Black Eyed Peas

Salesforce.com's new (and free) social networking tool

December 8, 2010: 1:01 PM ET

At Dreamforce, cloud-guru Marc Benioff converts Salesforce.com's most successful product -- social collaboration tool Chatter -- from paid to free.

Mr Dreamforce

Image by Simple Fox via Flickr

Marc Benioff wants to make enterprise software more like Facebook—social, viral and mobile. It's all part of the Salesforce.com CEO's master plan to extend beyond his core customer base, sales professionals.

That's why Salesforce.com (CRM) is launching a free version of Chatter, its social collaboration tool for enterprises. Benioff announced the new product at the company's annual user and developer lovefest in San Francisco on Tuesday morning, where he worked the crowd with his usual showmanship. (Highlights included pulling an iPad out of his pants and asking performer will.i.am what he thought of the cloud. The Black Eyed Peas vocalist said he's waiting for the day the cloud enables him to share music with his fans in real time, as he's creating it).

According to Benioff, the paid version of Chatter is already its most successful product to date. Salesforce.com's biggest Chatter customer is computer maker Dell (DELL), which has more than 100,000 employees connected, though it's not clear how many of them are active users. More

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