Read Write Web is reporting tonight on a CRN story (confirmed on Twitter), that Salesforce.comâ€™s Chatter activity stream product (currently free for Salesforce.com customers or $15/month for non-customers) is going freemium soon.
Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff made this announcement to analysts today (leaked by CRN, as Benioff said on Twitter) saying that the Chatter product becoming free was a good way to get other Salesforce products into organizations.
Benioff talked about organizations using Chatter to replace aging tools like Lotus Notes; products that just havenâ€™t kept up with how information flows or is shared today.
But the freemium model? Is it a good idea for something like Chatter and Salesforce.com? My gut says it is. From my own experience in organizations (large and small and informal) bringing in a free tool, especially one that doesnâ€™t require additional software to install, is a great way to test and get hooked on the tool. Sometimes the tool isnâ€™t the right fit. Thatâ€™s cool, because nothing was invested. If it is the right tool and the costs make sense â€¦ then you have a new customer.
Though not on the scale of Salesforce.com, I started using Dropbox with the free version. I recommended people to it and got more space, but when I got to the point that was filling up my 4 or 6 gigsâ€¦I sprung for the 50 GB package. Simple as that.
Now I have hundreds of files synced (and backed up) there as well as shared folders with my publisher and the rest of the TNW team.
Nice up sell I think.
So Chatterâ€¦if it goes free in the near future (could be as soon as next month), Iâ€™ll certainly give it a shot.
Why not, itâ€™s free.