Salesforce.com rolls out free version of Chatter

Salesforce.com customers will be able to invite others to use the social app, Facebook-style

By , IDG News Service |  Software, Salesforce.com, Social Networking

Salesforce.com isn't finished with releasing new iterations of Chatter, Benioff said during a keynote address Tuesday at the company's Dreamforce conference in San Francisco, which was webcast.

In February, Salesforce.com will launch Chatter.com, which will be available for use by anyone at no charge. As with Chatter Free, the hope is that Chatter.com users will trade up, Benioff said.

Some observers had been hoping Benioff's talk would deliver some high-profile customer case studies for Chatter. The Dreamforce audience got one in the form of Dell, a close partner and customer of Salesforce.com.

Dell began deploying Chatter in July to about 30,000 sales representatives, said John Miles, vice president of Dell's business information organization, who joined Benioff onstage.

Chatter got strong support from Dell's top executive leadership, which was crucial, Miles said. About a month ago, the deployment expanded to more than 100,000 Dell workers around the world, he said.

The company is getting increased value from Chatter, according to Miles. Before, users were discussing customer accounts but primarily from a sales point of view. Now the conversations encompass the complete spectrum of supporting customers, he said.

Dell didn't simply throw the switch on Chatter, he added. The company was careful to conduct "very strong training programs with the business" to ensure adoption, Miles said.

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