Daniel Chang has been working at Salesforce since 2011 and is the Senior Director of Business Development for the Salesforce1 platform. With a passion for establishing strategic partnerships, he brings “disruptive” solutions to customers, with measurable results. I caught up with Daniel to find how Salesforce use Chatter internally, what the future holds for the tool and how you go about implementing the enterprise social network in your organisation.
What’s your background and how did you first get involved with Chatter?
I have been working in the software industry for over 20 years and have held senior positions in product marketing, product management, and strategic alliances at start-ups as well as big companies including Siebel Systems and Oracle.
What draws me to Salesforce to this day is its culture of innovation and start-up spirit where employees are encouraged to push the envelope and come up with innovative solutions that can improve productivity and transform businesses. Chatter is one such example that is making a huge impact for our customers.
What’s your Salesforce Chatter elevator pitch?
With over 215,000 active networks worldwide, Chatter is the #1 enterprise social network
– bringing the speed and power of social to the workplace.
Unlike other social networks, Chatter is the social heart of Salesforce1
, making any Salesforce app social – it integrates social sharing directly into everyday sales, service and marketing processes. And the Salesforce1 Mobile App enables employees to contribute and take action from any mobile device, anytime, anywhere.
Chatter enables employees to create their own profiles and discussion groups to easily share information and resources in the feed, a familiar practice from online social media. With so much information out in the open, employees can collaborate and connect with relevant information, experts and ideas much more efficiently, driving increased productivity, innovation and organizational alignment.
Has Chatter transformed the way Salesforce.com functions internally?
Salesforce.com employees are very heavy Chatter users, and Chatter really transforms everything we do. Our customer focus, speed of innovation and organization all get remarkable boosts from Chatter.
Want to quickly learn more about a customer? Go to the account team’s Chatter group, or look at the posts and files attached to the account record. Need to learn more about a product? Go to the product’s Chatter group to find presentations, FAQs and datasheets – and get your questions immediately answered by a product manager or experienced sales engineer. Need feedback on your roadmap? Post a poll to the field and get hundreds of opinions in a day. Hiring for your team? Start a Chatter group to centralize all resumes and candidate feedback from the interview process. Upcoming event? Kick off with a Chatter group to coordinate speakers and the field marketing and events team. Launch coming up? Chatter group. Quarterly business review? Chatter group. Planning meeting? Notes in the team Chatter group.
You can literally see everything that we do as a company in our Chatter feed. It is the fastest way to learn what we have done and also the best way to understand and get engaged in what’s coming next.
What’s the most exciting Chatter development coming up?
We have many exciting plans for Chatter in the coming year. One of our most exciting recent innovations is the release of Salesforce Communities
, which extends collaboration from employees out to customers and partners. Our customers are very excited about how this direct connection to the “internet of customers” transforms their business – increasing responsiveness, efficiency and insight all at once. Look for many new Salesforce Communities capabilities in 2014.
Another big area of focus for us is Files. Files are really the currency of a knowledge-based economy, and so much of our everyday productivity relies on specific bits of information often captured in files. Our vision is to put the precise information you need right in front of you whenever you need it. This means pulling files from any location and placing them into the flow of business, so the information you need is there before you even ask for it. And if you’re away from your desk, you have the same access to any file from any device.
And of course so much is happening with the Chatter platform. I can’t reveal too many specifics here, but look for even richer functionality for groups and the feed, including video integration and other new communication capabilities. We’ll also push our lead in social intelligence, analyzing your organization’s Chatter usage to suggest valuable connections and resources to each individual.
What advice would you give to companies looking to implement this collaborative platform?
In my experience, the best approach is to identify a well defined process or objective to begin building collaboration around, and then build out from there. Groups, especially those organized around a specific project, event or strategic account are a great way to get folks using Chatter – especially if you can ask your team to keep all communication and files about that topic on Chatter. Once they see how quickly the group progresses with all discussion out in the open and not trapped in email inboxes, and how quickly they can find and share the resources they need – they will never go back
Another very successful approach is top-down engagement. If there is some aspect of your operations or regular interaction with your team (account reviews, pricing, contracts) that you personally will only engage on Chatter, then your team has to start using Chatter for that process because that’s “where you are”.
We have a new Chatter engagement playbook that many of our customers have found very useful. Ideas about how to kick off Chatter are on slides 7 & 8, with tips on building your engagement in the sections that follow.
Where’s the best place to find out more information about Chatter?
A good place to start with a brief product overview is our Chatter product page.
Our resources page includes a number of great customer stories, as well as adoption guides and our “50 Ways” eBook
that discusses how Chatter can transform an organization.
Recently we had fun creating an animated Chatter overview, check out the “Work Out Loud”
overview on Slideshare.
Hope you find this all useful and helpful. Chatter truly does change the way you work for the better.