Salesforce update adds real-time chat and screen sharing in the enterprise


Salesforce has revealed a couple of new features for its collaboration platform Chatter intended to increase staff communication and information sharing in real time.

The lid was lifted on the tools at the company’s annual Cloudforce event in London. The new Chatter Messenger real-time instant messaging client will be hosted on the company’s cloud platform with Chatter.

The messenger feature is tucked away in a corner of the cChatter window, much like Facebook's Messenger app. Salesforce said that this would fix the problem of staff having to download potentially risky public IM services for an IT department to install and manage an IM service from a third party. Salesforce said that employees would be able to chat instantly with their colleagues completely in the cloud, and IT will be able to easily deploy a secure, cloud-based communications solution for free.

The feature also allows both individual and group chat with anyone else on Salesforce Chatter. Users can add up to 10 people to a single chat session.

The second new feature is Chatter Screensharing. This will enable employees to share screens and presentations instantly with their colleagues. This, it said, would increase employee productivity and engagement.

It said both new features would let employees launch meetings and presentations with key teams and groups. The addition of Chatter Screensharing meant that every conversation and meeting could now take place in Salesforce Chatter.

“Chatter Messenger and Screensharing deliver Skype-like real-time technologies directly in the Salesforce Chatter feed - empowering companies to run their entire business on one trusted platform,” said Kendall Collins, senior vice president of Salesforce Chatter.

Denis Pombriant, managing principal at research company Beagle Research Group said that the new approach would enable companies to get “more done, faster and with greater certainty.”

“These innovations continue to position Salesforce Chatter as a trusted and proven platform,” he said.

Chatter Messenger is currently scheduled to be generally available in June 2012 with Chatter Screensharing is currently scheduled to be available as a limited pilot in the third quarter of this year. Pricing is based on customers’ particular requirements.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.