Socialtext 4.5 Adds Salesforce.com Connector

by David Needle

The latest update to Socialtext is designed to make more relevant information easily discoverable with Socialtext Explore.

Enterprise social network vendor Socialtext has released a major update to its platform that adds a Salesforce.com "connector" and an advanced search feature called Socialtext Explore.

Socialtext says the new connector, available now as a beta release, lets Socialtext users "inject" actions from Salesforce as events into Socialtext's activity stream. The value of bringing those actions into the activity stream is that it becomes available to employees across the company or enterprise, not just the sales staff on the customer relationship management (CRM) system.

"A traditional system like Salesforce.com has important information that's useful to more employees than just our sales, solutions and delivery teams," John Atherton, vice president of Solutions Consulting and Knowledge Management at GT Nexus, said in a statement. "The Salesforce.com connector will integrate this valuable CRM data into our social software platform, which spans our enterprise."

Socialtext had earlier released a SocialPoint connector for Microsoft's SharePoint collaboration platform.

The connector has a functional purpose when you think about all the times someone downstream needs to be aware of a customer, for example in the supply chain or in a support role," Ross Mayfield, chairman and founder of Socialtext, told InternetNews.com Mayfield said Salesforce has done a good job of giving its users added features like its Chatter micro-blogging service. But he said Socialtext broadens the reach of CRM data in the Saleforce data and makes it more accessible. "It's been fourteen years since they first developed the Salesforce user interface and it's hard to modernize something you've already made a tremendous investment in."

As part of the 4.5 release, Socialtext also announced it now also offers pre-built connectors to WordPress and Bugzilla, and Socialtext also offers tools for companies to build their own connectors via Socialtext Connect.

Socialtext Explore

Socialtext Explore is a new discovery tool that goes beyond providing basic links in search results to all the microblogging messages, pages, posts, pictures and files that users share on the Socialtext platform. These rich metadata results can be sorted by tag, a person, group, or date range.

"With Explore you can filter a stream by people, individual groups or people you follow," said Mayfield.

"When you think somebody posted a sales presentation, say in September, it's an easy way to explore or find it and you get more than basic search results because we've captured people and information in social context," he added.

David Needle is the West Coast bureau chief at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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  This article was originally published on Monday Nov 8th 2010
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