Gartner just released their Social Software in the Workplace Magic Quadrant. (warning login and $$ required to gain access.) Alternatively, Jive also offers it with your company information. I don’t want to just copy what Gartner has to say so let me just focus on the use cases for Social Software and the leader quadrant. Previously I differentiated between social software and social media where social media focused on getting users to your site or product and social software focused on connecting people. Gartner’s “Social Software in the Workplace” is the social software term I use. What’s funny if I’ve seen IBM, Microsoft, and Gartner focus on the same use cases so here they are:
- Find out about each other personally or professionally
- Mine their networks of contacts and acquaintances for advice
- Form team, communities, or informal groups
- Work together on the same work projects
- Discuss and comment on their work
- Organize from their perspective
- Identify relevant work
- Discover other people with common interests
- Alert users to information or events that might be relevant
- Learn from other’s expertise
- (this is Gartner’s version of the use cases)
Now who are the winners? Well, as Gartner always points out, yes there are leaders but not every vendor is a slam dunk and you need to match the product to your needs. That said, here’s the leader quadrant.
You need to go to Gartner for the entire work but I think it’s worth it to see all the contenders. I like the leaders and agree with their general assessment. I am not surprised to find any of the vendors, including Salesforce here. So for each vendor, they noted some key strengths and weaknesses. (in alphabetical order)
Strengths: viability, vision, and customer experience. I liked the quote on the fact that IBM has a lot of reference customers with more than 10,000 users who mentioned the straightforward implementation.
Cautions: pace of innovation because cloud is still taking off. Complexity because Connections may be straightforward but brining in the entire IBM stack can get complicated.
Strengths: Focus on the social platform and it’s ecosystem of partners and add ons.
Cautions: Product strategy in a broad portfolio world. Platform, and viability. Jive is the smallest vendor in the leadership quadrant although they are viable as a business today.
Strengths: Integration with a breadth of capabilities. SharePoint and Yammer offer a lot. Functionality with new search and other functionality. Viability with the product stack.
Cautions: Platform, Yammer and SharePoint are still two separate products. Customer experience, long transition to cloud
Strengths: Vision of the social platform everywhere within the Salesforce ecosystem. Pace of Innovation within the cloud platform move them forward quickly. Integration of Chatter with the entire sales and service cloud.
Cautions: Focus on social where so much else is happening. Customer experience in initial deployments. Gaps in functionality as compared to other leaders.