Magic Quadrant for Social Software in the Workplace
As interest in social software increases, market consolidation is beginning in earnest and buyers' attention is focusing on fewer vendors. Market volatility will remain high as vendors jostle for position, so buyers will need to remain cautious.
This Magic Quadrant covers vendors whose software products are used mainly within enterprises, primarily by employees but also by external customers, suppliers and partners, to support work teams, communities and social networking.
Buyers in this market are looking for persistent virtual environments in which participants can create, organize and share information, as well as find, connect and interact with each other.
Business use of these products varies in its degree of formality and openness — from information sharing and project coordination within a small, homogeneous group, to the sharing of best practices within a business unit, to the encouragement of networking and information exchange between employees across a whole organization or with external participants in other organizations.
In general terms, products that compete in this market help users to:
- Find out about each other personally or professionally
- Mine their networks of contacts and acquaintances for advice, references and referrals
- Form teams, communities or informal groups, and invite external participants from other organizations
- Work together on the same work objects
- Discuss and comment on their work
- Organize work from their perspective
- Identify relevant work
- Discover other people with common interests
- Alert users to information or events that might be relevant to them
- Learn from others' expertise
Specific uses of products in this market include:
- Sharing team information and coordinating project-related activities by adding permanence and structure to ad hoc communications.
- Empowering communities of experts and interested parties — bonding people by specific interests, capturing best practices, disseminating lead-user innovation and providing an informal support network.
- Facilitating social interaction by helping people establish and strengthen personal relationships, develop trust, and ultimately reduce friction 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.
Gartner covers the market for social CRM in a separate Magic Quadrant as those products support very different use cases, and are bought by buyers in different roles. Although there is some overlap between the vendors in these Magic Quadrants, their products invariably have functionality specific to the different use cases.
We have extended slightly the scope of this Magic Quadrant to include external use cases, and will no longer publish a separate Magic Quadrant for externally facing social software. Although some products still focus on internal or external use cases, this differentiation is no longer sufficient to warrant a separate Magic Quadrant. The impact of this change on the number of vendors included in the present Magic Quadrant is minimal — only one vendor (Huddle) that appeared in 2011's "Magic Quadrant for Externally Facing Social Software" appears in this Magic Quadrant because of the change in scope. For more details, see "Changes to the Social Software Magic Quadrants."
This Magic Quadrant covers a broad set of products, vendors and use cases. One subsegment that is attracting growing attention — to judge from inquiries from Gartner clients and interest from prospective buyers — comprises products bought specifically for enterprise social networking by organizations less interested in using them as platforms for managing content or delivering other services. We shall take a closer look at this subsegment — which includes products such as salesforce.com's Chatter, Microsoft's Yammer, Tibco Software's tibbr and VMware's Socialcast — in a separate "Critical Capabilities for Enterprise Social Networking" report, to be published later in 2012.
Note: blueKiwi was acquired by Atos in April 2012, and Yammer was acquired by Microsoft in June 2012. The acquired vendors appear under their original names, and in Yammer's case separately from its acquirer, as no major changes to their businesses are likely in the short term.
Source: Gartner (September 2012)
Acquia is in the Visionaries quadrant. It provides commercial support and enterprise services relating to the open-source Drupal distribution. Acquia sells products and services to support and host internal and external-facing Drupal websites.
- Ecosystem: Drupal is proven in large, high-profile deployments. It has an active developer community with 600,000 members, a track record of community support and a growing ecosystem of service providers. Open-source communities are typically larger and more active in development work than those of proprietary vendors. The Drupal community has contributed over 10,000 modules.
- Viability: Acquia is an organization funded by venture capital that offers a commercially supported version of Drupal and is led by Drupal's founder, which puts it very close to the open-source project's activities. Acquia partners with about 500 consulting and development organizations to provide a range of services, including community strategy, Web strategy, design, implementation, development and performance-tuning services.
- Platform: Drupal is a rich and extensible platform for social publishing that provides much more control over content layout and editorial workflow than typical enterprise social networking products.
- Complexity: Drupal's richness and flexibility can be a source of unneeded complexity for those looking for a quick "off the shelf" implementation. Reference customers cited concerns with the quality of documentation and the effort required to improve sluggish performance.
- Features: Acquia is only now adding native support for mobile devices, such as the Apple iPhone and iPad, and for Research In Motion BlackBerry and Google Android apps.
- Support: Acquia is growing in terms of number of employees, revenue and its ecosystem of partners, but it remains smaller than most of the vendors in this Magic Quadrant.
Atlassian is in the Challengers quadrant. Atlassian Confluence is known as a wiki-centric collaboration product, but it is being transformed into a social platform for the creation and sharing of content by employee teams, project teams and communities.
- Viability: Atlassian has approximately 350 staff worldwide, growing revenue and a very large customer base, including many customers with large deployments.
- Functionality: Confluence has some of the richest browser-based content creation functionality, which, coupled with improved sharing, activity streams, notifications, mobility and other improvements, make it a strong collaboration product, particularly for documentation and product development support roles.
- Customer experience: Buyers choose Confluence, one of the most cost-effective products, for both its low cost and its capabilities — their appreciative comments include "the cost-benefit of Confluence is outstanding" and "exceeded expectations."
- Vision: Confluence is not the main product in Atlassian's portfolio — its biggest seller is Jira, an issue-tracking system. Although Confluence is evolving fast enough to keep up, it is not leading the sector. The recently introduced cloud Confluence OnDemand offering has not yet achieved critical mass, and important functions such as mobility features have only just been added.
- Focus: Atlassian's products are typically bought by IT departments, and tend to do best in deployments that involve technical users.
- Strategy: Atlassian has historically relied on a "low touch" marketing and sales model, which some large organizations may find unsuited to their needs. Atlassian is enhancing its operations to address this issue, but this will take time.
blueKiwi is in the Niche Players quadrant. Its was one of the first products to base the user experience on activity streams. In 2012, blueKiwi was acquired by Atos, Europe's second-largest IT services provider.
- Platform: blueKiwi offers comprehensive functionality, with strong support for participation, social networking analytics, microblogging, rich media (including video), extensive community management, polling and ideation. It combines these in a single platform that can simultaneously support internal networking, external communities and social media engagement.
- User experience: blueKiwi places strong emphasis on ease of use and an engaging user experience. As one reference customer said, its product is "easy to deploy and use."
- Viability: The acquisition by Atos could help blueKiwi become visible to more organizations and give it a credible cloud strategy with a strong multiregion presence (via Atos's Canopy offering). Already, as part of Atos, blueKiwi's sales and its service capabilities have strengthened, and its pace of development has accelerated.
- Viability: Despite being one of the first vendors to offer a product in the enterprise social software market, blueKiwi has limited market presence. Also, Atos's commitment, and its ability as a consulting company, to succeed with blueKiwi's product in a highly competitive market have yet to be tested.
- Innovation: Although blueKiwi's product has some much-liked capabilities (such as easy external participation) and is the subject of plans for more advanced ones (such as a recommendation engine), its evolution is following, rather than leading, that of the overall sector.
Cisco is in the Visionaries quadrant. Cisco WebEx Social is a modular platform for social collaboration with a strong emphasis on mobility, video and unified communications (UC) support.
- Viability: Cisco has made significant investments in WebEx Social. This product's recent name change (from Cisco Quad) and alignment with the well-known WebEx brand and product family signal further commitment to this market. However, Cisco expects its products to lead their respective markets, so WebEx Social needs to improve its market position.
- Vision: Cisco sees social software as part of a broader UC user experience and platform that integrates seamlessly with mobile devices, real-time communications, and the capture and sharing of rich media, including high-definition video.
- Platform flexibility: WebEx Social can be deployed on a large scale, from the cloud, on-premises and through virtualized hardware. It combines a broad set of capabilities, including rich profiles, social graphs, activity streams, communities, social metadata and a "unified post mechanism" (for conversations, blogs and wikis), all on top of a common policy and permissions model, a common content store, and a "pluggable" framework that integrates with content management, instant messaging, voice, conferencing and video services from Cisco or other vendors.
- Ecosystem: Although WebEx Social benefits from Cisco's global network of resellers and service partners, many are not wholly familiar with this type of product or the change management issues that need to be addressed to ensure successful implementation. Also, the ecosystem — comprising, for example, third-party developers — for the evolution of the product remains nascent.
- Customer experience: WebEx Social is a relatively young product and experiencing "growing pains." One reference customer commented that although Cisco helped with deployment, it required some effort to smooth out certain performance issues.
Huddle is in the Niche Players quadrant. Huddle offers a software-as-a-service (SaaS) product for structured document-centric collaboration. It targets collaboration between organizations, as well as internal collaboration.
- Innovation: Huddle is evolving fast, with monthly releases and new functions. These include "intelligent" file synchronization that automatically replicates the most relevant files (based on usage frequency and other learned properties) between desktops, mobile devices and shared workspaces, and PDF annotation on mobile devices.
- Focus: Rather than try to do everything, Huddle focuses on the important use case of collaboration and team support involving participants from external organizations, with an emphasis on mobility and file sharing.
- Ecosystem: Huddle works with a variety of, typically cloud-based, technology partners to add functionality to its products (such as support for editing Microsoft Office documents on mobile devices using Quickoffice).
- Functionality: Despite having a full set of features for team file sharing, Huddle lacks many advanced social features, such as filtered activity streams and social analytics.
- Strategy: Despite its success in penetrating many organizations, Huddle still merely complements existing collaboration and social networking solutions, rather than displacing them.
IBM is in the Leaders quadrant. IBM Connections was one of the first products to target the social software market specifically. Other products in IBM's portfolio — such as Sametime, Notes/Domino, FileNet Content Manager and WebSphere Portal Server — broaden the applicability of Connections.
- Ecosystem and viability: IBM has extensive resources and well-developed channels, and it continues to expand its ecosystem of system integrators and third-party suppliers to support its offerings. IBM also plays leading roles in the industry bodies developing standards such as OpenSocial and ActivityStrea.ms.
- Vision: IBM identifies social business as an important part of its strategic future. It has developed a program combining its expertise in services, consulting and technology implementation to help clients and prospects in different industries develop social business strategies and adopt social technologies.
- Customer experience: Connections is increasingly used in more demanding situations by large organizations. Several reference customers with over 10,000 users commented on the product's straightforward implementation — their praise included "cannot do without it" and "phenomenal" (though one balked at a proposal to use Connections as a replacement for Microsoft SharePoint). IBM was also able to help with customization, but reportedly with "high service costs."
- Pace of innovation: IBM is keeping up with the functionality race (with, for example, improved social analytics, mobility, activity streams, open social support, file sharing and user experience improvements), and it makes interim releases, extensions, plug-ins and mobile application updates available throughout the year. However, it releases major updates only annually, which might put it at a disadvantage to nimbler competitors with continuous test/release cycles, and might frustrate users who now expect much more. One factor that makes it hard for IBM to move faster is that, despite its investments in cloud delivery (SmartCloud), only a small fraction of its core user base is ready to accept this mode of delivery.
- Complexity: Although Connections is an off-the-shelf product that requires no other products in order to be used, IBM often needs to introduce other products to address more diverse requirements. This results in complex deployments that demand extensive installation and customization work.
Igloo is in the Niche Players quadrant. It offers a SaaS solution that bridges internal and external collaboration and networking.
- Functionality: Igloo is a pure SaaS vendor that issues regular quarterly releases. Recent enhancements include multi-operating-system desktop support with Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV); HTML5 support for multiple devices; improved analytics through a partnership with MicroStrategy; support for multiple languages and localization; and the concept of "channels" for organizing and publishing content around specific themes.
- Viability: Igloo has made progress during the past 12 months and expanded its operations beyond North America, but it remains a small vendor with only about 60 employees.
- Visibility: Although Igloo has large corporate customers, it must continue to improve its visibility and reputation as an enterprise vendor, especially with senior executives.
- Platform: For customers wanting to go beyond the solution's built-in functionality, there is some pre-integration available with Web conferencing products and business applications, such as those of salesforce.com. However, packaged integration with other platforms (such as Microsoft SharePoint) and applications is generally limited. General standards-based integration possibilities include widgets, programming APIs and HTML embedding.
- Customer experience: Although reference customers were generally positive (their appreciative remarks included "excellent product"), some reported that some IT help was needed for deep customization.
Jive is in the Leaders quadrant. It continues to gain enterprise-scale customers thanks to its broad product capabilities and substantial visibility.
- Viability: Jive's initial public offering (IPO) in 2011 made it the first of the major social software startups to go public. According to Jive's financial results as of August 2012, the company continues to grow strongly. Gartner believes that Jive is the largest vendor that specializes in workplace social software, and the third-largest vendor overall in terms of revenue in the adjacent social CRM market. Jive is using its increased financial strength to boost its operations, product development and cloud strategy, which includes setting up regional data centers.
- Ecosystem: Jive's partnership program is more developed than those of most competitors. Jive has big consulting and agency names on board — Accenture, Capgemini, Cognizant, PwC and SapientNitro — that are building practices dedicated to Jive.
- Vision: Jive's vision for social software is broad and strong. It includes embracing major new use cases as they emerge within its customer base. Jive says it is making a "big" shift toward packaged solutions, as opposed to being a platform. In 1Q12, it launched Social Intranet, Customer Service and Social Marketing & Sales solutions, and it will build more specific solutions over time in the same areas. Jive has also released Jive Anywhere, which gives users the ability to pull information contextually from other applications and Web pages into the Jive network. Jive Anywhere can also monitor Web activity to offer relevant information proactively within the Jive interface.
- Focus: Jive's early success with large deployments for enterprise customers exposes it to the risk of falling foul of the "innovation dilemma," whereby a vendor places so much emphasis on the current needs of its largest customers that it falls behind in terms of innovation and consideration of their future needs. Having navigated the transition to publicly quoted company, Jive needs to maintain its focus on sustainable differentiation.
- Integration: Reference customers mentioned a need for improved integration with CRM and content management systems, as well as improved internationalization capabilities.
- Social analytics: Jive's use of its investments in Proximal Labs to develop adaptive intelligence is a potential differentiator, but, apart from incremental enhancements to several modules, this functionality will not be available until 2013.
Liferay is in the Niche Players quadrant. It offers a portal-centric platform for organizations looking to develop and integrate social interaction and community support in a flexible environment.
- Integration: Liferay's Social Office collaboration and social interaction capabilities are available in a no-cost Community Edition from the Liferay Marketplace. In addition, a licensed and supported Enterprise Edition of Liferay Social Office will be sold from the Marketplace in 3Q12. Both editions install into a Liferay Portal and include built-in content management (with hooks to alternative systems), as well as Microsoft Office integration.
- Ecosystem: Liferay has a healthy developer and partner ecosystem, with thousands of developers and an active marketplace.
- Strategy: Liferay is one of the few remaining specialist vendors in the portal space, and is seeking to extend its position into collaboration and networking. Its broad platform capabilities and open-source, low-cost, support-based model are attractive to many buyers.
- Focus: Although there is some evidence that Liferay Portal is being used to provide collaboration and social networking in the context of large portal deployments, Liferay is still relatively unknown in this market.
- Customer experience: Liferay's portal platform capabilities add flexibility and power when customization is needed, but can take longer to deploy than others. One typical reference customer commented that his organization chose Liferay for its "breadth of capabilities," but Liferay has less experience of supporting social initiatives than other vendors in this Magic Quadrant.
- Innovation: Despite an active open-source development community and several enhancements (such as a separate module for desktop and mobile file synchronization [Liferay Sync], personal sites and a simple installer for Social Office), Liferay is generally following, rather than leading, in terms of collaboration and social capabilities. Its pace of innovation is also hampered by the reluctance of many Liferay customers to accept cloud deployment options (90% use Liferay on-premises).
Microsoft is in the Leaders quadrant because of its very robust ecosystem and the broad market penetration of SharePoint Server. (Note that Yammer, which Microsoft acquired in June 2012, is assessed separately in this Magic Quadrant.)
- Integration: Microsoft Windows, Office, Exchange, Lync and SharePoint all work best with each other, offering IT organizations at least the appearance of simplicity in terms of training, usability, extensibility and management. Customers typically buy SharePoint for its breadth of capabilities as a platform and alignment with other Microsoft products, and because of their overall business relationship with Microsoft through, for example, Enterprise Agreements.
- Functionality: Given all the tools, components and services available from Microsoft's SharePoint ecosystem, and all the features available in the base product (such as content management, search, portal, document-centric programming, traditional team collaboration and social software), SharePoint has arguably the broadest range of capabilities of any offering on the market.
- Viability: Judging by comments from Gartner clients, we believe that more enterprises are considering using SharePoint (or the SharePoint Online component of Office 365) to meet their collaboration and social software needs than any other platform.
- User experience: SharePoint's "out of the box" user experience has not kept up with market expectations. Some reference customers mentioned a need for customization, as well as usability issues with group/community creation, and with the rigidity of the discussion functionality. One reference customer commented tellingly: "It's not perfect, it's not horrible, but it must overcome its legacy."
- Functionality: The long lead-time between releases means that it is only in its next version that SharePoint will be able to deliver common capabilities such as activity streams, reasonable mobile support and an acceptable user experience. Gartner expects it to be on general release by early 2013.
- Pace of innovation: Despite the availability of Office 365 and SharePoint Online, the overwhelming majority of large Microsoft customers still depend on on-premises deployments, with many of them still using 2007 versions. The acquisition of Yammer might help Microsoft innovate more quickly, but it will need to perform a complex balancing act to satisfy the requirements of a conservative customer base and demanding end users, while managing two related, but radically different and slightly overlapping, products. (See also the separate assessment of Yammer in this document.)
Moxie is in the Niche Players quadrant. Its Collaboration Spaces is a relatively new product for employee collaboration and networking, as well as collaboration with partners and customers.
- Functionality: Moxie offers broad support for document collaboration, media galleries and video, including transcoding and streaming, "idea storms" and idea leaderboards, optimized mobile browser displays and native applications for iOS devices, rich profiles, activity feeds, recommendations, people search, file storage and synchronization, as well as a bundled Autonomy search engine. An integrated knowledgebase enables crowdsourced content to be verified before internal or external publishing.
- Strategy: Moxie offers all-inclusive packaging with straightforward pricing and an emphasis on initial use-case consulting, as well as follow-on services and access to Moxie Insight (a research group offering thought leadership) to help ensure adoption and business impact.
- Architecture: Moxie emphasizes the seamlessness of the user experience when navigating internal collaboration spaces and external-facing customer communication spaces, which Moxie also supports with a related product. This is particularly important for activities that span both domains (such as customer service/support and product development).
- Ecosystem: Moxie has introduced an integration platform called Spaces Connect and continues to build relationships with channel and service partners, but it could do more to attract independent developers and provide a marketplace for extensions and plug-ins.
- Focus: Moxie's main focus is its multichannel customer engagement offerings. Collaboration Spaces is a complementary product that fits in naturally with Mozie's core offerings, but the company needs to enhance its presence and increase its appeal as a general-purpose social software vendor beyond its "natural" primary buyers.
- Customer experience: So far, there have not been many large-scale deployments of Collaboration Spaces, so the ability of system and organization to operate effectively at a large scale in this market is unconfirmed.
Novell is in the Niche Players quadrant. Its Vibe suite is usually deployed for project and team collaboration, networking, and knowledge management for internal and external teams.
- Functionality: Vibe is a capable suite that combines strong traditional collaboration capabilities, including support for documents, process workflow and e-forms, as well as rich social networking functionality. Recent enhancements include offline support with file synchronization (Vibe Desktop) and Microsoft Office integration.
- Integration: Vibe offers pre-integration with Novell's email, presence and instant messaging systems, as well as with those from other vendors and custom applications. Vibe is also bundled with the Novell Open Workgroup Suite, which includes the GroupWise email and calendaring product.
- Customer experience: Reference customers praised Vibe's ease of installation and use, adding that end users found the file sharing and project collaboration support particularly useful.
- Strategy: Novell has embarked on a major attempt to add value for, and thereby stabilize, its GroupWise customers, after dropping initiatives to enter new product areas last year. Vibe plays an important role in demonstrating Novell's continued commitment to the broader communication and collaboration space. At the same time, Vibe's future depends largely on Novell's ability to succeed with this strategy (see also "MarketScope for Email Systems").
- Viability: Novell needs to work quickly to revitalize Vibe and improve its visibility beyond its customer base and IT buyers.
- Ecosystem: Despite fostering developer communities through an open-source edition for some time, contributions to this product have been limited in terms of plug-ins, extensions and enhancements.
OpenText is in the Niche Players quadrant. It offers OpenText Social Communities, which supports internal associates and external customers.
- Viability: OpenText is financially stable and has a large installed base of customers on which it can build to expand its presence in the social software market.
- Integration: OpenText Social Communities benefits from integration with OpenText's Content Server, which provides records management and content library services. Also, a major integration program has helped rationalize overlapping product lines in a product portfolio built up over the years through acquisitions.
- Scalability: OpenText has customers in industries such as government and the utility sector that support large user populations. It has a tiered licensing model based on the number of CPUs, which encourages deployments to large user bases.
- Focus: Although OpenText recently invested in platform rationalization for several social software offerings, it must do more to build its presence and credibility in this market.
- Vision: Although sold as stand-alone software, OpenText's social software offering may be best suited to customers with an existing investment in OpenText, or for those considering social software as part of an overall information management strategy.
- Pace of innovation: Although OpenText continues to make necessary investments in mobility, core functionality and cloud delivery (such as with its acquisition of EasyLink, a cloud-based service provider), there is little to differentiate it from its competitors in this market, beyond the additional value derived from the rest of its product portfolio. Given that its customers primarily have on-premises deployments, OpenText might struggle to keep up with nimbler competitors.
Saba is in the Niche Players quadrant. Its offerings combine collaboration, Web conferencing, social learning and performance management capabilities in a unified solution called Saba Social Enterprise.
- Viability: Saba is an established public company with over 850 employees, a strong partner program and a worldwide presence, along with strong global cloud service capabilities.
- Innovation: Saba offers native mobile clients and YouTube-like rich-media content management that includes video, Web conference recordings and a "dynamic people profile" that combines social tagging with a "Klout-like" influence and reputation score, along with formal accreditations to identify experts. A new "freemium" service (Saba People Cloud) offered by a new business unit aims to accelerate innovation and user adoption. Saba also offers a fully unified solution for social talent management that combines social rewards and recognition features with formal people and team management processes. In addition, Saba incorporates into its social solution learning functionality that adds social learning, as well as the ability to assign and take formal courses (based on standards-compliant learning content from any content provider).
- Strategy: This vendor is combining Saba Meeting for real-time online collaboration and conferencing with asynchronous collaboration and business networking in a unified collaboration offering. Saba also combines what it calls "strategic people process solutions" — in other words, learning and people management — with social collaboration in a unified platform. In addition, Saba can exploit its presence in adjacent learning, performance management and Web conferencing markets.
- Focus: Saba is a leader in the corporate learning system and talent management market. Its social collaboration support in the field of talent management and learning is strong, but it must do more to establish itself as a major player for general-purpose collaboration and social interaction in other contexts.
- Functionality: Although Saba has broad functionality — particularly taking into account its related real-time conferencing, social learning and social talent management products — there are some functional shortcomings. These include limited capabilities for document authoring, file synchronization and browser previewing of shared documents.
salesforce.com is in the Leaders quadrant. Chatter, its social networking tool, is used for employee networking, information sharing (especially for sales and customer support activities), executive communications, and capturing and discussing ideas.
- Vision: saleforce.com has a strong vision for social software. Its broad "social enterprise" vision covers areas like CRM and human capital management, in addition to collaboration within the workforce.
- Integration: Chatter can be used independently, but its value increases when used in combination with salesforce.com's other business applications. Business events such as contract updates and customer interactions then appear in activity streams to be discussed or "followed," while conversations, responses and ideas become easily accessible from within relevant business records.
- Pace of innovation: Chatter supports a broad range of internal and CRM-related use cases, although not in equal depth. Chatter's development focuses on adding depth and filling gaps in areas such as idea management, brand and reputation monitoring, social campaigns and social sales collaboration.
- Architecture: salesforce.com's broad vision is backed by fast-paced development and a string of social- and workforce-technology-related acquisitions (such as GroupSwim, Heroku, Dimdim, Manymoon, Radian6, Rypple, Stypi, Buddy Media and GoInstant). Although positive overall, this approach could introduce overlaps and complexity for both salesforce.com and its customers, if not handled properly.
- Focus: Although salesforce.com has always supported collaboration in the context of CRM processes, it is a relatively recent entrant to the general collaboration space and is investing heavily to extend its core product, as well as in marketing to increase its market presence. But despite signs of success as a networking tool, Chatter is still not perceived as a general-purpose collaboration tool to support structured tasks, ongoing projects and formal communities. Most of the Chatter projects Gartner encounters build on existing salesforce.com deployments, rather than starting afresh as independent social software choices.
- Functionality: Chatter is still evolving and has recently benefited from integration with real-time capabilities such as chat, screen sharing and audio/video sharing (Chatter Messenger, via the acquisition of Dimdim); stream filtering and recommendations; Microsoft SharePoint integration (Chatter for SharePoint); and an active marketplace for Chatter apps (ChatterExchange). However, gaps remain in areas such as end-user creation tools, document conversion/reviewing and self-service site publishing.
Socialtext is in the Niche Players quadrant. It has a comprehensive set of collaboration and social capabilities used for internal collaboration, information sharing and networking. Following an investment by Bedford Funding (a private equity firm), Socialtext is closely aligned with, but organizationally independent of, Peoplefluent, a talent management company also owned by Bedford Funding.
- Innovation: Socialtext was one of the first vendors in the social software market, and its product has a broad range of capabilities. Recent enhancements include more templates, native mobile clients, and a visual matching, recommendations and exploration engine (Socialtext 360).
- Vision: Socialtext was one of the first vendors to position a product (Socialtext Connect) as a "social layer" for providing profiles, activity feeds, personalization and general "social context" to other applications.
- Integration: Socialtext offers pre-integration with Microsoft SharePoint, with salesforce.com, with a desktop client for rich activity feeds and file integration, with the WordPress blogging engine, and with the Bugzilla issue-tracking engine, as well as a rich integration framework to other business applications.
- Focus: Socialtext is a small organization with only about 50 employees. Bedford Funding's recent investment in Socialtext and commitment to keep its product independent are generally positive developments, but Socialtext has seen high turnover in its executive ranks during the past year. Furthermore, the planned integration with Peoplefluent's technology might distract attention from Socialtext's product, and eventually lead to its being subsumed, especially if it underperforms as an independent offering.
- Ecosystem: Socialtext has a growing number of partners, as well as an active private developer community (SocialDev). However, Socialtext needs to do more with its partners to keep up with competitors.
- Customer experience: Although reference customers were generally positive in their feedback and praised the product's flexibility, they identified a need for easier customization and UI improvements. Feedback about customer service was also mixed.
SuccessFactors, which was acquired by SAP in February 2012, is in the Visionaries quadrant. SuccessFactors Jam is used for employee communication, project collaboration, and skill/expertise tracking and reporting as part of overall performance management.
- Strategy: SuccessFactors Jam is offered both separately and as part of the SuccessFactors Business Execution (BizX) Software suite that mainly targets HR buyers. Jam is used for expertise tracking, recruitment and onboarding, informal learning and employee engagement. The introduction of a freemium offering aims to accelerate adoption.
- Innovation: SuccessFactors' broad set of capabilities includes innovative features such as the following: conversion of Microsoft Office documents and PDF files to a format that can be displayed, edited and discussed in a browser; rich profiles with dozens of attributes (including badges); activity feeds with private messaging; rich-media/video content authoring and desktop recording; and decision-making support (with "responsible, accountable, consulted and informed" [RACI] and strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats [SWOT] models, and radar charts).
- Focus: SuccessFactors' Jam and SAP's StreamWork solutions have been brought together under a newly established social software team within SuccessFactors. One of the challenges for this team will be to improve the visibility and market traction of these solutions, not only as part of a broader business suite but also as general-purpose independent products.
- Road map: SuccessFactors needs to execute carefully with respect to rationalizing SuccessFactors Jam and SAP StreamWork, two complementary but also overlapping products.
- Customer experience: Reference customers made positive comments about smooth deployment and overall satisfaction, but one cited difficulties in managing deployments with isolated subnetworks.
Telligent is in the Visionaries quadrant. Telligent Community is used for creating branded customer, partner and prospect communities. Telligent Enterprise is used for employee communities, as well as for project and team collaboration.
- Functionality: Telligent has advanced community capabilities directed at externally facing audiences and social CRM (Telligent Community 7.0) and workforce implementations (Telligent Enterprise 4.0). In addition, it has a broad range of capabilities for document sharing, rich editing and full email integration, as well as seven types of user profile with reputation scoring. Recent enhancements include richer content management through an OEM agreement with Sitecore, deeper integration with Microsoft SharePoint, improved analytics for both historical and near-real-time reporting, and information filtering.
- Flexibility: As well as winning deals on the strength of its partnerships, Telligent wins business due to its flexibility in hosting and integration. It offers solutions on-premises, in private clouds and in public clouds on both a single-tenant and a multitenant hosted basis. It is also flexible about pricing, offering both subscription-based and perpetual license options.
- Viability: Gartner estimates that Telligent grew its revenue for the second year in a row in 2011, with its total rising by 30% to about $22 million.
- Focus: Telligent performs effectively in several use cases, which shows it has functional breadth, but it has yet to be generally considered the best at any one use case. It displays the most strength in relation to community support.
- Acquisition target: Although Telligent continues to grow, it is still below the $50 million annual revenue target that we believe it must reach in order to survive independently. Telligent continues to prove its strength in the community market, but its reliance on integrations and its smaller scale, along with the continued consolidation of the social software market, might increase the chance of it being acquired.
- Analytics: Reference clients have said that Telligent Analytics 3.x can be buggy, which is a problem in environments where accurate analysis and insights are of paramount importance.
Tibco is in the Challengers quadrant. Its enterprise social networking product, tibbr, offers a broad set of capabilities and is used for information distribution, communication and collaboration.
- Platform: tibbr is available as SaaS or an on-premises product for the same price. In addition to its core social networking functionality, tibbr offers tibCast, a set of UC tools running in the context of the activity stream, which include: videoconferencing, audioconferencing, desktop sharing, voice memos, instant messaging and presence; "smart widgets" to embed tibbr components in other applications; tibbr Geo, an HTML5 mobile app that geo-tags posts so that they can be accessed later by users in the same location; a "subject"-based information organization architecture popular among information managers; and FlipView, a magazine-style view of enterprise content enabled by a tibbr iPad application.
- Integration: tibbr capitalizes on Tibco's strong integration background with "out of the box" bidirectional connectors for enterprise applications (such as Microsoft SharePoint and those of Oracle, SAP and salesforce.com), personal social networking sites (such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn), and third-party cloud apps (such as Google Docs, Box and Adobe Connect).
- Viability: tibbr can draw on Tibco's resources, ecosystem, visibility and customers.
- Strategy: Although Tibco has joined this market at a time of growing interest in social software, and has executed reasonably well so far, in the long term it will need to do more to differentiate tibbr from the offerings of numerous competitors.
- Functionality: Although tibbr offers integration with a variety of third-party platforms, its range of built-in application functions is limited beyond social networking, particularly in terms of creating and managing tasks and documents (for example, desktop file synchronization, file version control and browser-based document authoring).
- Customer experience: Tibbr is a relatively new product and although feedback from reference customers was generally positive, there was also mention of setup glitches that required patches and performance troubleshooting.
VMware enters the Magic Quadrant as a Challenger, following its acquisition of Socialcast, an enterprise social networking vendor.
- Road map: Beyond its core networking capabilities, VMware is enhancing Socialcast's connectivity and integration options and analytics (with shared customizable dashboards), and plans to embed project management (Socialcast Strides), richer messaging with inbox management, and real-time chat/presence services.
- Vision: Socialcast by VMware can be deployed on-premises or as a cloud service for internal social networking. Socialcast technology is also integrated with VMware Horizon Application Manager for centralized policy-driven access to cloud applications.
- Viability: Socialcast by VMware draws on the resources and ecosystem of VMware, and benefits from access to VMware's customer base. A free option for up to 50 users is helping it gain broader visibility.
- Focus: VMware is increasing its commitment to Socialcast and to end-user computing applications in general at the same time as it is gaining traction in the growing social software market. However, Socialcast is only a small part of VMware's business, and unless Socialcast achieves a leading position in this market, it could be sidetracked by other priorities at VMware.
- Strategy: VMware is respected by technologists in both its user base and its ecosystem, but must improve its access to business decision makers and to partners that can handle change management.
Yammer, which was acquired by Microsoft in June 2012, is in the Leaders quadrant. It offers a popular enterprise social networking product for communication, information distribution and collaboration. (Note that Microsoft's other offerings in this market, which include SharePoint in particular, are represented separately under Microsoft in this Magic Quadrant.)
- Strategy: Yammer has a strong focus on user-friendly, cloud-based, mobile-first, social networking capabilities. These were inspired by Facebook, but have been enhanced with enterprise control features. Yammer's early entry to this market with a successful freemium option gave it broad visibility, and it continues to grow.
- Vision and road map: Yammer is likely to use the popularity of its core enterprise social networking capabilities to solidify its use as a "place" for conversations and information sharing. It is also likely to do more to establish itself as the "social layer" for other applications within organizations, and to accelerate integration with Microsoft Office, Dynamics and other Microsoft applications.
- Platform: Yammer follows an agile methodology that helps it innovate quickly by continually making improvements. These include "live engagement testing" of different feature options and rapid iterations that account for what has and has not worked in practice. This approach results in improved usability and higher voluntary adoption rates than for competing products.
- Focus: Although Yammer's new status as part of Microsoft is already adding to the visibility and credibility of its offering as an enterprise product, there is uncertainty about Yammer's long-term prospects within Microsoft. The management and product development styles of Yammer and Microsoft are very different and might clash, while promoting and supporting two different but somewhat overlapping products could cause confusion.
- Customer experience: Although feedback from reference customers was positive overall (and one organization went so far as to say that Yammer "has changed the way we communicate"), there was mention of difficulties in getting approvals from internal risk managers and in organizing content in predefined categories.
We review and adjust our inclusion criteria for Magic Quadrants and MarketScopes as markets change. As a result of these adjustments, the mix of vendors in any Magic Quadrant or MarketScope may change over time. A vendor's appearance in a Magic Quadrant or MarketScope one year and not the next does not necessarily indicate that we have changed our opinion of that vendor. It may be a reflection of a change in the market and, therefore, of changed evaluation criteria, or of a change of focus by that vendor.
- Tibco Software
Yammer was acquired by Microsoft in June 2012, but has a separate entry in this Magic Quadrant as no major changes to its business are likely in the short term.
Drupal-Acquia now appears as Acquia.
- Cornerstone OnDemand
The main reason why these vendors are not included in the 2012 Magic Quadrant is that they did not meet the qualitative market relevance requirements for a product packaged, marketed, sold and used to support teams, communities and networks mainly within an organization — that is, not packaged, marketed or used mainly for any other purpose. These vendors generally focus on other related but distinct markets.
This Magic Quadrant includes only vendors that met all of the following qualitative criteria.
Qualitative Market Relevance Criteria
To be included, a vendor must offer a product that is packaged, marketed sold, and used to support teams, communities and networks mainly within an organization — that is, not packaged, marketed or used mainly for any other purpose.
The relevant product must support the following minimum functionality "out of the box" — without the need to purchase any other products:
- User profiles.
- Group spaces that can be private, semiprivate or open.
- Content sharing — the ability to upload, store, organize and share documents or other content.
- Discussions and conversations.
- Blogs that enable end users to publish entries, for display in reverse chronological order, and that permit others to comment on them.
- Wikis that enable group authoring of collections of pages, with support for "click to edit," change tracking and internal linking.
Quantitative Market Presence Criteria
- Worldwide, the vendor has at least 50 employees in its organization dedicated to developing, marketing or supporting the relevant social software product.
- In its latest fiscal year the vendor generated at least $7 million in revenue that can be attributed exclusively to the relevant product.
- The vendor had at least 10% year-on-year growth in terms of revenue.
- The vendor has among its paying customers at least 10 organizations with active deployments for at least 5,000 users (that is, excluding freemium and open-source users).
- At least 150,000 named users (or equivalent) among all the paying organizations are licensed to use the vendor's relevant product and are actively using it (excluding unsupported freemium and open-source users).
- The vendor has a presence in at least three geographic regions, with some personnel dedicated to the relevant product.
- The vendor has at least five partner organizations that are authorized to distribute, resell or support the relevant product.
Product/Service: The overall product/service functionality rating for each vendor was reached by evaluating specific functionality that is already available and, in particular, the extent to which the product goes beyond the baseline functionality required for inclusion. Examples of the functions and features we looked for are social network analysis, browser-based productivity suites, dynamic activity streams, document repository integration, social tagging, social bookmarking, social search, general analytics, expertise location, group formation based on common interests, content/people ratings, people/content recommendations, offline support and native mobile clients. We also took into account the product's ability to serve large numbers of users (over 5,000). In addition, we gave each product a subjective "usability" score.
Overall Viability (Business Unit, Financial, Strategy, Organization): Key aspects of this criterion are the vendor's financial health, including funding, who is investing in and backing its activities, its profitability, the overall size of its collaboration and social software business (in particular, numbers of dedicated employees), and the degree to which the vendor is committed to this part of its business.
Sales Execution/Pricing: This criterion concerns the vendor's ability to sell to large organizations, its price transparency, the straightforwardness of its sales process, the consistency of its revenue growth during the past 12 to 24 months, and its opportunity to move existing customers to products with new or additional capabilities.
Market Responsiveness and Track Record: Not rated, as we could not identify sufficiently independent and measurable factors related to market responsiveness that would make a difference to the vendors' relative positions.
Marketing Execution: We looked for evidence of mind share, thought leadership and brand recognition, and for any specific marketing initiatives (white papers, events, microsites and social media campaigns) that may have helped to promote them. One particularly effective approach is for senior executives to be active participants in online conversations via blogs, comments and industry forums. We also took into account the size of each vendor's marketing organization.
Customer Experience: We collected customer feedback from vendor-supplied references, discussions with users of Gartner's inquiry service and other customer-facing interactions, such as those at Gartner conferences. Customers' experiences were rated based on the vendor's ability to help customers with professional services and ongoing support. We also looked at the presence of active customer communities for peer support.
Operations: Factors considered included the quality of the vendor's organizational structure — skills, experiences, programs, systems and other vehicles that enable it to operate effectively and efficiently on an ongoing basis. We also looked at numbers of technology and service partners and for any training and certification programs.
Source: Gartner (September 2012)
Market Understanding: Each vendor needs to demonstrate a strategic understanding of collaboration and social software opportunities, such as an understanding of the business value of social interaction support, the complementarity of related capabilities (content, portal and communications services), an urgency to pre-integrate them, and a tolerance and acknowledgment of other existing but related technologies from other vendors. We also looked for an overall vision of the market that focuses on supporting people-centric activities, rather than a formal, process-centric view of collaboration.
Marketing Strategy: The degree to which each vendor's marketing approach suits (and/or exploits) emerging trends and the market's overall direction. In particular, we looked at the use cases promoted in each vendor's marketing messages to specific buyers, online activities, and any programs for educating and "priming" the market connected with social interaction support (for example, freemium, "try before you buy," open-source and hosted versions). We also assessed the quality of each vendor's online presence.
Sales Strategy: We looked at the level of channel activity, and any opportunities for cross-selling or converting large numbers of early adopters to high-end or broader deployments; the vendor's visibility to business and IT decision makers; and the availability of clear pricing information.
Offering (Product) Strategy: We assessed the degree to which each vendor's product road map reflects demand trends and opportunities to create demand and seeks to fill gaps and remedy weaknesses. We also looked at the breadth of each vendor's offering in relation to the inclusion of additional capabilities or pre-integration with other services (such as email, IM, presence, Web conferencing and Internet Protocol telephony); interoperability with business applications; and mobile support. In addition, we rated each vendor's cloud delivery plans, and the availability of a marketplace that encourages partners and developers to add value to the product.
Business Model: Not rated, as we could not identify sufficiently independent and measurable factors that relate to each vendor's business model that would make a difference to the vendors' relative positions.
Vertical/Industry Strategy: Not rated, as we could not identify sufficiently independent and measurable factors that relate to each vendor's vertical-market strategy that would make a difference to the vendors' relative positions.
Innovation: The degree to which each vendor invests in R&D for relevant tools, and the extent to which it demonstrates "creative energy." Examples of innovation are location-based "check-in" and geotagging; document format "round-tripping," whereby the look and feel of documents is preserved when converting them to and from conventional formats and online editing formats; gamification capabilities, such as the ability to earn and spend virtual currency; the ability to comment inside previewed documents; remote wiping of offline data stored on mobile devices; automatic file synchronization between desktop and shared folders; and instant search results.
Geographic Strategy: We examined each vendor's strategy to direct resources, skills and offerings to meet the specific needs of customers in regions other than that in which its corporate headquarters is located, directly or through partners, channels and subsidiaries, as appropriate for that geography and market. We also rated each vendor's ability to deliver cloud services via region-specific data centers.
Source: Gartner (September 2012)
Leaders are well-established vendors with widely used social software and collaboration offerings. They have established their leadership through early recognition of users' needs, continuous innovation, overall market presence, and success in delivering user-friendly and solution-focused suites with broad capabilities.
Challengers offer solutions that have a strong market presence or that are otherwise strong, and they have the market position and resources to become Leaders. But these vendors may not have the functional breadth, marketing strategy or pace of innovation of Visionaries. Challengers have established presence, credibility and viability, and once their products move beyond a "good enough" baseline, they are likely to use their customer base to overtake competitors and enter the Leaders quadrant.
Visionaries demonstrate a strong understanding of current and future market trends, such as the importance of a flexible and transparent collaboration environment, as well as the value of mutual reinforcement of tools that encourage user contributions and tools that encourage bottom-up group and structure formation. Their products and product road maps display a tendency for innovation, especially in terms of architecture and lightweight integration, while their marketing and R&D efforts are often boosted by alignment with marketplaces and developer ecosystems. Visionaries do no exhibit the scope of delivery of Challengers or Leaders, but have demonstrated strong vision across a range of capabilities.
Niche Players provide useful, focused technology, understand the market's changing dynamics, and strive to evolve their products' capabilities. However, they are held back by a narrow range of functionality, a lack of clarity in their road map about how and when they will remedy this shortcoming, or by a lack of market traction. Many of the smaller Niche Players may enjoy considerable success relative to their size, but they need to exploit every opportunity to improve their positions before their competitive differentiation erodes. As the social software market matures, pockets of specialization may solidify. Therefore, a viable alternative strategy for a minority of the smaller vendors is to focus on niche sectors for specific industries or activities. Many of these vendors are unlikely to break out of the Niche Players quadrant, even though their businesses may remain viable in the long term.
During the time Gartner has been monitoring this market new vendors have appeared hoping to attract buyers with cloud-based, mobile and Facebook-like social networking functionality, and established vendors have added social capabilities to existing offerings in an attempt to rejuvenate and add value to them.
The result is a fairly heterogeneous market with different kinds of social software product and vendor competing for buyers' attention. The types of vendor include:
- Specialist social application vendors
- Established enterprise platform vendors, such as Microsoft and IBM, that are either incrementally refining social capabilities or acquiring them
- Business application vendors, such as salesforce.com, that are seeking to increase the value of their products and sell social capabilities mainly to support specific business activities
Enterprises continue to invest in social software because they need to support more fluid communications, improve visibility across their organizations, stimulate idea sharing, and support expertise location and information sharing within teams and around projects. Activity streams, social analytics and social networking software continue to grow in popularity as tools to achieve these objectives. Mobility support (especially for media tablets) and gamification support have also emerged as important factors.
The past 12 months have seen increased market consolidation, with the following major developments:
- blueKiwi was acquired by Atos, the second-largest professional services provider in Europe.
- Following an investment by Bedford Funding (a private-equity technology investment fund), Socialtext, while remaining an independent product, has become closely aligned with Peoplefluent, a talent management solution provider also owned by Bedford Funding.
- SuccessFactors, which had previously acquired one of the early enterprise social networking vendors (CubeTree) and the social learning vendor Jambok, was itself acquired by SAP.
- In perhaps the most unexpected acquisition, Microsoft bought Yammer (see also "Yammer to Give Microsoft Needed Dynamism in Enterprise Social Networking").
In late 2011, we also saw Jive become a public company with an IPO and a listing on the Nasdaq stock market. This has given Jive a broader basis from which to expand its offerings and operations.
As prominent vendors attract more customers and solidify their presence in this market, life will get harder for the smaller vendors. Some of the large vendors currently benefiting from general interest in social software will also need to do more to remain competitive.
Five Routes to Sustainable Differentiation
Given the high degree of heterogeneity in this market, how to achieve sustainable differentiation is one of the most common questions raised. What will be sufficiently different and compelling about a product to make it more attractive and valuable than rival offerings?
Although there is plenty of scope for technical innovation in relation to specific functionality — in the fields of social analytics and gamification, for example — it will become more difficult for vendors to compete on the basis of functionality differences. Social capabilities such as rich dynamic profiles, activity streams, embedded messages and self-service groups that once were available only from specialist vendors are now becoming commonplace.
Prospective buyers looking for vendors that can sustain differentiation should favor those that:
- Bundle social software with IT infrastructure services to impress IT architects by aligning and pre-integrating social capabilities with a broad set of infrastructure services, such as directory services, content repositories, application and portal servers, and UC services.
- Offer a "biz app" bundle to impress business decision-makers by aligning social capabilities with business applications, such as those for CRM, talent management, software development, project management and IT operations support.
- Develop a horizontal social layer offering to become the repository of the "enterprise social graph" by recording relationships between people and anything that might interest them. This involves a broad integration strategy to "socially enable" every other application or repository in order to draw interaction and engagement data from them, as well as to direct attention and traffic to them (see "Use This Framework to Plan the Evolution of Social Networking Your Organization").
- Focus on underserved activities by providing embedded social applications for specific end-user activities, such as rich content creation, content reviews, project management, task management, process modeling, data collection and reporting, decision-making, idea management and inbox management. In this way, social capabilities can provide a fluid and conversational supporting context and a product can set itself apart from the competition by offering best-in-class built-in support for specific activities. Note that many activity-specific functions are aimed directly at end users, who are often dissatisfied with the cumbersome nature of officially supported alternative tools for these activities.
- Treat workers as individuals, bypass IT and business decision-makers and generate demand among individual workers by offering instant gratification, simplicity, continual improvements, "coolness," and an overall emphasis on "getting things done," rather than ensuring control and conformity with sanctioned but outdated technology.
Understanding these five routes to differentiation is important for buyers because this knowledge will help them match their business priorities with vendors' products and strategies:
- Buyers without pressing short-term priorities and wanting products well suited to their overall information management strategy may be best served by vendors that take the "IT bundle" route.
- Buyers looking for "social enablement" for an existing business process may be best served by vendors taking the "biz app bundle" route.
- Buyers ready to make high-risk but potentially high-reward investments in broad social enablement with a view to transforming specific business activities should favor vendors taking the "horizontal layer" route or focusing on underserved activities.
Finally, all organizations should be aware of the most prominent vendors trying to engage directly with their employees. An organization that prudently pursues a conservative strategy aiming to minimize risk by engaging slowly with traditional IT suppliers could actually achieve the opposite result, if individual employees shun official systems and "do their own thing."
Given the differing backgrounds of many of the vendors, the differences in their strategies, and the increased consolidation activity, we expect this market's volatility to remain high. Buyers should therefore remain cautious. They must know their priorities and which activities to support in order to choose appropriate vendors and products.
Notable Absences From This Magic Quadrant
Some important vendors did not meet all the inclusion criteria for this Magic Quadrant. They typically lack sufficient market penetration in terms of relevant use cases, or they target areas of functionality not covered by the inclusion criteria — but they should still be of interest to prospective buyers of social software for the workplace.
Box offers an online enterprise content collaboration service that combines user-friendly, cloud-based, document-centric capabilities (including online viewers, content integration with dozens of repositories, Web documents and desktop synchronization) with collaboration and networking (including @mentions, discussions, comments, tasks, tags and activity feeds), along with different computing platforms and mobile devices. Box has built an extensive partner ecosystem with over 200 integrations, including with Microsoft SharePoint, Office and Outlook, EMC Documentum, VMware, Citrix Systems, Good Technology, Mobile Iron, Jive, Google Apps, NetSuite, SAP StreamWork, DocuSign, eFax, FedEx and salesforce.com.
Google offers a broad cloud-based bundle of services as Google Apps for Business, which includes email, calendar and file synchronization features, a browser-based office suite and simple site-publishing capabilities for a competitive all-inclusive per-user subscription. An optional archiving and e-discovery service is also available. Integration with other consumer-grade Google services such as Google+, Google Maps, YouTube and Google Translate is possible, but without business support or SLAs. Currently, interest in Google Apps for Business is mainly focused on its email component, but Google's ability to influence the overall social software market will increase, particularly after the expected addition of Google+ to the bundle of supported services.
IntraLinks is best known for its secure data-sharing platforms in the banking and finance industries, but it also has a growing presence in the field of life sciences. Its core products are configured to support specific collaboration and information sharing in specific contexts, such as clinical study management communications and board communications, across organizations. IntraLinks' SaaS product includes team workspaces, task automation, search and document-sharing capabilities, and integrates with systems such as those of salesforce.com and Microsoft SharePoint.
Oracle WebCenter is becoming Oracle's centerpiece for user engagement in general. It has several components relevant to this Magic Quadrant, in addition to support for portal, content management, Web experience management, search and mashup/application development. Oracle Social Network, a new platform in the Oracle WebCenter family, will add a horizontal layer of social capabilities, such as support for activity streams, content sharing and conversations. Oracle Social Network is available as part of Oracle's Cloud Social Services offerings, initially with Oracle Fusion Applications such as Oracle Fusion Customer Relationship Management and Oracle Fusion Human Capital Management, is integrated with Oracle WebCenter, and will also be available as a stand-alone capability. Oracle Social Network can be integrated with other applications in the cloud or on-premises.
Ability to Execute
Product/Service: Core goods and services offered by the vendor that compete in/serve the defined market. This includes current product/service capabilities, quality, feature sets, skills and so on, whether offered natively or through OEM agreements/partnerships as defined in the market definition and detailed in the subcriteria.
Overall Viability (Business Unit, Financial, Strategy, Organization): Viability includes an assessment of the overall organization's financial health, the financial and practical success of the business unit, and the likelihood that the individual business unit will continue investing in the product, will continue offering the product and will advance the state of the art within the organization's portfolio of products.
Sales Execution/Pricing: The vendor's capabilities in all presales activities and the structure that supports them. This includes deal management, pricing and negotiation, presales support, and the overall effectiveness of the sales channel.
Market Responsiveness and Track Record: Ability to respond, change direction, be flexible and achieve competitive success as opportunities develop, competitors act, customer needs evolve and market dynamics change. This criterion also considers the vendor's history of responsiveness.
Marketing Execution: The clarity, quality, creativity and efficacy of programs designed to deliver the organization's message to influence the market, promote the brand and business, increase awareness of the products, and establish a positive identification with the product/brand and organization in the minds of buyers. This "mind share" can be driven by a combination of publicity, promotional initiatives, thought leadership, word-of-mouth and sales activities.
Customer Experience: Relationships, products and services/programs that enable clients to be successful with the products evaluated. Specifically, this includes the ways customers receive technical support or account support. This can also include ancillary tools, customer support programs (and the quality thereof), availability of user groups, service-level agreements and so on.
Operations: The ability of the organization to meet its goals and commitments. Factors include the quality of the organizational structure, including skills, experiences, programs, systems and other vehicles that enable the organization to operate effectively and efficiently on an ongoing basis.
Completeness of Vision
Market Understanding: Ability of the vendor to understand buyers' wants and needs and to translate those into products and services. Vendors that show the highest degree of vision listen and understand buyers' wants and needs, and can shape or enhance those with their added vision.
Marketing Strategy: A clear, differentiated set of messages consistently communicated throughout the organization and externalized through the website, advertising, customer programs and positioning statements.
Sales Strategy: The strategy for selling products that uses the appropriate network of direct and indirect sales, marketing, service, and communication affiliates that extend the scope and depth of market reach, skills, expertise, technologies, services and the customer base.
Offering (Product) Strategy: The vendor's approach to product development and delivery that emphasizes differentiation, functionality, methodology and feature sets as they map to current and future requirements.
Business Model: The soundness and logic of the vendor's underlying business proposition.
Vertical/Industry Strategy: The vendor's strategy to direct resources, skills and offerings to meet the specific needs of individual market segments, including vertical markets.
Innovation: Direct, related, complementary and synergistic layouts of resources, expertise or capital for investment, consolidation, defensive or pre-emptive purposes.
Geographic Strategy: The vendor's strategy to direct resources, skills and offerings to meet the specific needs of geographies outside the "home" or native geography, either directly or through partners, channels and subsidiaries as appropriate for that geography and market.