Social Network Technology List

I attended a talk last week by Forrester analyst Rob Koplowitz on the subject of “Charting your enterprise social strategy”.  Rob has a disturbing way of appearing very casual while at the same time touching on such a broad range of things clearly implying a considerable depth of understanding.  He presented this list of social software players and his take on where each is going.

  • Atlassian – offers SaaS and on-premises, expect an innovation strategy
  • – SaaS, commoditization strategy
  • bluekiwi Software – SaaS, based in Paris, strongest in France, expect innovation and integration.
  • Central Desktop – SaaS, commoditization in lower to mid market
  • Cisco Systems (Quad) – SaaS and on-premises, oriented toward real time collaboration, focus on innovation and integration
  • CubeTree – SaaS and on-premises, acquired by success factors, focus on commoditization, innovation, horizontal differentiation.
  • EMC (Centerstage) – on-premises, focus on integration.
  • Google – SaaS, interesting vision around information workplace, email, focus on commoditization, integration
  • Huddle – SaaS, relevant in England, focus on commoditization, innovation
  • IGLOO Software – pure SaaS, a bunch of vertical capabilities, similar to OpenText, focus on vertical and horizontal through partners
  • IBM (Lotus Connections) – SaaS and on-premises, aggressive and early, has critical mass in marketplace, focus on innovation, commoditization, and integration
  • INgage Networks – SaaS, small,  horizontal differentiation
  • Jive Software – quite a few people using it, strong focus on innovation, rapid cycles, diff from Microsoft, integration play as well.  Want to become the standard connection to other products in your organization.  Has critical mass in marketplace.  Innovation and horizontal capabilities.
  • Microsoft (Sharepoint) – SaaS and on-premises, a lot of muscle in this area.  2010 was a year for Sharepoint to shine, highly relevant to information workers,  focus on commoditization, integration (not innovation)
  • MindTouch – on-premises, interesting open source, focus on commoditization
  • NewsGator Technologies – on-premises on top of Sharepoint, vertical oriented, innovation and vertical capabilities in government and defense.
  • Novell (Pulse) – Saas, long time player, but isolated, clever and integrated, focus on innovation
  • OpenText (Vignette) – on-premises, their arch-nemesis is Documentum.  Can serve internal as well as external.  Focus on innovation.
  • Oracle (WebCenter) – on-premises, going to flex their muscles, finally will be relevant here, focus on integration.
  • PBWorks – SaaS, used to be PBWiki, little company, focus on vertical capability for specific needs
  • Ramius – Saas, small company, focus on innovation and horizontal capabilities
  • SAP (Streamwork) – Saas, moving slowly, focus on innovation
  • Socialtext – Saas and on-premises, like Jive was wiki, now all collaboration, focus on innovation
  • Telligent Systems – Saas and on-premises,  innovation and integration
  • Twiki Inc. – Saas and on-premises, open source, was wiki but now more social network capabilities built in,  focus on commoditization and integration

His summary: the three largest (and thus safe bets) are Microsoft Sharepoint, Jive, and Lotus.

Forrester’s Web 2.0 definition:  A set of technologies and applications that enable efficient interaction among people, content, and data in support of collectively fostering new businesses, technology offerings, and social structures.

12 thoughts on “Social Network Technology List

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    • Yes, the list above only represents the products which are known well enough to be covered by an analyst, but new offerings are being invented every day. Those who believe they have offerings that deserve to be in the category of social software, feel free to add a comment with a link to the most informative page about it. (ShareFlock appears to qualify….)

    • I would say that it is a system, like Facebook, that allows you to follow, track and interact with your social network. That would be the main purpose of the system, not just a system for for something else that allows for socializing. This could be about any purpose. Collaborative (about work) or not (about chit-chat).

  2. Another product left off the list: Salesforce Chatter. I checked into chatter and it has some very cool facebook-like features. I asked Rob why he did not include it in the list. It was because when you get into Chatter, you get the idea that it is still very CRM focused. I had the same impression. The main screen lists opportunities, account, contacts — it just feels very CRM-ish. I don’t mean to discount the technology: very cool and very useful.

    I think it would be easy for Salesforce was to craft a more generic and less sales-ish UI, and if they did that, there is a huge potential for Chatter to be used by anyone within any enterprise. Hmmmm. When Marc asks for it, it will be done, but …. when?

    • I think he is misunderstanding Chatter. Chatter is not CRM focused. It runs on custom cloud. And you can integrate any objects you want. It just happens that Salesforce include Chatter with their SFA and CRM applications. But you can integrate Chatter into any application/process from any domain.

      • I know what you are are saying, and Chatter is a good general purpose social platform, and is nothing short of amazing. But I did sign up for a free trial, and along with all these powerful general capabilities, the UI includes a lot of CRM things. I am saying that it “gives the impression” of being CRM focussed, not that it is incapable of doing something else. You may be quite right that this is a “misunderstanding” but it is one that is easy to arrive at given the current UI.

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