Is your company a "social enterprise"? That's the central vision and theme of Dreamforce 2011, an annual event produced by CRM leader Salesforce.com.
Dreamforce 2011, which opens Tuesday, August 30th, at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, will be keynoted by Salesforce.com Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff. The always colorful chairman will further define his company's view of how social media, business processes, and business tools are melding into social enterprises.
'Social Road Map'
In a statement that previews Benioff's vision, Salesforce talks about how companies are completely changing the way they communicate and share information with customers and employees in the cloud -- transforming themselves into social enterprises. This transformation, the company said, needs to leverage social media as well as mobile and open cloud computing.
The conference will feature 475 sessions and roughly 700 speakers. Helping to ensure that "social" still means partying, Dreamforce promises an evening performance by Metallica, plus an after party by musician and pop entrepreneur will.i.am.
A look at Salesforce's major platform and application services shows how social media have affected its offerings, with social-media monitoring, analysis and engagement. There's Salesforce Chatter, a private social network for businesses, the Sales Cloud for contact management and sales force automation, the Service Cloud for customer service and support, Radian 6 for social-media monitoring and engagement, and Herkoku for building social and mobile apps in Ruby.
Key sessions at Dreamforce 2011 emphasize the social-enterprise theme. Set the Social Road Map for Your Company is the title of one. Others include Mobile Marketing: Stay Engaged Wherever You Are, Building Your Social Strategy: Prioritizing for Scale, and The Science of Social Media: Engineering Contagious Ideas.
'Heading in That Direction'
Laura DiDio, an analyst with industry research firm Information Technology Intelligence Corp., said the need to become a social enterprise "doesn't apply to every enterprise at this point, but we're heading in that direction."
As the consumerization of IT becomes more prevalent, she said, more companies will find that their employees and their customers are relying on social media. The companies, to communicate fully with employees and customers, will have to follow suit.
Social media for the enterprise has emerged as a major emphasis for Salesforce's products. In March, it announced "the next generation of social contact centers," Service Cloud 3. It positioned the updated software-as-a-service customer-service platform as "customer service for the social era."
Service Cloud 3 is designed to let organizations more completely engage with customers in social communities such as Twitter or Facebook. To facilitate that, the platform included a new integration with a Radian 6 app. Salesforce bought the social-media monitoring firm Radian 6, also in March.
Scale Up Quickly
A key selling point of the new Service Cloud upgrade is that it allows companies to scale up quickly to analyze millions of conversations that involve their products or service. Real-time reports and customizable dashboards offer social channel analyses, customer conversation analyses, and social dashboards for identifying trends.
Comments in Facebook, for instance, can be filtered by the number of friends a commenter has, as an indicator of how influential that person is. Facebook names can also be tied into actual customer records.
Social media has become a major part of many companies' approach to their customers. One of Salesforce's major competitors, SAP AG, described its SAP Sales OnDemand package as "Facebook for the enterprise," and it is seen by industry observers as SAP's answer to Salesforce Chatter.
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Posted: 2011-08-29 @ 2:03am PT
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