Chatter Review

Contextualized collaboration on records allows you to have historical conversations that are accessible by other users.


What is most valuable?

Salesforce Chatter allows for contextualized collaboration on records that allows you to have historical conversations, which are easily accessible by other users. This means that when the users leave or are unavailable, the conversation isn't lost in someone's inbox; it's readily available for anyone and also helps to prevent re-inventing the wheel.

How has it helped my organization?

Chatter is a great way to connect your users, especially if your team is working in multiple time zones or locations. If you're struggling with why to use collaboration tools at all, I'd suggest you watch this video.

One the best examples that I've seen is a property team who were managing the entire process from leasing properties with branding to shop merges via Salesforce. All of their notifications were email-based and they were getting 100s per day. By moving these alerts to automated posts into particular groups, the users could not only access multiple updates by using digests instead of per alert, but also choose to control who (group members) and how often they get those alerts.

What needs improvement?

Live consumption of the communication needs to be improved so that it can offer more features similar to Twitter/Slack, such as a live rolling news feed, notification bells (to avoid email alerts), ability to share multiple files or actions in one post, etc.

*Note: Some of these features are in the Lightning Experience only, which would greatly assist Classic users.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were no stability issues; Chatter is part of the Salesforce platform.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were no scalability issues from a functionality point of view. However, if you are rolling out Chatter as your main collaboration tool for your company/community, it does require either a part-time or full-time (depending on the users/activity) community manager, to support the ecosystem. Having someone to help drive adoption, connect users to the information and for training, will really help with the overall success of the platform.

How is customer service and technical support?

I would give the technical support a 10/10 rating, as Chatter is part of the Salesforce platform, so you will have access to the help and training sections, as well as the ability to log cases in Salesforce support. There is a vibrant and helpful success community that you can reach out to.

Which solutions did we use previously?

Previously, a team had used Yammer for collaboration, but it was siloed from the rest of the business and did not connect to the CRM.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was super simple, i.e., assuming you have Chatter enabled, then you're all up and running! You can make/add more features to Chatter, so as to enhance the tool. For instance, creating Chatter groups, leveraging the automation tools to create automated posts (welcome posts instead of email notifications), etc.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Chatter is included at no extra cost for all editions. Chatter is also available to non-Salesforce users for additional costs (speak to your AE).

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at other solutions, namely, Slack, Quip and Yammer.

For some teams, depending on how they collaborate, you might find that it makes sense to have two collaboration tools, i.e., business-wide communications on Chatter and subteams, perhaps the development team, using Slack.

What other advice do I have?

Don't choose, just turn it on and hope for the best. Chatter needs love and attention in order to be successful. Look at how your teams are currently collaborating, so as to see how you can meet current challenges with the new tool.

Have a rollout plan with the early adopters or the Chatter cheerleaders.

Consider setting up some groups before Go Live, such as ask the CEO, have company-wide updates, look at the current distribution lists for ideas, etc.

Get leadership buy-in or have some higher management post and encourage for the communications to be moved to Chatter.

Make it fun: Allow subgroups for Friday Funny's or for GIFs to be shared.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: I currently work as a consultant with an implementation partner. However, most of my Chatter experience was as a customer.
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