Charlene Li of the Altimeter Group posted last night about Salesforce.com’s intent to integrate Chatter into its platform. Salesforce.com is an enterprise application that helps organizations collaborate, schedule, organize and track workflow. The addition of Chatter, allows for social networking behind the firewall which is very smart. I’ve used free competitors of Salesforce.com in this CRM space and they have a ways to go.
Ms. Li makes a couple of thought-provoking points in her post:
“This is more than merely integrating Twitter-like functionality into CRM and creating ‘social CRM.’ This is a rethink and elevation of how information flows around an organization, and where it lives. The elevation of deals to be on the same level as people is significant — in every other social platform, people reign supreme and the world pivots around them.”
“It’s one thing to use Twitter for customer support. It’s quite another to integrate it into the workflow of the organization.”
Charlene’s talk about deals and Twitter helped me mash-up this idea, related to the heinous business practice called “the RFP.” Imagine issuing an RFP along with a hashtag twitter follow subject (e.g., #widgetRFP1) that allows all RFP participants (and others) to chat in real time about the RFP. Yeahhhhhh. Think about it. Good info. Misinfo. Misdirection. Redirection. Potential business partners. Quick answers from the RFP issuer. As my kids used to say “I yike it.”