Who will provide your business social apps?
The emergence of social media apps for business, a.k.a. Social Business Software (collaborate, chat, follow, feeds) is turning into an exercise in convergence, as in: where will your social media apps converge with your other content-centric apps?
The larger question is quickly becoming: who will (or should) eventually provide your social media tools and applications? Your existing or new web CMS vendor? ECM software vendor? CRM vendor? An upstart social media company? What about Microsoft SharePoint?
Traditional web CMS vendors are racing at breakneck speed to expand their platforms to offer intranet-focused social media apps in conjunction with traditional content management. Yet look at the upcoming Gilbane Content Management conference in Boston and you’ll see a high-tier sponsor is Jive, a solid leader in the emerging class of Social Business Software providers speedily making inroads into enterprises and department-level deployments.
And now here comes Salesforce.com with the pending 2010 launch of its Chatter social platform, which promises to meld collaboration, profiles, feeds, status updates, and more, with its widely used CRM (and marketing automation!) tools in the expanding Salesforce cloud.
Want a glimpse into what’s already a maze of confusion? Check out the recent Gartner Magic Quadrant for Social Software in the Workplace, which tries to position social app vendors into a coherent array of available choices. And there are no lack of choices – we see web CMS, enterprise CMS, social business software apps, portal vendors, large suites, standalone apps all over the grid.
Is it possible to make an educated vendor selection with these widely scattered options? Or is the diversity of providers offering up more confusion than clarity?