It’s funny, but there are a lot of Web 2. 0 social media outfits that aren’treally businesses. They are playpens with a business veneer. They’ve developed theirtools out of altruism, mischief, passionate interest in technology, wanting to be the best first or the first to the dance, but they have no business plan, no idea how to make money, and are not driven by capitalist mores.
This is definitely not the case with Socialtext and particularly its founder, Ross Mayfield. He’s a true thought-leader in the social media playground, but he alsounderstands that he’s in business to make money not just great tools and this perception has served him and his company very well.
For example, they are easily the most important enterprise wiki platform, with few competitors anywhere near their level. Their primary enterprise competitor is Atlassian Confluence, a formidable package and one that has more CRM connectors than Socialtext, but none have the depth of functionality or are as forward thinking.
Socialtext is the crème de la crème of wiki suppliers. Their 4, 000 plus customers include companies like Symantec, Humana, Nokia, the Washington Post even Oracle and SAP use them rather than native tools. Even more to their credit, SAP Ventures is one of their financial backers.
They are recognized by most of the analysts as the leaders in their industry, with Gartner in their October 2008 Team Collaboration and Social Software Magic Quadrant making them among the most visionary ahead of Microsoft, BEA, and even IBM. That says something, especially in the latter case.
Mission 21st Century
Ross Mayfield on Socialtext over the next few years:
Socialtext will continue to innovate around its wiki-centric platform to increase ease-of-use and simplicity of operations, as well as continuing to integrate more closely with core enterprise infrastructure. Socialtext introduced its spreadsheet-in-a-wiki, SocialCalc, and sees this opening up a new category of enterprise software. Socialtext will leverage marketing, sales, and co-development efforts by working with partners in adjacent areas such as blogging, RSS readers/servers, and other social software and networking tools.
Socialtext expects to see the collaboration and social software market increasingly converge around Web 2. 0 technologies plus social networking tools. Socialtext is going to continue to grow to integrate these tools with core enterprise infrastructures, other applications, as well as traditional collaboration tools for unified communications.
I’d like you to note the sentences that I bolded because that reflects the thinking that drives Social CRM as well as the social software and social media markets.
The Product:Socialtext 3. 0
This is an industrial strength enterprise-level product. While it can appeal to small business with its hosted edition, it is built for midsized and large corporations and has the administrative functions needed for that scale. But it is also a remarkably resilient product platform. It has pretty much all that you would expect of a wiki that needs to be integrated with other data sources. From my standpoint which, of course, means Social CRM the only thing that it lacks is a large group of prebuilt connectors for salesforce. com, Oracle, and other major CRM vendors, but the tools are there to build them if you’re so inclined.
This is what distinguishes Socialtext from its rivals. The range of administrative functions is truly staggering. This allows them to provide the levels of security, policy management, privacy management, and integration that make them one of the few in social software that can be called world class. They have both an SaaS and an on-premise edition. They can be run on VMware which means, for those of you not in the world of the terribly geeky, virtually. Uniquely, they have an offline edition too and an open source version, which gives them the benefit of thousands of developers working on their product in the true spirit of the collaborative value chain.
They understand market opportunity with the enterprise. Connections to not include a wiki component instead they replaced it with what they call
activities, which are outcome-based team collaboration, not wikis. Social-textrecognized the market opportunity and built a connector for Lotus Connections smart, very smart.
Here we go with the enterprise features:
A Socialtext administrative screen (Source: Socialtext)
Actually, this is very much a culled feature and function list. The total amount is apparently infinite or close to it all philosophical implications of that statement aside. What I have listed are the ones that I find the most important to a CRM audience on either side of usage and that I can vouch for through experience with the application during the vetting process. This one is world class and deserves some consideration in your vendor selection process.
Socialtext continues to innovate when it comes to the product with their 2009 introduction of a free full-featured version for 50 users or less and an actual hardware appliance that comes with Socialtext built in. In late 2009, a mobile edition was introduced that works in any smartphone environment.
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Omg! Your Customer Really Is Your Bff!
Crm,cmr,vrm Or . . . Who Cares?
The Customer Owns The Experience
Enterprise 2.0:not Exactly What You Think
A Company Like Me:new Business
Do You Have The Ring? Tools For Customer Engagement
Love Your Customers Publicly: Blogs And Podcasts
Wikis Are A Weird Name For Collaboration, N’est Çe Pas?
Social Networks, User Communities: Who Loves Ya, Baby?
Movin’ And Groovin’: The Use Of Mobile Devices
The Collaborative Value Chain
Sales And Marketing: The Customer Is The Right Subject
Customer Service Is Our Name—and Our Game
The Difference:crm,the Public Sector,and Politics
Soa For Poets
At Home Or In The Clouds-and In Open Spaces Between
Big Picture,big Strategies
Mapping The Customer Experience
Process And Data Go Together Like…crm Operations
Value Given,value Received
When You Buy The Application,you Buy The Vendor,though You Don't Implement Him
Waving To The Future
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