IT Innovation Contest

A team-based contest for creative IT solutions

UCSF Profiles and Salesforce Chatter at UCSF: the perfect complementary tools. Here’s the answer to: Why aren’t these 2 systems already integrated?

Proposal Status: 

Project Description:

Have you ever found a group of experts on UCSF Profiles that you wanted to bring into a conversation, but didn’t want to inundate with long email threads?  Have you ever found someone on UCSF Profiles who is doing work on a topic of interest and you wish you could “follow” them so you’d be notified automatically of any new publications they put out?


In this project, we propose to enable these sorts of tailored communications by completing the first user-facing integration between UCSF Profiles and UCSF Chatter. We will bring together the strengths of the Profiles platform and UCSF Chatter capabilities to create the ability to find who you want and take the conversation to a new collaborative level. 


UCSF Profiles broke new ground for finding various experts and connections quickly and easily.  It is now a well-used, heavily trafficked tool on campus, used for the discovery of experts and people. In its current state, the system displays information about the research expertise and experience of investigators, and additionally, automatically generates networks for these individuals, based on known data such as co-authors, department affiliations etc. Because UCSF Profiles automatically updates profile data with new publications, as well as allows manual curation of information, it is a dynamic source of data for researcher information at UCSF.  As more researchers adopt UCSF Profiles into their personal tool kits, there is growing opportunity to foster these connections into meaningful interaction.


UCSF Chatter is a UCSF-specific tool that promotes collaboration through secured workgroups. The current beta program supports over 2,500 active users across UCSF and is quickly growing. Any Chatter user is able to create a group where she can post comments, files, and links, and share them exclusively with selected users, whether they are internal or external to UCSF.  Native mobile and tablet applications, an intuitive UI for group conversation, file version control, and an opt-in approach to notifications, bring the focus to the message, not the messenger. 



This project will integrate UCSF Profiles and Salesforce Chatter to: 


  1. Allow you to find experts via UCSF Profiles, select people of interest and create a “shopping cart” of those people.
  2. With the click of a button, create a UCSF Chatter group, comprised of the selected individuals.
  3. Send “activity” updates on UCSF Profiles (such as the addition of a new publication to an individual’s profile) to the Chatter stream.
  4. Allow you to “follow” people by pressing a button in Profiles, and via Chatter, display and notify you (if you choose) of any activity.


Impact and rationale:

  1. Integration of these 2 software platforms makes sense for the campus, by leveraging the strengths of both systems, but not re-inventing functionality.
  2. The integration is feasible technically and will take full advantage of MyAccess single-sign-on capability. We will be able to leverage and build upon some existing but not-yet fully functional features of UCSF Profiles.
  3. Creates the foundation of a UCSF-wide social network.
  4. Builds upon Chatter traction, and sets UCSF up to take immediate advantage of upcoming Chatter functionality, including integration with Dropbox & Google docs for document sharing/management.
  5. Provides a pilot model for what we hope will be eventual cross-campus (e.g., UC BRAID and UC Rex) expertise discovery & collaboration efforts. Lessons learned will be shared with other UC campuses, as applicable.


Measures of success and output:

  1. Adoption and usage metrics
  2. Implementation documentation, to be shared with other campuses as applicable


Team members and estimated time commitment:

  1. Eric Meeks – UCSF Profiles Technical Lead (10%)
  2. Nina Jameson – UCSF Salesforce product manager (10%)
  3. Leslie Yuan – UCSF Profiles product manager (10%)
  4. Salesforce developer – software developer (60 hours)


All staff members have received supervisory approval for work time for the project.


Very innovative idea to cross link two resources in a meaningful way, and extend functionality. I can see obvious benefits to the research community!

Excellent idea if we can only get more faculty to transition to using Chatter. Perhaps add an easy to follow set of instructions or a promotion that Chatter is an now available for all faculty and staff via MyAccess. How to use it and the benefits of using Chatter (for the non-FaceBook generation).

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