Ken Yeung is a reporter for The Next Web based in San Francisco, CA. He carries around a big camera & likes to write about tech, startup Ken Yeung is a reporter for The Next Web based in San Francisco, CA. He carries around a big camera & likes to write about tech, startups, parties, and interesting people. Follow him on Twitter, on Facebook, and Google+.
Salesforce.com is set to release an update for its Chatter mobile iOS app. In version 4.0, users will be able to fully edit customer records, review analytics, and utilize custom actions, thereby helping them “make every moment count” (or so Salesforce thinks). While announced today, the update won’t actually be available until July 29.
Seeking to leverage the mobile device further, Salesforce believes that these micro-moments, or the occasions where users are away from their computer, need to be further exploited.
We spoke with Michael Peachey, the company’s Senior Director of Product & Solutions Marketing, who says that users want to increase their productivity when they’re only on their phone. Right now, they’re limited to accessing emails, checking the news, and viewing their calendar.
But what about updating sales opportunities, resolving service case issues, or creating a purchase order? These type of micro-moments are what Salesforce is bringing into its Chatter mobile app next week.
What exactly is Chatter? It’s the company’s enterprise social network product — a competitor to Yammer, Podio, and Jive, if you will. For the past few months, it has undergone some changes, adding features like tagging, topic experts, and file sharing. In March, Chatter received the ability to allow users to scour through customer data while also create and edit information in the records.
So how exactly is that update different from what’s in version 4.0? Peachey says that it’s a more proactive implementation, enabling users to take action right from the News Feed instead of digging around the app. The company describes this “feature” as thus:
Updating critical business information should not wait until employees are back at their desks, they need to be able to act in real-time. Now employees will be able to edit records—account and sales opportunity information, customer cases, marketing campaigns or any other type of information in Salesforce—directly from their mobile devices. Employees will get valuable work done in every micro-moment—whether they are in line for coffee, boarding a flight or in a cab heading to a customer meeting—all from the Chatter feed.
We’re not totally buying this as a brand new feature and the differences seem to be rather skin deep.
However, the other two features may prove to be of interest to users. When updated, Chatter mobile offers up analytics and a dashboard of their activity and performance in real-time. Salesforce says that it can give a look at accounts, offer a better connection with customers, and analyze the success of a particular campaign. Now, users won’t have to rush to a computer to look at analytics — they can make judgement calls just from looking at their mobile device.
In the last part of the update, customer companies can now develop their own custom actions for Chatter. Salesforce believes that this will enable users to have access to data which is specifically relevant to that company. Rather than telling companies what information they can pull up, Salesforce gives them the opportunity to speak with their internal teams, salespeople, etc. and craft up actions that help them do their jobs better.
Examples of custom actions include being able to submit marketing requests with a tap of the button, along with accessing a recruitment app to hire new employees, submitting an invoice, logging a travel request, and filing an IT support ticket.
On July 29, Salesforce will be releasing Chatter mobile 4.0 for iOS devices. An Android version is on track to hit the Google Play store during Q4 2013. All of these features are also accessible on the Chatter website.
Photo credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images
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