Not All Enterprise Social Networking Solutions are Created Equal
Friday, September 14, 2012
Posted by: Maggie Reber-Wynn
Social software is gaining a lot of attention in the enterprise technology industry. Users of consumer social networking tools expect to have the same, or better, collaboration and search capabilities in the workplace as they have in their personal life. Enterprise leaders also recognize social software’s potential to harness user-driven content in order to enhance communication and collaboration across groups, departments, business units, and employees company-wide. Therefore, enterprise leaders are looking to empower their employees with secure, compliant, scalable, and reliable social functionality that allows them to work faster and smarter.
The increasingly high level of interest has resulted in an exhaustive array of social solutions available to enterprises today. These range from point products to comprehensive suites, from consumer-grade, "freemium” platforms to robust, enterprise-class toolsets. At first glance, there appears to be feature parity across most of the comprehensive enterprise-class solutions. Capabilities such as user profiles, activity streams, microblogs, communities, e-mail and enterprise content management integration, presence, chat, and search are supported by most platforms.
However, every enterprise has unique requirements, and every enterprise expects their social solution to result in improved business performance and a competitive advantage in their respective markets. Because of this, enterprise decision-makers must evaluate solutions that are extensible, and they must consider attributes beyond the user-facing features, including the operational implications of introducing social software into their IT environments.
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