A select few businesses have been trialling the beta of Salesforce.com's Chatter application, which links enterprise collaboration with cloud computing and social networking.
Reed Exhibitions, Schumacher Group and TransUnion, among others, have joined the private beta program, which provides a Twitter-like application for enterprise users of iPhones or Blackberries.
The Chatter private beta introduces real-time collaboration within the enterprise. One hundred companies from various industries, including financial services, manufacturing, high-tech and professional services, were selected for the program.
Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com, said, "Consumer internet services such as Facebook and Twitter have shown us better ways to collaborate. Using the same social features and real-time feeds popularised by these consumer services, Salesforce Chatter changes the game for collaboration in the enterprise, without the cost and complexity of software."
Chatter enables staff to create business profiles with professional information such as contact details, area of expertise and work history. Using the profiles feature, colleagues can quickly identify individuals who can contribute to the success of their project or task using relevant, context-specific information. Salesforce.com said users can update their status, share documents, access new cloud applications and tune into company or project news feeds.
Salesforce Chatter is scheduled to be generally available this year and is expected to cost £34 per user per month, which will include Salesforce Chatter, Salesforce Content and Force.com.