Unveils ‘Social Enterprise’ Vision Based on Radian6

Paul Ferrill

Updated · Jun 01, 2011 (NYSE: CRM) today unveiled its vision for “social enterprises,” and recently acquired Radian6 is at the heart of that vision.

Radian6 has been dubbed Salesforce's “marketing cloud,” and at Cloudforce 2011 in Washington, D.C. today, CEO Marc Benioff and other company officials described how the new social CRM property is being integrated with Salesforce's sales, service and collaboration technologies.

Benioff outlined three steps to becoming a social enterprise. The first step is to connect to public social networks to listen to and engage with customers, Benioff said.

He cited the example of Dell (NASDAQ: DELL), which in December opened its Social Media Listening Command Center, tracking 22,000 social media conversations a day in 11 languages. Dell has trained 13,000 employees in social media skills.

Benioff cited KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Disney as other examples of companies engaging customers on the social web.

The second step toward becoming a social enterprise is to create a corporate social network for collaboration, sales and service, based on Salesforce Chatter and service and sales clouds. Benioff cited Symantec, Groupon and Bank of America as pioneers there.

The third phase, said Benioff, is to make products themselves social. The new Toyota Friend network created with Salesforce Chatter is one example. Geo-location via mobile apps and partner and distributor networks are other steps.

All of these initiatives can be used to create a social media database using Salesforce's service, Benioff said.

Radian6 CEO Marcel LeBrun said social media has created the biggest change in corporate messaging and customer perception in more than a century. Companies used to control their own messaging, he said. “Now our customers have a much bigger voice than we do, and our customers trust each other more than they trust companies,” LeBrun said. “Now your brand isn't what you'd like it to mean, it's the sum of conversations about it.”

LeBrun, Salesforce vice president of product marketing Kraig Swensrud and public sector senior vice president Dan Burton gave a number of examples of how social media can be integrated with Salesforce technology to track customers across call center and social media contacts, determining consumer sentiment and influential customers, building a profile of individual customers, or tracking marketing campaigns by age or gender, for example.

Swensrud demonstrated how social media data can be integrated with Salesforce's Service Cloud to develop a customer profile that includes Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, along with a history of interactions with the customer, and can be called up even from a phone call to the call center. Contact center agents can even engage customers via mobile video chat, he said.


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  • Paul Ferrill
    Paul Ferrill

    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.

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