MAD Perspectives Blog

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 Social Media - Growing Up!

Peggy Dau - Monday, July 02, 2012

It's been an interesting time for enterprise social media (called enterprise 2.0 by some).  In the last year, several leading social communication and social media monitoring companies have been acquired. Last weeks announcement of Microsoft's acquisition of Yammer raises the stakes for all companies enabling social connectivity within the enterprise. The difference between Yammer and Twitter, is that Yammer provides connectivity behind the firewall. It's a perfect fit for Microsoft as it is already integrated with Sharepoint. Yammer is focused on enabling real-time collaboration between users across the enterprise. It is already implemented in many large & medium enterprise customers. For the leadership team at Yammer, being acquired by Microsoft gave them access to a $360 million user installed based.  Not bad!

It was not surprising to see Salesforce.com acquire Radian6 in 2011. Given Salesforce.com's customer centricity, Radian6 complimented and enriched their customer relationship management offer. Radian6 provides social intelligence that allows users to benefit from the social chatter surrounding their customers. Salesforce.com, while not perfect, according to the wide variety of users who have volunteered comments about them over the years, has positioned itself as the innovative provider of services to help clients better understand and manage their customer relationships. Then they upped the ante with their recent acquisition of social media marketing giant, Buddy Media.

Of course, this elevated Salesforce.com's battle with Oracle whose suite of CRM solutions includes acquisitions of Siebel and Peoplesoft. Larry Ellison has been engaged in a PR battle with Salesforce.com CEO, Marc Benioff over definition of cloud, how to provision CRM solutions. Oracle has not ignored the social platforms either. They have acquired Vitrue (social media marketing) and Collective Intellect (social analytics), all to support its overall enterprise social business strategy to improve enterprise collaboration.

Now, IDC has released its Worldwide Enterprise Social Software 2012-2016 report. How timely! They project a compound growth rate of 42.4% over the next four years, with the market growing to $4.5 billion in revenue by 2016. Drivers include enterprise interest in adding social collaboration features to existing applications and desire by enterprise users for software that feels like the social media applications they use outside the workplace.

Social media is growing up as it the market consolidates. The maturity of these large enterprises provides expanded go-to-market opportunities for social platforms targeting the enterprise. These companies will certainly integrate these platforms with their various enterprise applications. Social also naturally expands their cloud service offerings as social media has been in the cloud from its inception. The question is, will these social technologies continue to innovate now that they are part of corporate america? 

Is your enterprise getting social? I'd love to hear about it.

What's your perspective?