News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


PRESS RELEASE 03/04/2013
Subject :

Palo Alto Launches Citywide Employee Social Collaboration with Salesforce Chatter
Contact : Jonathan Reichental, Ph.D., Chief Information Officer, Information Technology    650-329-2121
Katie Duffy, Public Relations Manager, Salesforce    415-836-3734
City Government Leverages the Best of Silicon Valley Technology to Connect Employees in New Ways 

Palo Alto, CA -- The City of Palo Alto, a leader in government innovation, today announced that it is rolling out a private, secure social network for city employees, becoming the first city to bring connected government to the heart of Silicon Valley with Salesforce Chatter, the leading enterprise social network.

"City government needs to mirror the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship of the companies who define our region," said James Keene, City Manager, City of Palo Alto.  "By using social tools like Salesforce Chatter to foster more impactful employee communication and innovation, we reposition ourselves as a governmental agency that proactively engages our workforce in an open and collaborative way."

“The City of Palo Alto is bringing the best of Silicon Valley technology to help governments transform,” said Vivek Kundra, EVP, emerging markets “Fostering a culture of innovation and collaboration is how governments, at every level, should serve citizens in the social era.”

Starting March 1, nearly all 1,000 City of Palo Alto employees were given access to Chatter, enabling employees to collaborate in a Facebook-like feed, without the silos of email.  The citywide rollout comes after a successful pilot involving approximately 250 city employees.  The City is already seeing demonstrable impact including increased knowledge sharing; and a quicker way to form small groups to focus on specific initiatives and projects.

Jonathan Reichental, CIO, City of Palo Alto, said, “Government is facing enormous challenges. There is no doubt that technology will have an increasing role in solving these problems and changing the game.”

Reichental added, “The City of Palo Alto is committed to being at the vanguard of civic innovation. Experimenting with social collaboration to eliminate organizational silos, increase knowledge sharing and get things done quicker and more efficiently for our community is a priority to us.”

In planning their implementation of Chatter, the City is following best practices established by other government agencies and businesses including the General Services Administration (GSA), the federal agency that rolled out Chatter to more than 17,000 people last year.  The City has implemented training modules for employees and executive management and is also leveraging research from customer interviews, data analysis, and expert consultations to help their deployment ROI. 

Chatter is a private, secure social network that allows organizations to achieve breakthrough collaboration and productivity through profiles, real-time feeds, trending topics, recommendations and influence measurement. Integrated across all of the Salesforce apps and extended through custom and partner apps built on the Salesforce Platform, Chatter enables employees to be more productive in their everyday work. With more than 170,000 active networks, Chatter is the #1 enterprise social network and is the standard for how businesses collaborate. Now more than 50 percent of the Fortune 500 leverage Chatter to connect with their customers, partners and employees in entirely new ways. In fact, companies have reduced meetings by an average of 25 percent, reduced email by an average of 26 percent and generated an average of 29 percent more ideas through collaboration. In addition, they have increased employee connections by an average of 31 percent and seen an average of 34 percent increase in employee engagement, according to a recent survey of 5,500 Chatter customers.