With Salesforce.com's Dreamforce cloud conference kicking off next week, the reigning cloud kingpin is getting its ducks in a row to sharpen its strategy for the social enterprise, a plan that includes a new partnership and a rumored acquisition.
First, Salesforce and one-time rival Yammer on Tuesday revealed an integration plan through which the two will enable Salesforce data to be displayed in Yammer's Facebook- and Twitter-like corporate communications software, which brings employees into an internal, private enterprise social network.
Salesforce and Yammer have squared off in the past, as the two duked it out around Salesforce's release of Chatter, Salesforce's social collaboration application. The beef between Salesforce and Yammer prompted Yammer to say Salesforce "doesn't get social." Following the launch of Chatter, Yammer created a video calling Benioff and Chatter copycats. That video features footage of Benioff praising Yammer three years before Chatter was unveiled.
But Yammer Tuesday said it used Salesforce's Force.com cloud application development platform, along with Yammer's own API, to stream Salesforce data in a manner similar to a Twitter or Facebook stream. That means users can stream sales leads, deals, marketing campaigns and other information and activities that are put into Salesforce.com via Yammer alongside data from other applications.
"Salesforce.com users who have installed the app can automatically receive stories in Yammer about changes to their CRM data and collaborate in real-time with their colleagues about this information," Yammer said. According to Yammer, the integration combines Yammers enterprise-wide social platform with Salesforce's platform, which is primarily used by employees in the sales department.
"Yammer is a superset of business activity feeds," David Sacks, Yammer founder and CEO, said in a statment. "As more enterprise applications add activity feeds, it becomes important to bring them together in a central place where it's easy to collaborate. The alternative is that every departmental app becomes its own social network, creating more silos across the enterprise. Customers are looking for a single feed to rule them all, and Yammer is in the best position to do that as the best-of-breed enterprise social network."
According to Yammer, the integration with Salesforce.com is available to Yammer customers in private beta this month and will be generally available later this year.
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