Salesforce Chatter Takes to the Cloud has launched trials of the beta version of its cloud-based Chatter collaboration offering. Billed as a death knell for “legacy” systems like Lotus Notes and SharePoint, Salesforce’s Chatter is current available as an invitation-only product, as about 100 customers put it through its paces.

Datamation takes a look at the new product, which Saleforce says is patterned off the breakthrough consumer success of Facebook and Twitter.

Salesforce Chatter, the cloud-based, real-time collaboration service first introduced at Dreamforce ’09 in November, has formally entered beta testing with a handful of customers.

At this point, Chatter remains a private, invitation-only beta, with about 100 customers — including Reed Exhibitions, Schumacher Group, and TransUnion — getting the first crack at the new service.

Salesforce (NYSE: CRM) positions Chatter as an on-demand alternative to on-premises software like SharePoint from Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Lotus Notes from IBM (NYSE: IBM). Key to its value proposition is the fact that the Chatter software can be accessed from anywhere, including a smartphone.

“The end of legacy collaboration software like Microsoft SharePoint and IBM Lotus Notes is here,” Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff said in a statement. “Consumer Internet services like Facebook and Twitter have shown us better ways to collaborate. Using the same social features and real-time feeds popularized by these consumer services, Salesforce Chatter changes the game for collaboration in the enterprise — all without the cost and complexity of software.”

Read the full story at Datamation:

Salesforce Unleashes Chatter in the Cloud

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