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Enterprise Social Networking Update

March 8, 2012 No Comments

By David A. Kelly, Upside Research

enterprise social2 Enterprise Social Networking UpdateThe last year has been busy for enterprise social media and networking vendors, as they continue their land-grab efforts in the Enterprise Social Networking Land Rush. Here are a few highlights from recent announcements by some of the more popular social networking vendors:


According to its announcement about 2011 performance, Yammer had a gangbuster year acquiring new customers and building its brand. The company has more than 85% of the Fortune 500 with Yammer Networks. It has surpassed 4 million corporate users, and added marquee customers such as 7-Eleven, Chevron, General Electric, LexisNexis, Penn State, and Tyco.

Jive Software

Jive had a similarly glowing year to report. Perhaps most significant was its successful IPO as the first social networking software vendor to trade on the public market. The IPO raised $131.4 million in net proceeds. Revenue was $77.3 million for FY2011, an increase of 67% on a year-over-year basis. The fourth quarter alone saw a record number of customer wins with annual subscription values in excess of $1 million each.  Jive also signed a number of new and expanded customer relationships in 2011, including PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP/UK, SAP, and Thomson Reuters.

Tibco tibbr

After launching its tibbr solution a year ago, Tibco has seen impressive acceptance into the enterprise social networking market, and it has responded to early positive feedback on its social networking spin with even more innovation. The company recently announced tibbr GEO, an enterprise social platform that transforms physical places into data hubs that can immediately stream important insights relevant to a specific place. Using GPS technology, tibbr GEO enables companies to tag important places, and when tibbr users approach these locations, they’re automatically provided with relevant in-stream information. The goal is to improve efficiencies and enable employees to work even faster and smarter. The company offers some compelling scenarios for GEO’s use, including turning airport gates into contextual data hubs that give pilots, agents, and flight attendants critical insights as they approach the gate. In retail, GEO could be used to hone in on sections of an aisle, providing insight about how individual products are selling, how fast they’re moving, or how a new location might impact sales.


Cisco has spent the past several months continuing to outline its plans for unified collaboration in a post-PC era. The company is blending together its Jabber, WebEx, and Quad solutions to enable employees to interact and share relevant information more quickly and efficiently, utilizing the mobile devices growing in popularity among the mobile workforce, such as iPads, tablets, and smartphones. It is also promoting the Cisco Collaboration Cloud with a number of its solutions available in SaaS models.

The Future of Enterprise Social Networking

These are heady days for the enterprise social networking market. 2012 promises to be even more active. Consider the fact that only slightly more than 50% of enterprises have a social networking solution implemented.  As a result, I believe this area will be a hotbed of activity in the months to come. While the new features and offerings that vendors are bringing forth are exciting and promise to assist employee efficiency and effectiveness, there is still the major hurdle that many organizations face:  getting their workforce to successfully adopt and populate social networks for business use.  That is a challenge that software alone cannot solve, and it remains to be seen if companies can find ways to overcome resistance to new ways of collaborating inside the enterprise.

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