Marking a pivot point in the transition from the desktop to the mobile device, Salesforce.com is mobilizing Chatter, launching applications for the on-demand communication and collaboration software for the Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, Google Android and Research In Motion BlackBerry.
Salesforce showcased the new Chatter Mobile offering Wednesday at its Cloudforce London event. The mobile version lets users monitor their Chatter feeds, which include posts from colleagues and alerts from apps, as well as post status updates and comment on conversations from their devices.
Salesforce Chatter was unveiled at the company's Dreamforce customer conference in November and Chatter went live in June. Salesforce Chatter leverages user familiarity with consumer-oriented social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter and offers similar capabilities within a business or organization. It offers profiles, status updates, content and file sharing and real-time feeds.
Salesforce said chatter is part of its "Cloud 2" strategy, what the company has called the second generation of cloud computing. The first generation of the cloud was about leveraging technologies that were low cost, fast and easy to use on the desktop, while Cloud 2 represents the next phase of cloud computing, which is more social, collaborative and delivers real-time access to data and information across mobile devices.
The Cloud 2 play jibes with recent research that indicates desktop computing will soon be outpaced by mobile devices. Morgan Stanley has reported that the number of Internet users who access the Web via mobile devices will eclipse desktop and laptops Web users come 2012, while IDC predicts that more than 500 million Internet users access the Web via mobile devices and that the use of mobile apps will grow at a double-digit rate.
As of late August, Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff said that nearly 20,000 businesses were using the desktop version of Chatter.
"Chatter has the potential to take us enterprise-wide," Benioff said at the time. "This significantly increases our addressable market in cloud computing, one of the fastest growing segments in technology today."
The launch of Chatter Mobile creates a new adoption model, targeting the massive number of users who leverage social networking sites from their mobile devices. A recent IDC study revealed mobile devices are becoming the new desktop for more than half of the work force.
A mobile version of Chatter, Salesforce said, can boost productivity by providing access to chatter regardless of device or location.
"Chatter Mobile means you can know what is happening in your entire enterprise, wherever you are," Benioff said in a statement. "The combination of devices like the iPad or the new iPod Touch with mobile apps like Chatter that push information to you in real-time are making the desktop obsolete."
Salesforce said Chatter Mobile will be available at no additional charge to Salesforce CRM and Force.com subscribers. Salesforce is expected to launch Chatter Mobile for BlackBerry, the iPad, the iPhone and the new iPod Touch later this year, and for Android devices in the first half of 2011.