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Salesforce Uses Chatter To Monitor Employees

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the eavesdropping-on-their-own-eaves dept.

Privacy 82

storagedude writes "At the launch of Chatter Mobile this week, Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff said he has been using the Facebook-like business service to monitor employee communications and identify a 'secret network' of employees who are influential in driving the business. Asked if employees felt like they were being spied on by Big Brother, Benioff replied, 'There are certain things appropriate in a business environment. We're not talking about a tea party, we're talking about how to get things fixed.' With 20,000 companies already using the three-month-old service, it is no doubt being put to similar use elsewhere. While Salesforce's use of Chatter to monitor employees appears to be legal, the issue underscores just how much social networks can be mined for information — even for things they weren't intended for."

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I think its BS... (4, Insightful)

cybrthng (22291) | more than 4 years ago | (#33553510)

Privacy shouldn't be ignored just because you work for someone. I remember when peopled used to give a shit and ask you how you were doing or actually paid attention to your job performance. Now i can socially network someone out of a job as well and these corporations still don't get it. Nice

Re:I think its BS... - I don't. (3, Insightful)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#33553678)

I read it as being able to see who truly adds something to the company as opposed to the BS'ers and the folks who take credit for others work.

And, I think this is wonderful for the shy folks who aren't very good at self promotion. I've seen too many times the big talkers gets ahead while the person that has the actual imagination and talent get left behind because no one noticed them - they're just not the type of people who "toot their own horn" and they're humble.

Re:I think its BS... - I don't. (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 4 years ago | (#33558748)

I've seen too many times the big talkers gets ahead while the person that has the actual imagination and talent get left behind because no one noticed them - they're just not the type of people who "toot their own horn" and they're humble.

Aren't the type of people who BS and steal others' credit the ones that tend to end up in management positions anyway? This simply puts them in a position to be the "big brother" that monitors everyone else. I'm sure they will be looking out for threats to their own corporate dominance more than people who are talented and introverted. Corporate management culture remains the way it is decade after decade because the managers favor individuals most like themselves when it comes to promotions, and not necessarily the best person for the job.

Re:I think its BS... - I don't. (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 4 years ago | (#33561310)

Do you not think that people will game this service for their own advantage?

Re:I think its BS... - I don't. (1)

Scroatzilla (672804) | more than 4 years ago | (#33563744)

Also, this is the information that traditionally communications consultants spend hours gathering through interviews and focus groups.

Re:I think its BS... (3, Insightful)

startled (144833) | more than 4 years ago | (#33553696)

Privacy: You've got a smartphone. I've got a smartphone. Everybody's got a smartphone. Seriously, if your employer feels at all hostile or big brother, can't you do you personal email, FB, Twitter, etc. on your phone?

Chatter: it's a corporate communication service. It's a given that your company is monitoring it. Hell, that's the half the point of using it. So the complaint here is that Salesforce is using yet another half-assed metric to evaluate employee performance? It can't be worse than a dozen other "measures" of employee performance I've seen over the years. Hell, maybe it's better.

Re:I think its BS... (0)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 4 years ago | (#33553718)

Privacy: You've got a smartphone. I've got a smartphone. Everybody's got a smartphone.

Just no? Also, smartphones are far more likely to be of company issue then normal ones. And mind you, the normal feature phones outnumber smart phones at ration of 5:1 at least, and in many countries 10:1+.

Re:I think its BS... (1)

Sepodati (746220) | more than 4 years ago | (#33553764)

It's really irrelevant. The company is monitoring use of an internal collaboration tool, so there are no privacy concerns.

John

Re:I think its BS... (2, Informative)

WCguru42 (1268530) | more than 4 years ago | (#33554040)

Privacy: You've got a smartphone. I've got a smartphone. Everybody's got a smartphone. Seriously, if your employer feels at all hostile or big brother, can't you do you personal email, FB, Twitter, etc. on your phone?

This. Just this.

Re:I think its BS... (2, Insightful)

Sepodati (746220) | more than 4 years ago | (#33553710)

There's no privacy issue here. The system in an internal collaboration tool. It shouldn't replace face time or evaluations, but like any other tool, it can be abused by employers and employees.

John

Re:I think its BS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33553810)

There's no privacy issue here. The system in an internal collaboration tool. It shouldn't replace face time or evaluations, but like any other tool, it can be abused by employers and employees.

John

BS. Where I last worked there was an internal instant messaging service used by employees. It was common for much of the "chatter" to be dark humour / sarcasm regarding the work and workplace - stress release for the most part. Management would get very upset if you said something about one of their "pet employees" even if the comment was made in light-hearted jest.

Re:I think its BS... (1)

WCguru42 (1268530) | more than 4 years ago | (#33554074)

Management would get very upset if you said something about one of their "pet employees" even if the comment was made in light-hearted jest.

And you'd get the same type of heat if management overheard the same comment from around the corner while you were talking with one of your coworkers. Talking shit has consequences and no amount of technology is going to change that. You're at work on company equipment and more than likely there was some notice that all communications may be monitored, use at your own risk.

Re:I think its BS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33554438)

Yep that is a different topic altogether.

Re:I think its BS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33553760)

im gonna post on your chatter page, YO MAN that was the shit last night i cant believe you snorted it right of her tits! see ya at the board meeting. oh, and sorry i broke your bong, peace!

Re:I think its BS... (1)

Sepodati (746220) | more than 4 years ago | (#33553804)

No different from "accidently" doing a reply-all with the same message.

Re:I think its BS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33556194)

I'd fire the guy for not having a better use for a chick's t*ts.

And yes, I would legalise it up to do a CYA in case the guy's gay.

Re:I think its BS... (3, Informative)

ejdmoo (193585) | more than 4 years ago | (#33554868)

Has anyone actually looked at the product in question?

Salesforce Chatter is like an internal Facebook. Everything is presumed to be "public" (internally public, that is). Unlike email in a company, there is no presumption of privacy here. No spying or anything.

Re:I think its BS... (1)

Lanboy (261506) | more than 4 years ago | (#33568382)

THANK YOU. The tone of this article is ridiculous. Just imagine it is an internal company wiki without anonymous accounts. Would it be bad somehow to reward someone who performs his job well?

Re:I think its BS... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33558334)

I am a Salesforce employee, product manager in the platform area. The paranoia being displayed here is pretty amazing to me. Are you guys forgetting that we are the people who have designed and built Chatter to begin with? We use the app as a convenient way to talk to people with shared interests all across the company. I have found answers to my questions on Chatter from people I've never interacted with in the normal course of my job. I have also been able to help other people with problems who might not have known I existed before. It is an EXPLICITLY PUBLIC collaboration platform. I have no problem with Marc or any other executive following me on Chatter and noticing when I reach out to get help or give help to people in other areas of the company. We also have a very structured performance assessment practice in the company that starts with each employee setting out their own goals for the next year. All in all, I would say that Saleforce is the most open company I have ever worked for, and the most deliberate about thinking about how to develop a collaborative culture with a lot of bottom-up feedback and participation in decision making.

Re:I think its BS... (1)

BudVieira (1899550) | more than 4 years ago | (#33558356)

For the record, not an anonymous coward, just a little lax about logging in. My nickname, BudVieira, is actually my real name.

Re:I think its BS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33568342)

Dude, Chatter is Salesforce's business centric communication tool. It is a business tool that they develop and market and use strictly for business. If you don't want to post on it you don't have to. They are trying to decentralize productivity from corporate hierarchy. It is a way to gey your message ( business message ) out without editing or interference. Really. Only Slashdot could make this into some kind of privacy issue.

Legal...but Creepy (4, Insightful)

sycodon (149926) | more than 4 years ago | (#33553534)

It's no different than management or its agents showing up at the same theater you do or restaurant with the intent on listening to your conversations. Or maybe crashing a neighborhood party and asking your neighbors about you.

Re:Legal...but Creepy (4, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 4 years ago | (#33553598)

It's no different than management or its agents showing up at the same theater you do or restaurant with the intent on listening to your conversations. Or maybe crashing a neighborhood party and asking your neighbors about you.

Only if they also own the theater or restaurant. Many people forget that the cell phone and computer and Internet the company pay for belong to them. If you want privacy, use your own computer, phone and Internet...

Re:Legal...but Creepy (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 4 years ago | (#33553644)

Do you expect the waiter or theater owner to stand there by your table or sit next to you, listening?

Re:Legal...but Creepy (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 4 years ago | (#33553680)

When I start paying my employer for the privilege of working there, that analogy will be relevant.

Until then, my employer pays ME and using the Chattr service (a service that comes only with a service they pay for) is done on company time. Always. I expect them to monitor phones calls and Chattr that are on company time.

Re:Legal...but Creepy (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 4 years ago | (#33553844)

OK, bad analogy. I'll just go back to my original statement.

It may be legal, but is creepy.

Re:Legal...but Creepy (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33554226)

What I find creepy is that people have been conditioned to accept the "check all your rights at the door as soon as you walk into work" belief.

Last time I checked, I was still a self-aware human being and not a mindless droid, programmed by some uncaring, faceless corporation. I do a job, they pay me for that job. I'm not sure why people get all hung up about little details like who said what to whom or who checked a personal website 1 minute before lunch break. Is the job getting done? That's all that matters. The constant pecker-checking and internal surveillance annoys people and frankly, hinders productivity. I can't work properly if some asshole is looking over my shoulder constantly, whether it's physical presence or a camera recording every move I make. I'm a good employee, I benefit the company I work for and if they decide to treat me like this, I'll go elsewhere and it's their loss.

In another life, a long time ago, I used to work at a call centre. Had employees not been able to vent to each other about their frustrations with customers, their work environment, or their bosses, I'm pretty sure we'd have had a few "postal" situations, if you know what I mean. It's healthy to vent and get shit off your back. It's the people who bottle things up that scare me.

Now before any freaks take this to an extreme to make some deluded point, I'll say right now that I'd draw the line at illegal activities on company property/grounds. That's a different issue altogether.

Re:Legal...but Creepy (1)

turbidostato (878842) | more than 4 years ago | (#33554504)

"If you want privacy, use your own computer, phone and Internet..."

How can this be modded insightful? While I can understand adviceable being careful about the use of corporate resources so easy to spy on I really can't see how many people is ready to be forgetful about their bosses simply ignoring the basic right to privacy.

What about installing cameras in the WC for everybody to see you shitting away? Hey, if you want privacy you come shitted from home!

Re:Legal...but Creepy (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 4 years ago | (#33559132)

with blackjack and hookers?

Re:Legal...but Creepy (2, Insightful)

Eil (82413) | more than 4 years ago | (#33553628)

Well, it's a little different. When you're not at work, you have a legal right to not expect your employer to trail you around town. I'm pretty sure you could press harassment or stalking charges pretty easily.

But this Chatter thing is being billed as "Facebook for business," which implies to me that if you're using this service in an official business capacity, you have no expectation of personal privacy. (And really, the same is true for Facebook itself, but for different reasons.)

Re:Legal...but Creepy (2, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#33553652)

It's just another example of Web 2.0 Anti-social Networking.

They don't need to monitor communications to "see who closes cases." That info is already there in the database. It's a lie, and the guy is a liar.

Re:Legal...but Creepy (1)

ad0n (1171681) | more than 4 years ago | (#33554574)

Whether this guy is a liar is irrelevant. Running semantic or linguistic analysis against business communications could reveal all kinds of valuable insights. Privacy and ethics concerns aside, of course.

Re:Legal...but Creepy (2, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 4 years ago | (#33559206)

From the sound of it, they aren't using it to "see who closes cases", but rather to see "who was the most involved in helping to get cases closed". Quite often a sales force will have the top tier sales people, junior sales people and a backing of office workers who prep documents, write contracts, manage problems, make appointments, clarify details etc etc. The sales people may close the deal, but who actually did the most work in getting that deal to the point where it can be closed?

Re:Legal...but Creepy (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#33559792)

If you need to snoop on people to figure that out, you should be fired, because you are NOT "managing" the work. How complicated is that? There's a reason good managers do walk-arounds, have an open-door policy, and generally do what they have to to stay "in the loop".

Re:Legal...but Creepy (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 4 years ago | (#33560518)

So what about this does not constitute managing the work? Its just another way of managing, whether you like it or not.

Re:Legal...but Creepy (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#33560660)

No, it's what people do when they can't manage. When they're so crappy at it that employees naturally don't want to discuss things with them, don't trust them, and at a gut level know they (management) don't give a f*** about them.

Re:Legal...but Creepy (3, Insightful)

arivanov (12034) | more than 4 years ago | (#33553734)

Not quite.

What this did is to show puppeteers. Every enterprise (and not just in the business sense of this word) has a few of those - people who will never commit to anything face to face, who always work through others and most importantly who never ever carry the responsibility for the clusterf*** they orchestrate. They always use somebody else for cannon fodder.

I am all for flushing this lot in the open. They are very bad for company morale. If you are driving decisions in an organisation you also must be responsible for them.

Coming back to the "second gen social apps" - more and more of these will show puppeteers as a side effect. It is a natural result of the social graph being available for analysis. Yeah, it may be creepy, however that it is to be expected - it often takes a creepy method to bring the organisational creeps out in the open.

Re:Legal...but Creepy (3, Interesting)

Sepodati (746220) | more than 4 years ago | (#33553788)

This will just move the puppets to those that can exploit a social networking environment.

Re:Legal...but Creepy (1, Interesting)

mickwd (196449) | more than 4 years ago | (#33554266)

That's a very, very cynical point of view.

There's also a lot of people who do a good job, but just don't shout about it. The kind of person everyone else goes to for advice. The kind of person who never makes a fuss, just get on with it. Maybe they don't have the wherewithall, or even the desire, to push themselves forward and say "hey, look what I did" all the time.

Puppeteers?

Not saying it never happens, but I think there are more deserving targets for your cynicism.

Re:Legal...but Creepy (1)

nlindstrom (244357) | more than 4 years ago | (#33555012)

That's a very, very cynical point of view.

You've obviously never worked for a Yahoo-, Google-, or Facebook-type of place.

Re:Legal...but Creepy (1)

klui (457783) | more than 4 years ago | (#33556014)

While I don't have any direct experience, I have heard about someone like this from middle management. Maybe this Chatter will provide the stats to prove those individuals do that. People already know who they are but they are allowed to continue doing that because they have the ear of someone else who is higher up in the food chain.

Re:Legal...but Creepy (1)

cowboy76Spain (815442) | more than 4 years ago | (#33559754)

First of all, as other people have put, they may be looking for the bad ones or the nice ones.

Also, from my experience, if they find the "people who will never commit to anything face to face, who always work through others and most importantly who never ever carry the responsibility for the clusterf*** they orchestrate" then they will be immediately promoted to upper management. At least from what I see in my workplace.

Re:Legal...but Creepy (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#33553876)

It's more like checking out who hangs together at the water cooler, and who seems to direct the flow of conversation.

Re:Legal...but Creepy (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 4 years ago | (#33554118)

Although the guy seems to use the data gained as a valuable metric for company decisions it is in all likelihood not auditable and thus suspect.

And in case his is an internationally operating enterprise he better checks out what other jurisdictions feel about this type of information hoarding because most places are more careful protecting personal privacy than the USA.

Re:Legal...but Creepy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33567038)

If you show up at a theater while on the company payroll, then theres nothing wrong in them "spying" on you to find out which theater you went to. Using facebook on company time to communicate with your coworkers, and they have every right to moniter you, just like they check expense recipts for travels, and invade the privacy of their workser by listing who attends what meetings.

Technology, suddenly age old traditions are evil, because they are now easier.

Re:Legal...but Creepy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33567136)

Creepy then, creepy now.

Re:Legal...but Creepy (1)

Lanboy (261506) | more than 4 years ago | (#33568408)

Yes except the restaurant is paid for the company, an it is called "Place to talk about work and make suggestions and brainstorm publicly." And when they hear the conversations they give you a big raise.

They could always just ask. (2, Insightful)

Alcoholist (160427) | more than 4 years ago | (#33553640)

Just saying. When did it become hip to spy on people when you can simply ask for their opinion? Isn't communication is what leadership is all about?

Re:They could always just ask. (2, Insightful)

Spazntwich (208070) | more than 4 years ago | (#33553658)

Who says anyone's still interested in leadership? Why, leadership comes with responsibilities. Nowadays it's all about getting the privilege and avoiding responsibility at all costs.

Re:They could always just ask. (1)

Sepodati (746220) | more than 4 years ago | (#33553752)

This tool doesn't have to replace everything else. An adjustable wrench doesn't replace regular wrench sets in a mechanic's toolbox. Like any other tool, it can be abused by those that don't know how to use it though.

John

Re:They could always just ask. (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#33557408)

Its been around as long as there have been businesses.

Re:They could always just ask. (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 4 years ago | (#33561686)

Just saying. When did it become hip to spy on people when you can simply ask for their opinion? Isn't communication is what leadership is all about?

Yes, that method is almost foolproof, because if you ask 100 salesmen who does the most work and contributes the most to the team, you're not going to get 100 different answers at all.

They ARE asking. (1)

Lanboy (261506) | more than 4 years ago | (#33568438)

This is the point of the application. Holy crap, where does the spying come in. Posting on Chatter is like sending an email to everyone in the company, and everyone KNOWS this.

Somebody finaly read last weeks The Economist (4, Informative)

baomike (143457) | more than 4 years ago | (#33553674)

http://www.economist.com/node/16910031?story_id=16910031 [economist.com]
Mining social networks
Untangling the social web
Software: From retailing to counterterrorism, the ability to analyse social connections is proving increasingly useful

It's still and interesting article.

Chatter is a Salesforce product...shrug (3, Insightful)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | more than 4 years ago | (#33553686)

There's a shocker...a company monitoring employee use of one of its own products.

Sure, it's a little creepy, but why would any of those employees NOT expect a company like Salesforce (remember, they're in the data mining business) to be looking at employee use of one of their own tools?

Must be a slow news week.

Re:Chatter is a Salesforce product...shrug (3, Informative)

MadUndergrad (950779) | more than 4 years ago | (#33555752)

We use salesforce all day long and yet none of us at work use "chatter". It's almost as if it's a clunky, superfluous facebook-alike shoehorned into what's otherwise a good CRM system.

Does anyone here on /. actually use chatter?

Re:Chatter is a Salesforce product...shrug (1)

slash.dt (701002) | more than 4 years ago | (#33556602)

We use salesforce all day long and yet none of us at work use "chatter". It's almost as if it's a clunky, superfluous facebook-alike shoehorned into what's otherwise a good CRM system.

Does anyone here on /. actually use chatter?

First thing I did when it was enabled on my account was to find the settings to turn it off - have no desire to use it.

Re:Chatter is a Salesforce product...shrug (0)

nametaken (610866) | more than 4 years ago | (#33558150)

Chatter is lame. I couldn't convince a single one of our users to make use of it even if I wanted to.

I sincerely doubt this "20,000 companies are using it" statement. That sounds like typical Benioff (he's a big mouth). Ok, so there are 20,000 companies with Chatter enabled. That doesn't mean people are actually using it. Maybe in some of those, one user logged in and tinkered with it for 5 minutes.

Re:Chatter is a Salesforce product...shrug (2, Interesting)

BruceCage (882117) | more than 4 years ago | (#33559168)

A few years ago I was working for a consultancy agency where the employees were on the road a lot and I set-up a local private StatusNet installation (then Laconica) to enable them to more easily share "stuff" with each other (mostly sharing news and general thoughts). It was and still is a big hit. So, I can certainly believe people would be using Chatter.

Re:Chatter is a Salesforce product...shrug (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 4 years ago | (#33561704)

I sincerely doubt this "20,000 companies are using it" statement. That sounds like typical Benioff (he's a big mouth). Ok, so there are 20,000 companies with Chatter enabled. That doesn't mean people are actually using it. Maybe in some of those, one user logged in and tinkered with it for 5 minutes.

Maybe you could share you valuable research in this field with salesforce.com, as I'm sure they've otherwise got no way of knowing what their customers are doing.

Re:Chatter is a Salesforce product...shrug (1)

RGB84 (1243142) | more than 4 years ago | (#33567422)

Chatter was a free and seemingly pushed upgrade for every Salesforce client.

I use it, it is pretty cool. (1)

Lanboy (261506) | more than 4 years ago | (#33568462)

But it takes a certain number of people to start making it useful.

What a misleading headline this is. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33553770)

What it should say is that Salesforce.com has released it's own take on a social networking product, which will be poorly adopted by most people but uses a lot of buzzwords to sound like a great new way of tracking productivity. There is nothing sinister going on here, at all.

Just cause yoy can, doesn't make it right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33553882)

Is it just me, or does it seem like affluent people act as if they're above the law. Not only that, but they're morally entitled to screw over the poor.

There's sure no shortage of scumbags.

The Next Step (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 4 years ago | (#33553976)

Now that you've identified them, how about rewarding them commensurate to the improvement that they've driven your business to?

Real:The Next Step (1)

Dareth (47614) | more than 4 years ago | (#33556052)

Laugh, they need to identify them, so they can have them train their replacements before they are terminated.

And the upside is? (1)

ThoreauHD (213527) | more than 4 years ago | (#33554034)

What? Anal? Fisting? The CEO blackmailing you? You guys at salesforce need to quit.

Only As Useful as Those That Use It (1)

pagedout (1144309) | more than 4 years ago | (#33554188)

This sounds no different than any ticketing/communication tracking software I have had to labor under in my time. The falicy of this type of system is that they can't make the data worth something in an automated fashion as the system does not have the smarts to actualy assign value to the communications. Any of these systems that rely on someone to read the messages and figure out what is actualy going on is doomed to failure either because of coruption or because those who will monitor the messages can not understand what is actualy going on (if it doesn't die from apathy before then). What always seems to happen is that this system will turn into a nice little set of reports and metrics that are virtualy meaningless. These reports will turn into company goals and we will breed a new set of employees that do nothing but try to make themselves look good on the report.

Managment will praise the system as they subvert it to their own ends.
Manager to Boss - "I should get a large raise this year as I have increased performance by 10% based on this metiric of Posts/Call (or some equaly silly mettric)."
Manager to Employee -" I want us to work together, even if you know the answer to someones problem I want you to make sure you ask at least one of your team mates to make sure they agree."

Work Axiom - "You get what you measure"

All of these type of systems are trying to turn worthless managers into somethng useful. The problem with this is that if the manager is able to use this type of system to effect they can probably get the same results without the system. I have yet to work in a place where a good manager doesn't know (in general) what I am doing to help the company or where a bad manager will care.

Non-issue, Chatter posts are public (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33554406)

Chatter messages are posted public by default, anyone can read them. There's no expectation of privacy unless you are posting in an explicitly marked private group.

I believe what Mr. Benioff is referring to as "secret network" is the low-level communications between employees that upper management would never had access to before, so he's seeing what's really going on in the company versus how the org chart says things get done.

Re:Non-issue, Chatter posts are public (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33554518)

Clarification: by "public" I mean "anyone in the company can read them".

IBM asset (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33554414)

IBM has had an asset (module that they sell and tailor for the customer needs) for that for a few years now. It's available for Notes/SameTime users, and builds pretty nice charts about how people interact with each other - and with whom. It's opt-in service for IBMers and used for ie. finding knowledge when the primary person is unavailable.

Bollocks (2, Insightful)

Ian.Waring (591380) | more than 4 years ago | (#33554668)

I was at Cloudforce 2010 London when Marc Benioff said this. You can hear the comment yourself - videos of the presentations are on YouTube. It was a comment that he could see some of the interactions solving customer problems, and he could see some patterns at who were consistently the people who sorted customer problems out well and often. No sophisticated analytics. No big brother. Just a CEO who gained the ability to know what is really happening in his company and who's doing good work. Kudos to him. He and his company seem to be doing a spectularly good job, and Chatter (a sorta Facebook UI for business use) will keep it ahead. Ian W.

Re:Bollocks (1)

SageMusings (463344) | more than 4 years ago | (#33556440)

While I admit there is a slippery slope here, this PARTICULAR instance of monitoring would be quite welcome by me. Where I work there is a core group of people who solve problems and act as a "safety net" for many others who collect paychecks and shuttle as much work as possible to that core group.

I imagine every organization suffers the same malady. The ones who produce get ridden hard and put-way wet, earning neither recognition nor wage increases. Others attend meetings, send emails, and generally go through the motions of a productive day. Those others never seem to produce in any way any value. The ones in the trenches are fully aware of this and this effect is masked as efficiently as middle-management is able in order to protect the "darlings" and themselves from revealing incompetence. Upper management is seldom aware of what is actually occurring under their noses. Information mining (where middle tiers cannot affect the data) could shine a harsh light on those the organization can afford to jettison.

The only downside to this is even if upper management was aware, would they act? There is comfort and expedience in "don't upset the apple cart" mentality. It would take a strong leader to do the right thing (mostly because it would mean actual involvement in the organization other than collecting a damned bonus).

Monitoring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33554710)

What is not put in print , voicemail or mail can not be monitored unless they are using microphones.

Of course your being monitored (3, Informative)

Nyder (754090) | more than 4 years ago | (#33555606)

It's pretty simple.

Consider everything that your company has you use, to be monitored.

Your computer, your phone, your cubicle/office.
Software they say you have to use.

Sure, that's maybe a bit paranoid, but if you assume it, your less likely to do stupid crap on their equipment that can be trouble for you later.

Re:Of course your being monitored (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 4 years ago | (#33557996)

No shit. If you don't assume that everything you do on company equipment is monitored, you're an ID10T. Hell, I'm in IT and I bring my own laptop and entartube connection for personal email/banking/chat even though I know we don't actively monitor any of that. The fact that we don't monitor it today doesn't mean we won't start tomorrow.

"...even for things they weren't intended for." (3, Insightful)

cstacy (534252) | more than 4 years ago | (#33557634)

"underscores just how much social networks can be mined for information — even for things they weren't intended for."

Just what did you think they were intended for?!?

so it's time to dig into ur mgmt personal lives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33557730)

why only workers get monitored?
monitor ur mgr......start now.........xdd......

It was introduced neutered and near useless (1)

grapeape (137008) | more than 4 years ago | (#33557808)

Chatter is all about "company communication" anyway, its yet another "new" dog and pony product for managers and directors to push on employees so they can look progressive. In the meantime employees know well in advance that its just another "company" chore so they likely ignore it, half-ass it if forced to use it or make a bunch of shill posts if they are the company suck ups. Its no different than the suggestion box, intranet, etc....Nothing to get up in arms about, its near useless, but it makes middle management feel good about themselves.

CEO organisation leadership fail (1)

nicolaiplum (169077) | more than 4 years ago | (#33558882)

If you are the CEO of a company and there is an inner circle of influential employees driving your business and you do not know about them you are not doing your job as CEO.

It is completely reasonable and often a good idea to have an inner circle of high-ability influential employees to drive your business (see, for example, Good to Great, J Collins [amazon.co.uk] ). It is entirely incompetent of the CEO to not know who they are and not to be using them to build a successful enterprise.

I've actually used Chatter (1)

RGB84 (1243142) | more than 4 years ago | (#33567300)

So I was perusing this comment section because we use Salesforce at work. There are a lot of assumptions about what the service does and does not do. At a glance, Chatter is just: 1- Allowing users to post 'working thoughts', like commentary, against any Salesforce object. For example, in a 24/7 tech support operation leaving comments there to alert future tech reps working on this issue. This is totally redundant because there a usually private/public commentary section defined in the object. This service is extending the ability to comment to all objects in the system. 2- Allows people to "follow" objects, whether that object is a client account, a user of the system, or a support ticket. Effectively, if you "follow" a user you will receive a notification of each action performed by that user. This is obviously where the whole privacy issue comes about. 3- Take up a large section at the top of each page. Bonus! You can "hide" chatter so it only takes up a ribbon-sized section *contentious sarcasm punctuation goes here*

If I send an email to everyone in my company.... (1)

Lanboy (261506) | more than 4 years ago | (#33568484)

Are they spying on me if they read it and make judgments about my intelligence thereby?

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