Nestle phases out Salesforce Chatter, deploys Facebook's Workplace

The Swiss company plans to use the enterprise social network for its 210,000 employees worldwide.

Facebook Workplace

Nestlé will phase out its company-wide deployment of Salesforce Chatter as it deploys Facebook’s Workplace enterprise social network. 

The Swiss firm – the world’s largest food company by revenue – chose Workplace to connect staff and support communications across its complex operations. Nestlé owns more than 2,000 brands, has a presence in 191 countries and employs approximately 323,000 workers. 

The company had previously relied on an implementation of Salesforce’s Chatter – dubbed “NestChatter” internally – as its social communications platform. The rollout was the “largest Salesforce Chatter deployment ever,” said Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff during a 2013 earnings call.

Workplace will augment a range of collaboration and productivity tools currently in use at Nestlé, including Sharepoint, Yammer and Microsoft’s chat tool Teams, according to a Nestlé spokesperson. 

The company did not elaborate on the decision to replace Chatter.

Good internal social media 'can transform a company’

A blog post from Facebook last week highlighted “immediate” improvements following an initial rollout last year of Workplace to Nestlé’s staff in Mexico, Brazil, the Middle East, and South Africa. Facebook cited “25 times higher engagement per post and very high rates of mobile adoption.”

Workplace’s video functionality is used by Nestlé managers to communicate with workers in different locations, for example, while sales teams are able to share information and best practice with colleagues.

“Good internal social media can transform a company,” a Nestlé spokesperson told Computerworld, enabling better interactions. “It boosts freedom to experiment and sharing. [The Workplace deployment] will help with our goal to move quicker to turn good ideas into great products to meet fast-changing consumer demand.”

The Workplace rollout has already reached 210,000 Nestlé workers and will continue during 2019.

“Nestlé is another major addition for the Facebook’s enterprise social network offering…,”  said IDC research director, Wayne Kurtzman. “This is significant because of Nestlé’s global presence, and underscores Workplace’s ease of use, strong video abilities and inline translation features allowing easy communications between regions.”

A next-generation enterprise social network?

The Nestlé deployment is an indication of how Workplace has positioned itself as an alternative to established enterprise social networks such as Chatter and others. Last year, Virgin Atlantic announced that it was replacing Microsoft Yammer with Workplace for 7,000 employees, citing low end-user adoption of Yammer.

“Workplace is shaping up to be an updated version for the legacy enterprise social networks or intranets,” said Raúl Castañón-Martínez, a senior analyst at 451 Research.

He added that the Nestlé deal is “not only an important win, it’ll also be a key proof of concept for the company since it will replace a private social network platform (Salesforce Chatter).”

Workplace inhabits an interesting space in the collaboration market, competing both with a new breed to team chat apps – such as Slack and Microsoft Teams – and established enterprise social network vendors.  

“Workplace provides several advantages to large multinational companies,” said Castañón-Martínez. “It combines the reach of the legacy enterprise social networks/intranet, covering 100% of the workforce – including everyone, and not just knowledge workers – with the ease of use of team collaboration tools like Slack. This is an important differentiation that sets Workplace apart.”

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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