Social Software Maturing: Too Little, Too Late?

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Social software vendors are increasingly focusing on scenario-specific solutions and analytics according to new research released today by CMS Watch.

CMS Watch's Enterprise Social Software & Collaboration Report 2009 evaluated 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, placing more emphasis instead on things like performance and analytics. According to the report, "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."

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
     

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