Updated: October 28, 2019
Socialtext was an enterprise social software with the fastest business value. With Socialtext, everyone knows what’s going on. People and teams are synchronized, engaged and informed. Socialtext provides a broad social software platform that has the ease of SaaS and the security of an on-site appliance. You get a quick deployment that focuses on your people, not on the software code.
2010. Socialtext 4.0 wisely copies Google Groups
Socialtext has released version 4.0 of its enterprise social platform, and the main new feature is the ability to create groups. At first glance it seems that it's a little feature, and the new release is issued only for PR. However, all genious is simple, and Socialtext - is one of those companies that earn good money on these things. Groups - online spaces for communication and collaboration - are important for enterprise. These may be department-centric spaces, or workspaces for project teams, or communities of interest (yes, they are also useful for business, as they bring staff together). But how easy it is to create an online group space, for example, in Sharepoint? It's complicated enough for not creating it at all. Another example - Google Groups, which have recently become the part of Google Apps. In couple of clicks you can create a group, set permissions, to invite the co-workers. The same is with Socialtext 4.0, but instead of discussions (that are used in Google Groups) it uses microblogging service. Any employee can create a group. The group has a front page with the description, list of participants and activity stream. Each group has the microblog, where members can add messages, and workspaces with wiki, spreadsheets and files. Groups can be public, private and invisible. You can access groups in browser, the desktop client or mobile device (iPhone, Android, Blackberry). Socialtext provides the free SaaS version for 50 users.
2009. Social Software leaders: Jive, SocialText and NewsGator
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 SBS 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 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 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.
2008. SocialText wiki platform gets collaborative spreadsheets
Corporate Wiki software company SocialText is adding a spreadsheet to its wiki product. The new feature, SocialCalc, allows users to collaborate on spreadsheets the same way they do in the company's text-based Wikis. The product is based on Dan Bricklin's open-source Wikicalc. For spreadsheet jockeys this is both good and bad news. SocialCalc spreadsheets inherit wiki-style revision tracking, which is an automatic audit trail that will arguably be even more important on spreadsheets with financial and other hard data on them than it is on text-based wiki pages. Users can also easily embed data from other SocialCalc sheets in their spreadsheets, or for that matter data from any SocialText wiki page or Web URL. This could make building workgroup-wide, or even company-wide spreadsheets possible. Assuming, that is, everyone in said workgroup or company is comfortable using SocialCalc instead of Excel.