Social Software leaders: Jive, SocialText and NewsGator
October 22, 2009 | Author: Adam Levine
Social Software adopts consumer web achievements (wikis, blogs, profiles, tags, ratings, social connections, people search, micro-blogging) in the enterprise environment. Of course, today almost all software vendors say that their software provides social computing, but in most cases it's only PR pitches and their software is not really social. At the same time there are few "native social software" solutions, that provide a social layer for company intranet and really enable it to achieve the social software objectives: create enterprise-wide community and improve collaboration. The most successful on this market are 3 solutions: Jive SBS, SocialText and NewsGator Social Sites.
All these system provide a wide range of social tools, so that clients don't need to deploy several solutions for different tasks (content management, collaboration, internal community). Unlike other perspective startups like PBWorks, Confluence and MindTouch, the three leaders grew out from their original narrow niches. Besides, these solutions managed to provide enterprise-class level of security and control, all of them provide in-house solution. And there is one more reason of their success - MS Sharepoint integration.Sharepoint 2007, itself isn't social software. But, Steve Ballmer is right, Sharepoint is the very system that brings social computing into the enterprise. Sharepoint is so widely used as a intranet solution, that all social vendors have to use it as a platform. Of course, Microsoft wants to get rid of these social add-ons and earn money on social layer itself with Sharepoint 2010. But it seams not so scary for Jive, SocialText and NewsGator.
Jive Social Business Suite (formal Clearspace) yesterday raised another $US 12M in fundingна. This software was started as an internal community, and later was combined with customer community and public Social Web. Jive is more expensive than its competitors, but nevertheless, according to user ratings and Gartner reports - it's a market leader. Interesting that at first Jive was positioned as Sharepoint alternative and it was integrated with Sharepoint only this month.
SocialText - just two years ago was the most popular business wiki. But then it started growing, added profiles, social connections, personalized home pages, activity streams and micro-blogs. Their most recent feature is social spreadsheets (something between wiki and excel). Socialtext - is the most socialist product. First, it's open-source, and second, it's quite inexpensive and even provides 50-user SaaS version for free.
Newsgator Social Sites - grew out from enterprise RSS solution. This system raised its popularity only thanks to Sharepoint, as Nesgator is a set of templates, web-parts and add-ons for Sharepoint. In 2007 Microsoft selected Newsgator as a primary provider of social tools for Sharepoint and assured its bright future. Newsgator adds to Sharepoint communities, RSS, enhanced profiles, social connections, tags, activity streams, content rating, knowledge management. In September Newsgator unveiled micro-blogging tool.Speaking about Social Software market we should also mention IBM Lotus Connections. This system was reborn this year with version 2.5 release and got a lot of positive reviews. But this software has one big problem - it wants to replace Sharepoint, rather than integrate with it.
See also: Top 10 Wiki software