Salesforce.com is not solely a CRM company anymore. It’s a CRM company that has its sights on owning the enterprise SaaS stack, well beyond its core sales roots. The latest example comes with Salesforce Company Community (SCC), its social and mobile replacement for the corporate Intranet.
The intranet was so damn cool on my IE browser in 1997! Today it can be a slog of a thing. Still important, but meant to read, not as much to write, and much less for using as a social stream.
SCC is designed around Chatter, the activity stream technology that without question is becoming Salesforce’s brand and model for its new and emerging services. My guess: expect CEO Marc Benioff to continue touting Chatter as representing the future of the Salesforce user interface as he proclaimed in Boston earlier this year.
It is meant to run on a smartphone, tablet and the desktop, too. Again, hallmarks of what is defining the modern workplace.
From Chatter comes extensions to Work.com, its task-based productivity suite, and Service Cloud, its customer service offering.
Salesforce has often been touted by Benioff as the Facebook for the enterprise, SCC has that kind of flavor. A customer can use Site.com, the Salesforce tool for building websites for creating branded content pages and for file sharing and collaboration.
Work.com is baked in for employee recognition. A PR dude does a great job and maybe he gets a badge that comes attached with a cash reward.
Apps get the spotlight on SCC. A customer can organize them in one place. It’s like a marketplace but built into the large collaborative community. IT can enforce policy with the service, granting access to apps.
The difference for SCC is in its modern approach. Microsoft is a target, without a doubt. Its Sharepoint product has become a multi-billion dollar business. But does SCC have the chops to compete? Sharepoint now can integrate Yammer. The company has Skype and Linc, which just integrated. It also has Active Directory, now also available on Windows Azure.
SCC is a social product. But it needs more on its bones. Furthermore, it is not going to be available until the second half of 2013, making it still only a concept for the company’s customers and the rest of us to imagine and theorize what it is. But the Chatter theme is interesting and may be enough to make a difference for people who want an experience that comes with modern services.