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Reply's command center is the first of its kind in continental Europe  (Photo: Reply)

Arlanis Reply has opened the first social media command center in continental Europe, offering companies an opportunity to listen in on relevant global online discussions of their brands.

Arlanis, the Reply Group division specializing in implementations of Salesforce.com software, established the command center at its Munich offices, where it set up a dedicated area for companies to define their needs for social media monitoring. The center is powered by Salesforce.com's Radian6 social listening application, which can monitor more than 650 million sources globally in 22 languages.

In many industrial companies, social media monitoring is only just getting underway, Reply CEO Tatiana Rizzante said at a press briefing. "We're only just starting to bring the digital world into the physical world," she said.

Thomas Puhl, a partner at Alanis Reply, said the aim of the new command center is to shows customers in detail how Radian6 data can be visualized and interpreted. Puhl showed reporters how the software can display Twitter, Facebook and other comments on topics such as the launch of Sony's new Playstation, the upcoming election of the world soccer player of the year, or the imminent formation of a new German government.

The software is also able to do a rough sentiment analysis, displaying, for example, positive tendencies in green and negative ones in red. But Mani Pirouz, a senior European Salesforce executive, said the algorithm used to process and interpret statements is by nature "not 100 pc accurate." It provides a good and fast indication of sentiment, he said. But for more detailed statistical analysis, a team of social media experts needs to look at the data.

Salesforce offers automakers an integrated cloud-based CRM platform that includes social media monitoring. The software maker sees such monitoring as a key tool for companies to get more insights into the preferences of potential and existing customers.

Reply is an Italian consultancy that helps company use new communication channels and digital media to improve business processes.

Germany is an important market for Reply, representing roughly 20 pc of the group's annual revenue.

Reply offers Consulting, System Integration and Application Management.