Salesforce.com Delves Deeper into Social and Mobile Enterprise: Dreamforce 2012 Draws 90,000 Attendees, Features a Multitude of Product Updates

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At Dreamforce, Salesforce.com revealed its latest social media push to a crowd of 50,000 on-site attendees and 40,000 Web viewers.

Gathering a host of keynote speakers that included Salesforce.com chairman and CEO Marc Benioff, Richard Branson, and Jeff Immelt, CEOs of Virgin Group and GE, respectively, the theme of the cloud computing event was "Touch the Social Enterprise," and Salesforce.com's slew of product announcements were true to the tagline.

At the event, Salesforce.com introduced Chatter Communities for Service, on target for general release by mid-2013. Essentially, the solution combines Web self-service and peer-to-peer communities to help companies collaboratively connect with customers. A similar offering, called Chatter Communities for Partners, was launched for distributors, resellers, and suppliers.

"A few of the community vendors are pretty hot right now, and it becomes, 'Do you spend the money [to acquire] or just try and build something that's attached to Chatter?'" remarks Michael Fauscette, group vice president of software business solutions at IDC.

Salesforce.com also revealed the Salesforce.com Marketing Cloud, which marks the next chapter after its acquisitions of social marketing and monitoring platforms Buddy Media and Radian6.

Marketing Cloud enables users to connect information and data through social listening with demand and lead management. "It's great from a visibility standpoint," comments Heidi Melin, chief marketing officer at Eloqua. With Marketing Cloud, users can manage and optimize social ad campaigns, push social content, and identify and engage brand advocates within Salesforce.com.

"From a social marketing perspective, it's a pretty good offering," Fauscette adds. "[Salesforce.com] spent a lot of time over the last few years beefing up the Service Cloud side, but marketing was always kind of the open piece. …