LONDON: Salesforce has unveiled two new features for its popular Chatter collaboration platform that are designed to improve real-time staff communication and information sharing.
The firm unveiled the tools at its annual Cloudforce event in London. The new Chatter Messenger real-time instant messaging (IM) client will be hosted on the Salesforce's cloud platform within the Chatter service.
Salesforce said this would address the issue of staff having to download unsecured public IM services or for IT to have to install and manage service from other vendors. It helps firms reap the benefits IM tools can offer, such as quickly sharing information and hosting group chats, Salesforce claimed.
"Over the years there's been a sea of individual technologies that have come out, like IM, that can help with collaboration that have become part of businesses working practices by enabling staff to easily share data, links, and information," Salesforce's European product marketing manager, Charlie Richey, told V3 at the event.
"But these have existed as islands of collaboration. By baking Messenger into the Chatter platform, we can provide these benefits but within a business context on a single platform."
Richey also said that using the Salesforce cloud to host the services means the firm can offer a presence function. This can show who is online and pre-populate users' contact lists from their Salesforce account, which he claimed is particular useful for large enterprises.
The new Chatter Screensharing tool will allow a user to share the content on their screen with up to 10 other colleagues, improving collaboration on documents, presentations and other business information.
"The IM tool can still be used on top of the Screensharing service, so users can make comments and ask questions as the leader is running through the information on the screen, so ad hoc conversation and collaboration is made even easier," added Richey.
The Messenger tool will be made available in June while Screensharing will be launched as a pilot service in the third quarter of 2012. Pricing will be based on customers' individual requirements.
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