Chatter customer groups and invitations FAQ

Chatter customer invitations will be automatically enabled with the Spring ’12 release. Once they are enabled, your users can invite prospects, customers, and partners to participate in private, secure customer groups. Not ready to enable customer invitations? Contact your account executive or customer support at 1800 667 638.

What are Chatter customer groups?
Customer groups are private and secure Chatter groups where users collaborate with individuals outside their organization, such as prospects, customers, and partners. Now users can stop trying to collaborate over email and start sharing files and conversations in customer groups. Watch the feature video on YouTube.

What are customer invitations?
Customer invitations give users the ability to invite external users into private, secure Chatter customer groups. Administrators can enable customer invitations by profile.

When will we get customer groups and invitations?
Customer groups are currently available for all Salesforce customers and were automatically enabled in the Winter '12 release. Customer invitations are also available but are disabled by default. Salesforce.com will automatically enable customer invitations in the Spring '12 release for all customers that have customer groups enabled.

Do external users have access to CRM data?
No.

What can external users see in a customer group?
External users can only see the conversations, files, and people inside the customer groups to which they are invited. External users are unable to see other groups or information not explicitly shared within the customer group.

What if I want to remove certain external users from a customer group?
Group owners manage group membership and attrition. Owners choose which external and internal users are given permission to participate in a group and access files, documents, and conversations within it.

How much do customer groups cost?
Every Salesforce org has a limited number of free external licenses for use in customer groups. Additional external users may be purchased. However, between now and Dreamforce '12 your company may invite as many external users as it would like, free of charge*.

*During the promotional period (December 15, 2011 through September 17, 2012) companies can take advantage of as many external user licenses as they need. If your company exceeds its current license allocation contact support and salesforce.com will happily grant you additional licenses. After this promotional period your company may keep these licenses at no cost. (For example, if a company needs 1,200 external user licenses during the promotional period it will keep 1,200 external licenses for free after the promotion expires.) After September 17, 2012 companies may purchase incremental licenses above what they received during the promotional period.

How do I purchase additional external licenses after the promotional period?
Contact your salesforce.com account executive for details.

Can I enable customer invitations now?
Yes. A Salesforce administrator must follow these steps:

  1. Click Your Name > Setup > Customize > Chatter > Chatter Settings > Edit
  2. Select Allow Customer Invitations. Deselecting this button turns off customer invitations.
  3. Click Save.

Note: Turning off customer invitations won’t delete existing customers or groups that allow customers. Additionally, administrators can still create customer users in Name > Setup > Manage Users > Users.

Where can I find more details on customer groups and customer invitations?
See the Release Notes on the Customer Resources page.

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