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Salesforce.com Launches Social Communities Pilot

|Sep 2|magazine6 min read

In May, we reported on Salesforce.com’s acquisition of social media ad broker Buddy Media in an effort to expand its social presence. It’s a move that’s been repeated by countless other big names: Google (Google+), Oracle (Vitrue) and Microsoft (Yammer).

With the launch of the pilot version of Salesforce Communities on 14 August, the cloud computing leader is looking to grab a piece of the social pie while it’s still piping hot.

"Today, more than ever, companies need to put customers at the heart of their business," said Doug Bewsher, senior vice president of social-business networking site Salesforce Chatter, to Businessweek. "With Salesforce Communities, enterprises will be able to break the boundaries of their companies, connecting them much closer to their customers and partners."

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Combining many of Facebook’s notable features – profiles, groups and news feeds, for example – Salesforce Communities hopes to provide enterprises with a platform that will foster community building within their customer and partner networks.

Following a major shift to mobile, “now we believe we’re in the midst of another transformation which is the shift to social,” said David king, a senior director at Salesforce.com, in an interview with Computerworld Australia.

“Companies today no longer operate in a vacuum; [they] have to become social enterprises. Social is one of the most powerful forces on the planet right now. We’re seen it lead in the consumer world with Facebook and Twitter, but now businesses must embrace it as well.”

Salesforce Communities is scheduled to become available for general use by mid-2013.