Enabling Chatter

We’re a pretty young company.  Not only were we founded in 2005, but the average age of the employees hovers around 32.  Most of my co-workers are on Facebook. Some are more active than others, but pretty much everyone gets the theory.

We asked to be a part of the Chatter beta release and were granted the opportunity.  I had a lot on my plate at the time and didn’t immediately enable it.

One regular Tuesday afternoon, our CEO was two desks over asking a colleague for assistance.  There was a pause in the conversation while my co-worker did his SQL ninja-ness and the CEO flips his chair around and says “Amber! How soon can I have Chatter?”

Frankly, I wasn’t expecting him to be so enthusiastic!  I told him I would need a few weeks to get some internal buzz going, then I’d turn it on one weekend and we’d see what happened.

I met with the various departments about which fields they wanted to trigger a Chatter update.  I met with our marketing team and we made colorful teaser flyers to hang up all over the office (“Coming Soon to a browser new you…”).  I dug through my luggage to find my teeth from Dreamforce so I could bring them, conspicuously, to meetings.

When the go-live date came, I spent about 20 minutes on a Saturday afternoon enabling and playing with Chatter.

Come Monday morning, I was a bit nervous!  Would I get a thousand questions about minutiae that I couldn’t answer?  Would folks post inappropriate stuff?  Would anybody even notice!?!

They noticed!  Boy, oh boy, did they notice!  I was getting high fives in the hallway, thoughtful questions at the water cooler about possible uses, and praise for “working so hard to foster collaboration”.  It was all pretty exciting!

It has been about 3 months now and Chatter is still going strong.  Folks are sharing whitepapers, departments are collaborating on things they might not have before, and sales deals are celebrated across the organization.

Going forward, we’re likely to enhance Chatter with some of the cool AppExchange apps.  For now, I’m just enjoying the glow of being able to leverage this amazing new toolset for my users.

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