In a move analysts have expected for some time, Salesforce.com is taking Chatter to the smartphone world to drive deeper social, mobile and real-time collaboration in the enterprise. Chatter Mobile lets users monitor Chatter feeds, including posts from colleagues and app alerts. Users can also post status updates and comment on conversations from their mobile device.
Salesforce.com did its homework before taking Chatter mobile. The company points to IDC research that reveals mobile devices are becoming the new enterprise desktop for more than 50 percent of the workforce. Chatter Mobile for Apple iPad, iPhone and the new iPod touch, Google Android and RIM BlackBerry devices looks to leverage that trend in effort to woo enterprises to its platform.
"Chatter Mobile means you can know what is happening in your entire enterprise, wherever you are," said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com. "The combination of devices like the iPad or the new iPod touch with mobile apps like Chatter that push information to you in real-time are making the desktop obsolete."
Cloud 2 Emerges
Chatter Mobile is a Cloud 2 play. Cloud 2 is the next generation of cloud computing, which is more social, more collaborative and real-time. Again pointing to IDC research, Salesforce.com is looking to tap into the more than 500 million people who access the Internet using a mobile device with Chatter Mobile.
"Like a chess game, you know what the first six moves are going to be. Every vendor who has any sort of collaboration platform, particularly those that cater to social networking or anything that has the potential to do geolocation services, has to have a strong mobile platform road map," said Brad Shimmin, an analyst at Current Analysis. "Taking Chatter mobile was an inevitable move."
Salesforce.com is also banking on IDC research that predicts the use of mobile apps will grow at a double-digit rate, as well as a Morgan Stanley report that estimates the number of people who access the Internet via mobile devices will surpass desktops and laptops by 2012.
"When you think about where collaborating today, it's all on mobile devices," said R "Ray" Wang, founding partner and analyst, Altimeter Group. "The four big trends in this marketplace are mobile, social, cloud and analytics and that's really where Chatter plays long-term."
Salesforce.com launched Chatter in June and reports positive enterprise feedback, with nearly 20,000 companies deploying the platform. Chatter Mobile apps for BlackBerry, iPad, iPhone and the new iPod touch will come to market later in 2010. Chatter Mobile for Android devices should roll out in the first half of 2011.
"We've transformed how we work by deploying Salesforce Chatter," said Matthew Schafer, founding partner at Sequoia Wealth Management Group. "Now, with Chatter Mobile, employees will be liberated from desktop computing and able to stay actively involved with important information through a simple interface on their mobile device. This will be huge for our productivity."