SAN FRANCISCO: Salesforce has expanded its Chatter business collaboration platform with more social capabilities to help businesses develop a better view of customers.
The firm made the announcement at its annual Dreamforce customer event in San Francisco.
Social Customer Profiles allows companies using Chatter to track customers on a mix of social networks, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Each customer has an integrated social profile, which includes information such as what they have 'Liked' on Facebook, who they are connected to on LinkedIn and photos posted on social networks.
The social profiles will be available from the Contact tab in the next version of Chatter, explained Dan Darcy, Salesforce marketing vice president, during the event's opening keynote.
"Social Profiles will allow businesses to see what conversations businesses are having about their brand, what cases or deals they may be involved in, and what applications they are using. We're taking advantage of the public APIs on social networks," he said.
Salesforce also revealed Chatter Now, which allows business users to see when their colleagues are online using the collaboration tool, and to instantly chat with them and share screens.
Another feature, Chatter Customer Groups, will allow business users to invite customers into their own private networks to collaborate.
Salesforce chief executive Marc Benioff said that the updates will help businesses create a "social enterprise".
"Your customers and employees are social, but are enterprises social?" he asked.
Benioff suggested that the typical social enterprise will have a customer database focused on social data, an employee network, and a customer and product network.
Other updates to Chatter include Approvals, which allows users to approve business requests, such as sales discounts, hiring decisions and holiday requests, without having to leave Chatter, as well as tighter integration with the Salesforce Service Cloud.
This integration, called Chatter Service, means that customers can ask questions in the Chatter feed, and have the answer fed back to them by service agents or business experts. Chatter Service will also be connected to public social networks.
Chatter was unveiled at Dreamforce 2009.
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