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Salesforce.com at Dreamforce 2011 Wednesday officially put the spotlight on its vision of the social enterprise, a concept that pulls from mobile, social and open cloud technologies to create new businesses models.
And to ring in the era of the social enterprise, Salesforce launched a host of new products to enable the social enterprise revolution. Combined, Benioff said, the products weave together various technologies to develop social customer profiles, create employee social networks and build customer social networks and product social networks.
First, Salesforce's social strategy took center stage. Salesforce showcased social customer profiles into Salesforce, where customer profiles have direct links to customer social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, while also adding customer photos and other information.
Salesforce also undertook a massive makeover for its social networking and collaboration application Chatter, which Salesforce launched at Dreamforce 2009.
Chatter Now adds real-time collaboration by adding presence capabilities to show users when their contacts and colleagues are online, which enables instant chats without leaving Chatter, Benioff said. Once connected, users can share screens and collaborate on files and documents. Chatter Custom Groups let users invite people from outside their organizations into their Chatter network, breaking down the silos to let customers and partners collaborate in private and secure groups.
"You can bring your customers into a private Chatter group and collaborate with them right there," said Salesforce CMO Kraig Swensrud.
Chatter Approvals let users take action on any approval process from within Chatter, meaning sales discounts, hiring decisions, vacation requests and other approvals can be made without leaving Chatter.
Salesforce's Service Cloud also was updated with Chatter. Service Cloud with Chatter Service, now features community feeds to push answers to customers; suggested knowledge where articles are recommended based on the content of a question; crowd-sourced answers; connection to customer social networks with Facebook integration; and agent escalation, which lets questions be escalated to an agent if the community doesn't answer them in a pre-defined time period.
"Now you can put Chatter right on your Web site," Benioff said.
Salesforce Wednesday also launched Data.com, a new offering that gives sales and marketing pros information to plan, target and execute sales and marketing campaigns within Salesforce. The service unifies socially crowd-sources contact information from Jigsaw and company information from Dun & Bradstreet into a single place to help users build and maintain social profiles on customers.
"With Data.com you can access the world's leading data providers right inside our Salesforce systems," Benioff said.
Additionally, Salesforce also made major updates to its Sales Cloud sales app to make it more social. Among roughly 150 Sales Cloud updates on tap for winter 2012, Sales Cloud will sport Collaborative Forecasts for forecast management; Deal Rooms for customer groups that let users and customers connect during the sales process; Social Contacts to know customer questions, requests and likes prior to calling; Dynamic Dashboard Filters and Mobile Dashboards to create a single view of the business and toggle between products, regions and groups; Salesforce for Outlook Task Sync and 2010 64-bit, with accelerators which now syncs tasks quick with support for 64-bit versions of Outlook 2010; and Chatter for Outlook, which lets users put recent Chatter posts into Outlook.
"The Sales Cloud has completely gone social," said Swensrud.
Salesforce also demonstrated the functionality of Radian6, the social network monitoring service Salesforce acquired earlier this year. Benioff said Radian6 tracks what customers say on Twitter, Facebook, blogs and communities and lets companies listen, monitor and analyze social networks. Radian6 is now integrated into Salesforce, so companies can respond to and engage with customers via various social channels. That information can also be added to the customer's social profile.
Next: Salesforce Goes Mobile; The Cloud Opens Up