Cloud Computing Collaboration: Appirio Marries Salesforce Chatter, Google Apps


Cloud computing collaboration is one of the big selling points of cloud applications, and Appirio took that message to heart at DreamForce 2010 in San Francisco on Tuesday with the addition of Salesforce Chatter to Google Apps.

Wrapping Salesforce Chatter, which lets users collaborate and communicate within Salesforce, into Google Apps, the search giant's cloud computing collaboration and communication suite, enables users of Salesforce and Google Apps to collaborate more effectively using the cloud, said Ryan Nichols, head of product management and marketing for San Mateo, Calif.-based Appirio.

Salesforce Chatter capabilities will now be part of Appirio's cross-cloud SalesWorks application, technology that Appirio launched in September that connects once-disparate SaaS applications including Google Apps, Salesforce and Workday. Adding Chatter to the mix lets users communicate via Chatter through any Google Apps offerings, including Gmail, Calendar and others.

Boiled down to its simplest form, the addition of Salesforce Chatter "makes SalesWorks social," Nichols said. "You can Chatter in your inbox, in your calendar, in your start page. Wherever."

Nichols added that Chatter and SalesWorks broadens the scope of Salesforce, making it a more robust and useful offering for cloud computing collaboration and communication.

"If you think of all the things you want access to in Salesforce, it's not just contacts, accounts and opportunities," he said. "The more information we can get out of Salesforce and into Google, the more interest there will be."

The deeper integration between once disparate cloud computing collaboration applications also works to fuel SaaS use and let users take advantage of the benefits of SaaS. Appirio, which was traditionally a Google Apps reseller, has made the evolution to what it calls "CloudSourcing," meaning it now helps customers move fully to the cloud.

"Companies are adopting SaaS apps and up until this point you don't get all of the incremental benefit from adopting just another cloud app," he said, adding that integrating those apps changes SaaS deployments from a 1+1+1=3 scenario to a 1+1+1=5 situation.

Appirio has said that SalesWorks is expected to run $4 per-user, per-month for casual users and up to $25 per-user, per-month for full multicloud applications.

Also at DreamForce, Salesforce Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff unveiled a new free version of Salesforce Chatter, aptly named Chatter Free.