Social Software Technology Marketplace Growing Up

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CMS Watch finds vendors focusing more on specific business needs.

Social Software vendors are slowly realizing that they can't do without 'enterprise' services and reliability any more than their stodgier predecessors

Social Software vendors are increasingly focusing on specific business needs, including scenario-specific solutions and analytics, according to new research released today by independent analyst firm, CMS Watch at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference.

These findings come from the latest version of CMS Watch's Enterprise Social Software & Collaboration Report 2009, which evaluates twenty-seven social computing platforms against eleven enterprise use-cases. Vendors reviewed include IBM, Microsoft, Google, Oracle, Jive, Telligent, Awareness, Drupal, SocialText, blueKiwi, Wordpress, Atlassian, Lithium, and Ning.

"Despite some notable exceptions among wiki vendors, Social Software suppliers in 2009 are easing their pace of feature expansion in favor of better solutioneering and productization, with more emphasis on things like performance and analytics," noted CMS Watch founder, Tony Byrne. "In other words, they're growing up."

As another measure of marketplace maturity, CMS Watch also found Social Software vendors settling into traditional categories, including best-of-breed vs suite vs platform; SaaS vs installed; and open source vs commercial. "Customers have many good choices," adds Byrne.

Other findings from CMS Watch include:

  •     System and administrative services - things like back-up, archiving, and multi-instance management services - still remain weak across the board in this marketplace
  •     "Cloud" computing is beginning to impact the Social Software market and blur line between on-premise and SaaS, as more vendors employ services from Amazon and others
  •     SharePoint 2010 could still become a disrupter if Redmond dramatically improves the platform's social networking services, but it is too late for SharePoint to dominate across Social Software use-cases in an increasingly crowded marketplace

Nevertheless, countering SharePoint requires more than functional bells and whistles. "Social Software vendors are slowly realizing that they can't do without 'enterprise' services and reliability any more than their stodgier predecessors," concludes CMS Watch Analyst, Adriaan Bloem.

The Enterprise Social Software & Collaboration Report 2009 is available for purchase online from CMS Watch (http://www.cmswatch.com/Social/Report/).

About CMS Watch:
CMS Watchâ„¢ evaluates content-oriented technologies, offering head-to-head comparative reviews of leading solutions. Through highly detailed technical evaluations and online education courses, CMS Watch helps sort out the complex landscape of potential solutions so that buyers can minimize the time and effort to identify technologies suited to their particular requirements. To retain its independence as a totally impartial analyst firm, CMS Watch works solely for solutions buyers and never for vendors. Research services cover: Web Content Management, Web Analytics, Digital Asset Management, Enterprise Content Management, SharePoint, Enterprise Social Software & Collaboration, Enterprise Portals, Enterprise Search, XML & Component Content Management, and E-mail Archiving & Management. For more information, please visit: http://www.cmswatch.com.

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Melinda Powers
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