesforce's answer to this demand takes the form of two new "strategic integrations" the company believes will become a mainstay of business collaboration going forward.

Turns out, You Do Need Stinkin' Badges

First is Rypple for Salesforce, which allows team members to "thank" colleagues for a job well done. For example, says Salesforce, a sales manager can "thank" a sales rep for closing a deal or a customer service rep can earn recognition by providing fast and friendly service.

These "thanks" -- badges, essentially -- show up on users' Salesforce Chatter feeds and social profiles, showcasing an employee's expertise. More importantly, in terms of career advancement, they provide a real-time, socially-driven performance gauge to managers and peers, which can serve as a handy reference during performance reviews.

Next is Rypple for Chatter, which expands on the "thanks" concept by adding more tools for companies to motivate their workforces. This build-a-badge functionality allows organizations to craft custom kudos for meeting certain milestones and achieving company goals. Employee contributions can then be broadcast across an entire organization and across all device types, which Salesforce hopes gives managers an appreciation for the web of people, skills and relationships that keep businesses afloat.

Salesforce Rypple is available now and starts at $5 per user, per month.

Super Site

Salesforce is also trying its hand at cloud content management with Salesforce While WYSIWYG site building is hardly new, the company is differentiating its offering by leveraging its expansive platform. Salesforce integrates with, which powers Salesforce  Sales Cloud, Service Cloud and custom apps.

This allows users to create or update content by quickly pulling information from their Salesforce environment, and having it propagate instantly across corporate sites, landing pages, and of course, social networks. Salesforce also offers templates, Chatter collaboration and drag-and-drop form building tools that interact with Salesforce-hosted data. According to the company, marquee clients HP and FICO are already using Salesforce

Salesforce is available now and costs $1,500 USD per month, per site and can purchased as a stand-alone service. User access, with classifications for publishers and contributors, costs an additional $125 USD and $20 USD per month, respectively.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of IT-related websites and as the Green IT curator for GigaOM Pro. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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