Social networking is the topic du jour. Facebook is going public at a gazillion dollar valuation; Jive market cap jumped 30% in the past few weeks because their charismatic CEO, Tony Zingale, got Barrons to say they are Facebook for the enterprise. And no question, companies are deploying enterprise collaboration platforms fast, trying to keep up with the need for information sharing. One customer – a CIO – told me “we don’t know why but we’re going to do it anyway!”. Given all this frenzy I was pleased to see a sensible report published last week on the business case for ESN – Enterprise Social Networks – written by Charlene Li and published by Altimeter. It’s full of advice on how to think about your deployment and your ROI. We see a smorgasbord of options at our customers – some have SFDC (Salesforce CRM and sometimes Chatter), some have SFDC and Jive, some have Microsoft and Yammer, some have 3 or 4 around the globe – you name it, we see the mix. Some departments like one, some like the other, sometimes global likes one and the US likes another. It’s definitely a challenge. We have the advantage that because of our architecture we can easily integrate our customer intelligence into all, but I feel for the IT teams trying to administer so many choices. This chart is the answer to “what is your primary enterprise networking solution?” across 77 companies who could only answer one.
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