September 20, 2013

Make Chatter Work For You: Automate Your Feed With ChattoMate

It's been a while since I wrote about our antics at The S. P. Keasey Trading Co. so I figured now was as good a time as any to do an update as we being the run up to Dreamforce. November is getting dangerously close and Dreamforce makes for a very busy time of year, so if you've not registered yet then do it now! Don't forget to use the code D13MVPREF for a $100 reduction on your ticket price.

Chatter on Chatter

Chatter is an amazing tool for pulling your enterprise out of the beige-age and into the cloud era, allowing your employees to collaborate wherever they are and on whatever device they might be using. One of the most powerful benefits of it is that the discussion is contextual.

If you send an email to a colleague about an Account you're both working on you'll mention it by name, provide some kind of update and maybe even provide a link to the record if you want to push the boat out; yet the fact remains that the conversation is disconnected from the Account in question. Using Chatter you can both be following that Account and discussion can take place on the record's feed itself. There's no need to CC others who may or may not have an interest, there's no need to provide extraneous information to supply context because it's all right there in one place and neatly encapsulated.

With the launch of Chatter actions working in the feed is going to become more and more commonplace, but a major issue is managing that feed. You need to make sure that you and your team are following the right records, and when you're done with a record you need to remember to unfollow it lest it impact the ever-valuable signal to noise ratio. The old adage applies here: Garbage In, Garbage Out. If you're following the wrong records you're going to miss out on important information on others and so maintaining an informative, curated stream is vital to business.

Managing the Feed

Our latest AppExchange app, ChattoMate has been built to provide the functionality that Chatter doesn't; it's designed to help you streamline your business by automating which records your employees follow and does so through criteria you define.

Users empowered with a ChattoMate licence can create recipes which describe the records they want to automatically follow and those they want to stop following, and because recipes can be built for any object and based on any field, it can be used to support a wide range of use cases. Following all accounts that belong to you is a one step recipe. If you're a sales manager you might want to follow all large opportunities closing in the next 7 days, and once they're closed you might want to unfollow them. Support engineers can be automatically subscribed to new cases with a high priority; it's an endless list.

Bonus Features

We're working hard to make ChattoMate a Chatter user's best friend: all users can view a list of all records they follow on a single page for easy management, and if you're an admin then you can view the lists for all of your users. Administrators can send bulk messages to ad-hoc groups of users, something not easily done otherwise; maybe it won't be too long before Chatter can eliminate internal email within the enterprise altogether.

Currently we're working to build in automated notifications before Dreamforce comes around, so in addition to the options of automatically following or unfollowing a record you'll be able to choose to receive a notification of when it meets particular criteria defined by you. Needless to say, if you have any feature requests that aren't in there yet please get in touch as we'd love to have a chat.