Company Communities aims to spice up intranets

Corporate intranets get social and mobile makeover with a new offering called Company Communities from cloud-based software company Salsefoce.com.

Last year, the company launched a product called Salesforce Communities which allows business to create private social communities for their Web sites. The product announced this week, however, is targeted at intranets with the aim of upgrading them to deal with the social media and mobile demands of workers.
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Company Communities is in beta and being used by companies such as airline company Virgin America, fashion firm Burberry group Plc, and spirits and wine company Brown-Forman Corp. Pricing on the new tool will be announced when it is formally launched later this year.
 
“Companies invest more than $2 billion every year maintaining old intranets that have become dusty directories of insurance forms and policy documents,” said Renny Monaghan, CMO of Salesforce.com. “Employees have evolved – they need a collaborative spot that combines content with people and apps, and it needs to be available on whatever device they’re using.”

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Since intranets were designed an optimized for desktops, he said, they do not provide the user experience and interfaces needed by employees who want to access company information from mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets.

This makes Company Communities ideal for a largely mobile workforce like Virgin America, according to Frances Fiorillo, senior VP of people and in-flight services at the firm.

“More than 90 per cent or our team never sit at a desk or use a PC,” said Fiorillo, “That’s why our teams rely on our Company Community as a primary resource to collaborate in real-time and deliver amazing, unique experiences to our guests.”

Company Communities enable businesses to create a custom branded “community” or online environment where they can provide access to content, apps and people. It’s much like what Salesforce is already offering through Chatter, the company’s enterprise social networking service.

With Company Communities, organizations and employees can:

Share and collaborate on files – Users can post, share, access and get feedback on files and articles available to their team. Departments such as HR can push polls to gain employee feedback, a sales person can look for advice from peers on how to deliver a presentation.

Access apps – Company Community can serve as a secure environment for employees to access productivity apps including those from Salesforce and third party providers.

Publish – Users can publish, update, review and approve content and even specify who receives what information based on roles and profiles.

Find and engage experts – Social profiles makes it’s easier to track subject experts or people with similar interests making it easier for employees to connect with people in the organization that may be able to help them on a problem or project.
 

 



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