Ancient content, moldy blogs, wikis piled high with digital dust...
Those are just some of the signs of a corporate intranet that's struggling with employee engagement and corporate content delivery. Salesforce, the cloud customer relationship management (CRM) specialist, wants organizations to euthanize the servers powering their intranets and adopt its Company Communities instead.
Salesforce Company Communities is an upcoming cloud-based offering that enables companies to create custom, branded communities with real-time content management and social collaboration capabilities. Workers, in turn, can leverage their smartphones and tablets to access to up-to-the-minute content and seek the wisdom of expert colleagues to help them perform their jobs better.
Company Communities is supported by four main pillars. The platform's real-time publishing features provide businesses with tools to publish, review, update and approve content, along with role- and profile- based targeting functionality. It also employs Saleforce's social profiles and Chatter to help employees find and connect with experts or groups.
File collaboration features helps organizations solicit feedback on company policies, work processes and knowledge articles. Lastly, it allows companies to provide a curated and trusted app experience that supports both Salesforce and third-party apps.
For Mike Rosenbaum, executive vice president of Salesforce Platform, the effort and expense of maintaining intranets is better spent on Company Communities.
"Companies are spending $2 billion each year on underwhelming intranet websites that most employees just do not use," he said in a company statement. "With Salesforce Company Communities, companies can create social and mobile intranets that connect employees to the critical information, people and apps they need to be successful from anywhere."
A couple of big brands are already putting the platform through its paces. Notable early-access customers include Burberry and Virgin America. Frances Fiorillo, senior vice president of People and InFlight Services for Virgin America, says the product provides a good fit for its mobile-heavy workforce.
"More than 90 percent of our team never sit at a desk or use a PC, making our Company Community the primary resource our teams rely upon to collaborate in real-time and deliver amazing, unique experiences for our guests," Fiorillo said.
Salesforce Company Communities is scheduled to officially launch during the second half of 2013. Pricing has yet to be announced.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Enterprise Apps Today and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.