Now that Salesforce.com has formally rolled out its Chatter social-networking functionality inside its software-as-a-service application and created a ChatterExchange service on top of Force.com, now is a good time to think about what can really be accomplished with it..
On the one hand, it's pretty obvious that multiple sales people can benefit from an easy way to track conversations about a particular customer account. But what about the rest of the enterprise? That's the challenge that FinancialForce.com is taking up with the addition of Chatter support for its namesake accounting applications.
FinancialForce.com provides accounting applications via a SaaS platform that sits on top of Force.com. So it has access to all the same information that sits in a customer's Salesforce.com application. That allows the finance department to participate in the same customer conversations as the salespeople.
In this recession, finance departments everywhere are trying to get closer to the front office where sales deals are happening. This not only provides greater visibility into the business, it also helps salespeople figure out faster which deals are more profitable.
FinancialForce.com CEO Jeremy Roche says that rather than incur the expense of integrating existing on-premise accounting applications with customer relationship management (CRM) software from Salesforce.com, it makes more sense to deploy an accounting application on the same cloud computing framework where Salesforce.com resides.
FinancialForce.com starts at $500 a month for a two-user license. And FinancialForce.com has rolled out Chatterbox to allow customers to share a information across any number of applications.
Of course, accounting people are used to having data brought to them. But this makes it easier for finance people to not only get the data themselves, but to learn more about what is happening in the business.