Introducing Salesforce Chatter

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by Rakesh Gupta Sagar Pareek | November 2013 | Enterprise Articles

In this article by Rakesh Gupta and Sagar Pareek, the authors of Developing Applications with Salesforce Chatter, we will learn about cloud computing and Salesforce.com, and will discuss about collaboration in the new era by comparing it to the ancient age. We will also discuss and introduce Salesforce Chatter and its effect on ROI (Return of Investment).

In the following article, you will get a brief about the Chatter configuration and customization using the APEX and Visualforce pages with a few recipes. We will also go through our Mass Follow/Unfollow Chatter app given in this article with the Chatter data cleaning concept.

(For more resources related to this topic, see here.)

An overview of cloud computing

Cloud computing is a subscription-based service that provides us with computing resources and networked storage space. It allows you to access your information anytime and from anywhere. The only requirement is that one must have an Internet connection. That's all. If you have a cloud-based setup, there is no need to maintain the server in the future.

We can think of cloud computing as similar to our e-mail account. Think of your accounts such as Gmail, Hotmail, and so on. We just need a web browser and an Internet connection to access our information. We do not need separate software to access our e-mail account; it is different from the text editor installed on our computer. There is no need of physically moving storage and information; everything is up and running over there and not at our end. It is the same with cloud; we choose what has to be stored and accessed on cloud. You also don't have to pay an employee or contractor to maintain the server since it is based on the cloud.

While traditional technologies and computer setup require you to be physically present at the same place to access information, cloud removes this barrier and allows us to access information from anywhere.

Cloud computing helps businesses to perform better by allowing employees to work from remote locations (anywhere on the globe). It provides mobile access to information and flexibility to the working of a business organization.

Depending on your needs, we can subscribe to the following type of clouds:

  • Public cloud: This cloud can be accessed by subscribers who have an Internet connection and access to cloud storage
  • Private cloud: This is accessed by a limited group of people or members of an organization
  • Community cloud: This is a cloud that is shared between two or more organizations that have similar requirements
  • Hybrid cloud: This is a combination of at least two clouds, where the clouds are a combination of public, private, or community

Depending on your need, you have the ability to subscribe to a specific cloud provider. Cloud providers follow the pay-as-you-go method. It means that, if your technological needs change, you can purchase more and continue working on cloud. You do not have to worry about the storage configuration and management of servers because everything is done by your cloud provider.

An overview of salesforce.com

Salesforce.com is the leader in pay-as-you-go enterprise cloud computing. It specializes in CRM software products for sales and customer services and supplies products for building and running business apps. Salesforce has recently developed a social networking product called Chatter for its business apps. With the concept of no software or hardware required, we are up and running and seeing immediate positive effects on our business.

It is a platform for creating and deploying apps for social enterprise. This does not require us to buy or manage servers, software, or hardware. Here you can focus fully on building apps that include mobile functionality, business processes, reporting, and search. All apps run on secure servers and proven services that scale, tune, and back up data automatically.

Collaboration in the past

Collaboration always plays a key role to improve business outcomes; it is a crucial necessity in any professional business.

The central meaning of communication has changed over time. With changes in people's individual living situations as well as advancements in technology, how one communicates with the rest of the world has been altered. A century or two ago, people could communicate using smoke signals, carrier pigeons and drum beats, or speak to one another, that is, face-to-face communication. As the world and technology developed, we found that we could send longer messages from long distances with ease. This has caused a decline in face-to-face-interaction and a substantial growth in communication via technology.

The old way of face-to-face interaction impacted the business process as there was a gap between the collaboration of the client, company, or employees situated in distant places. So it reduced the profit, ROI, as well as customer satisfaction. In the past, there was no faster way available for communication, so collaboration was a time-consuming task for business; its effect was the loss of client retention.

Imagine a situation where a sales representative is near to closing a deal, but the decision maker is out of the office. In the past, there was no fast/direct way to communicate. Sometimes this lack of efficient communication impacted the business negatively, in addition to the loss of potential opportunities.

Summary

In this article we learned cloud computing and Salesforce.com, and discussed about collaboration in the new era by comparing it to the ancient age. We discussed and introduced Salesforce Chatter and its effect on ROI (Return of Investment).

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Developing Applications with Salesforce Chatter Leverage the power of Chatter to boost collaboration in your organization with this book and ebook.
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About the Author :


Rakesh Gupta

Rakesh Gupta is a Salesforce evangelist, trainer, blogger, and a Salesforce-certified professional. He is from Katihar, Bihar and lives in Mumbai. He has been working on the salesforce.com platform since 2011. Presently he works as a Salesforce consultant and is a regular contributor to the success of the Salesforce community. Rakesh is very passionate about salesforce.com and has been sharing information through various channels including his blog (http://rakeshistom.wordpress.com).

He has trained almost a hundred professionals around the globe. Rakesh works on all the aspects of Salesforce and is an expert in data migration, integration, configuration, and customization. He is the leader of Navi Mumbai and Nashik developer user groups in India. He is also the initiator of the Mumbai Salesforce user group. Rakesh has been organizing meet-ups at regular intervals for groups he runs. In his spare time, he contributes to Salesforce success community.

Rakesh can be reached at rakeshistom@gmail.com, and his Twitter handle is @rakeshistom.

Sagar Pareek

Sagar Pareek is a Salesforce enthusiast, blogger, and Salesforce-certified salesforce.com developer. He comes from Bikaner, Rajasthan and currently lives in Noida. Sagar has been working on the salesforce.com platform since his college days in 2012. Currently he works for Astrea IT Services, Noida, as a Salesforce developer, prior to which he worked as a PHP and Java Intern at Acme Embedded Technologies, Bikaner. He was featured by Salesforce in a webinar, Boost your career get cloud trained and certified. He won a prize in the Salesforce New Year Resolution 2013 challenge. Sagar actively participates on Salesforce discussion platforms such as user groups and organizing workshops. He has leadership of the India Salesforce student developer user group and is the co-leader of the Navi-Mumbai Salesforce developer user group. He spends spare time with his family and friends and exploring salesforce.com. You can follow Sagar on his blog at http://forceexperiment.wordpress.com, and his Twitter handle is @Sagarjaipareek.

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