Salesforce Gets Social and Mobile
Updated · Aug 31, 2011
At its Dreamforce conference in San Francisco today, Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) unveiled a number new products and features, including HTML5-based mobile apps, the new Data.com social customer contact service, and a number of new Chatter features.
Salesforce’s new HTML5 mobile service, Touch.salesforce.com, offers optimized Salesforce apps and customizations for touch devices. HTML5 is growing in popularity for mobile CRM and business intelligence apps for its promise of rich features and support for a wide range of platforms and devices.
Salesforce said Touch.salesforce.com will also enhance the Force.com platform “to become the destination for developing trusted, enterprise mobile apps.” Force.com developers will be able to mobilize existing Force.com apps and build new, secure mobile apps easily.
Touch.salesforce.com is expected to be generally available in early 2012.
The new Data.com service combines Salesforce’s Jigsaw business contact service with company information from Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) to help sales and marketing people build and maintain social customer profiles. The service is available now with contact information from Jigsaw, with company information from D&B set to be added later this fall.
Salesforce’s popular Chatter collaboration service also received a number of new features. Chatter Now lets users see when their colleagues are online, instantly chat with them and share their screen without leaving Chatter.
Chatter customer groups let users invite people outside of their organization into their Chatter network to collaborate, while Chatter Approvals let users take action on any approval process directly from within their Chatter feed. Sales discounts, hiring decisions, vacation requests and the like can be approved without having to leave Chatter.
Chatter Service turns the Salesforce Service Cloud into “a self-service destination” that will let customers ask their question in a Facebook-like social feed and receive answers from the knowledge base, the community of experts or a service agent. Chatter Service will also connect to public social networks like Facebook. The announcements are part of what Salesforce has dubbed its “social enterprise” vision. The new Chatter features are expected to be available late this year or early next.
Salesforce also announced a number of new developer tools, including Heroku for Java so Java developers can tap Heroku for social, mobile and cloud apps, and Chatter Connect, a REST API for Chatter integration with third-party applications. The free Chatter for SharePoint coming later this year will let companies embed Chatter feeds in a Sharepoint MySite or TeamSite and share documents from Sharepoint to Chatter.
Salesforce also announced that Database.com is now generally available, with a new Data Residency Option planned for 2012.
Paul Ferrill has been writing for over 15 years about computers and network technology. He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering as well as a MS in Electrical Engineering. He is a regular contributor to the computer trade press. He has a specialization in complex data analysis and storage. He has written hundreds of articles and two books for various outlets over the years. His articles have appeared in Enterprise Apps Today and InfoWorld, Network World, PC Magazine, Forbes, and many other publications.