Magic Quadrant for Social Software in the Workplace

With the increasing interest in social software during the last years, there are some top vendors that get the buyers’ attention.  According to this trend, Gartner has released its 2012 Magic Quadrant for Social Software in the Workplace.

The Magic Quadrant covers vendors whose software products are used mainly within enterprises, especially by employees but also by external customers, suppliers and partners, to support work teams, communities and social networking.

The evaluation criteria definitions that were considered when analyzing the quadrant are:

  • Ability to execute: product/service; overall viability; sales execution/pricing; market responsiveness and track record; marketing execution; customer experience; operations.
  • Completeness of vision: market understanding; marketing strategy; sales strategy; offering (product) strategy.
  • Business model: vertical/ industry strategy; innovation; geographic strategy.

The products that compete in this market help users form teams, communities or informal groups in order to work together on the same objects, discuss and comment on their work, discover people with common interests, learn from others’ experience and so on.

 Specific uses of products in this market include:

  • Sharing team information and coordinating project-related activities.
  • Empowering communities of experts and interested parties.
  • Facilitating social interaction by helping people establish and strengthen personal relationships and accelerate the business processes in which people engage.
  • Accessing relevant knowledge and expertise that can be used to formulate a plan of action when decisions need to be made.

The Magic Quadrant for Social Software in the Workplace covers a broad set of products, vendors and use cases. The main directions used for the analysis were the ability to execute and completeness of vision. Four main categories were identified: challengers (Tibco Software, Vmware), leaders (Microsoft, IBM, Yammer), niche players (Igloo, blueKiwi, OpenText) and visionaries (Cisco, Acquia). The Quadrant describes the main strengths and weaknesses for the products included.

 For example, Igloo is in the Niche Players quadrant. It offers a SaaS solution that bridges internal and external collaboration and networking.

 This top is important mainly for organizations trying to engage directly with their employees which should be aware of the most prominent vendors. Given the differing backgrounds of many of the vendors, the differences in their strategies, and the increased consolidation activity, the market’s volatility should remain high.

Photo source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/963825

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