Lots of big news in the E2.0 world this week! Read on for details on everything from the grand opening of an entire social network for the enterprise (Chatter.com) to IBM's new social business initiative. 

Chatter.com: A Free Social Network for the Enterprise

Salesforce.com invites the entire online business world to partake in its enterprise collaboration efforts with the grand opening of Chatter.com. Like Yammer, professionals need only a business address to sign up, and can start uploading and sharing immediately. Like Facebook, the new Web destination is inherently social and familiar:


However "consumerized" Chatter.com may appear to be, however, Salesforce representatives are quick to shoot down the notion that the borrowed design means it should be utilized for fun and games.

"Over 500 million people use Facebook and are comfortable with how it works. We want them to be as productive in their work life as they are at home," explained Tim Barker, VP strategy, Salesforce EMEA. "But we're not trying to create a consumer product. Social networks like Twitter and Facebook taught the world about better collaboration, and we want to bring that to the enterprise."

3 Ways Skype 5 Enables Enterprise Collaboration

Unified communications experts generally see Skype as more of a consumer service than an enterprise-level solution, yet Skype continues to court the world of business with a number of professional features, including group video calling, file sharing and Skype Manager:

"From an enterprise perspective, we are looking into providing greater reliability for our customers and ensuring their mission-critical needs are met against the service we can provide," said David Gurlé, General Manager and Vice President of Skype’s Enterprise business unit. "Voice over IP gets more and more reliable every day … so we feel that on a best effort network, it gets better and better." 

Skype has suffered heavy outages in recent times and is continuously criticized for its lack of admin controls, but perhaps we're being too hard on a platform that isn't trying to be Cisco or Microsoft. "We are not in the substitution market," continued Gurlé. "We are in the complementary market. It's kind of an overlay across other communications infrastructure and application that people have deployed."

In whatever case, Skype is still a great solution for SMBs looking to save a penny or two in business communication tools. Sure, there may be outages, but the platform offers the features it takes to get the job done, and that's what counts, right? 

Socialcast Town Hall Promotes Transparent Management

Now that the Web’s biggest microblogging-based enterprise solutions have caught up with each other (give or take a few features), what’s next? According to Socialcast, it’s the enhancement of leadership communication.

Dubbed Town Hall, Socialcast's latest addition acknowledges the difference between executive engagement and the peer-to-peer engagement that typical enterprise collaboration solutions promote. In an attempt to remedy the disconnect, Town Hall provides an on-demand forum for direct or moderated discussions between company executives and employees so that everyone can be on the same page when it comes to business goals: 


“We’ve heard loud and clear from our customers that senior leadership communication is paramount to employee engagement and organizational alignment,” said Tim Young, Founder and CEO of Socialcast. “Now, with Town Hall, companies have a channel to keep all employees informed of key plans and directions while creating the opportunity for feedback loops that cross hierarchical boundaries.”

Salesforce Awards Seesmic US$4m for Going Enterprise

This week, Seesmic was the first consumer microblogging company to land a financial injection from an enterprise company. More specifically, Salesforce contributed to the US$ 4 million dollar pot, totaling Seesmic's raised money to US$ 16 million. 

The investment makes sense on Salesforce's part, as the CRM company has been working to integrate Chatter with Seesmic over the last year. The coupling means users will now be able to see Salesforce.com customer comments within Facebook and Twitter.

“Salesforce.com has become a valued partner as we work together to bridge external and enterprise social communication with Chatter," said Seesmic CEO Loic Le Meur. "These investments will enable us to reach more enterprise customers.”

IBM Launches New Social Business Initiative at Lotusphere #ls11

Lotusphere kicked off in Orlando, Florida this week, giving IBM the perfect stage to launch a new initiative mixed with a number of new products/features that support social business strategies:

Mobile: The next releases of Lotus Notes email, Lotus Connections and Lotus Sametime will be extended to offer support for mobile devices including iPad, iPhone, Google Android, Blackberry and Nokia.

Cloud-based Productivity: IBM is extending its free Lotus Symphony office productivity software into the cloud. LotusLive Symphony is currently in the Lotus Greenhouse (where you preview new Lotus technologies) and is expected to be available in the second half of 2011. 

Social Business Framework: The new Social Business Toolkit is a set of APIs built on open standards and tutorials that will assist both partners and developers to integrate social elements into their solutions.

Intrigued? We don't blame you. Check out further details here