Salesforce Launches Online Exchange For Third-Party 'Chatter' Apps

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Salesforce made the announcements under the banner of what the company is calling "Cloud 2" or the next generation of mobile, collaboration and social networking Internet applications.

"It's all about the cloud model," Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said in a speech in New York Thursday morning. "There's a fundamental shift happening. All of us, ladies and gentlemen, are moving from cloud 1 to cloud 2. We are moving into this new desktop-less world."

Chatter, essentially a secure, Facebook-like collaboration system for building corporate social networks, debuted at Salesforce's Dreamforce conference in November and has been in limited beta testing with about 100 customers and partners since February.

Salesforce is expanding the private beta to some 500 companies, including 250 users of the company's Service Cloud, the customer service component of the company's on-demand CRM system. That will allow service agents working with Salesforce Service Cloud to use the collaboration tool to track customer updates, monitor service level agreements and share knowledge about customers. (Salesforce has about 9,000 customers using the Service Cloud application.)

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Sometime later this year Salesforce will make Chatter available at no additional charge to its 72,500 customers with paid subscriptions to Salesforce CRM and the cloud development and infrastructure platform.

The new online exchange for Chatter applications, ChatterExchange, debuts as a segment of Salesforce's AppExchange for third-party applications that run on AppExchange currently has more than 1,000 applications and passes more than 12,000 sales leads to partners every month, according to the company.

(When Chatter becomes generally available later this year all applications developed on the platform will be able to tap into Chatter's social networking capabilities, Salesforce has said.)

Salesforce said more than a dozen Chatter-enabled partner applications are already available through ChatterExchange, including on-demand software from Appirio, Bluewolf, CA Docusign, Echosign, Fairsail,,, Job Partners, Job Science, ServiceMax and Xactium.

Bluewolf, a long-time Salesforce partner, said its MediaTrak Client Manager sales collaboration application, which is built on and leverages the social components of Chatter, is available through the ChatterExchange.

Salesforce also said that more than 15 Lab tools and add-on applications are also available for free on the ChatterExchange.