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Salesforce.com to reveal 'Company Communities'

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Salesforce, the software-as-a-service company that's no longer keen on including the “.com” suffix its name, will tomorrow reveal a new feature of its platform called “Company Communities”.

Outlined yesterday at the CeBIT Australia conference was later explained to The Reg by executive vice president for platform Mike Rosenbaum as a way to “run intranets on mobile devices.”

Rosenbaum said the new offering gives Salesforce users a way to take employee-facing apps and make them available on mobile devices, with IT departments able to dole out access.

Details were sketchy, but Rosenbaum said either in-browser apps or native apps as a wrapper will be offered, initially on iOS and Android.

The thinking behind the app is conventional mobility logic: put a business process into a worker's hands wherever they may roam and they'll be more likely to use it. Putting employee self-service functions like booking leave or filing expenses claims into their own smartphone, Rosenbaum reasoned, and they'll not only use the tool more often but do so more happily. They may even do so in the office, taking advantage of a mobile-styled UI.

Salesforce's in-house Twitter-like service Chatter will be woven everything, to make filling in forms more social.

Users' Salesforce logins will allow them to enter a 'Company Community', with oAuth and SAML also in play.

Rosenbaum wouldn't comment on how Company Communities stacks up against curated apps-in-mobes offerings like VMWare's Horizon Suite or BlackBerry's Balance, but nor did he dismiss them as so different they don't compete with the new offering.

Full details on Company Communities will be revealed on Wednesday May 29th, US time. ®

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