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Press Release

FOR RELEASE: 2012-04-18


Elina Glazer ()

Marketing Manager, Real Story Group

Work 617-340-6464 x127

Seven Emerging Trends in Collaboration / Social Technology Marketplace

The Real Story Group Market Analysis finds greater innovation -- and risk -- among smaller vendors

Boston / London - 18 April, 2012 – A maturing marketplace for enterprise social and collaboration technologies is advancing a sizable number of smaller vendors with higher risk/reward ratios for prospective customers, according to the latest marketplace snapshot from The Real Story Group, an independent analyst firm that evaluates enterprise and web technologies.

Jive Software's recent IPO further established the enterprise collaboration and social software marketplace as a distinct - albeit still emerging - software category. "As with most emerging marketplaces," explains Real Story Group analyst Kashyap Kompella, "most innovation comes from smaller vendors, while larger, more traditional players remain in catch-up mode." Smaller vendors include Atlassian, MediaWiki, MindTouch, NewsGator, Socialtext, Telligent, Traction, and Yammer, among many others.

Real Story Group's 2012 Enterprise Collaboration & Social Software Market Analysis identifies seven key market trends, and includes a marketplace "Cross-Check."

RSG Cross-Check charts represent four key dimensions to support major procurement decisions. Note that there are no "leader" locations on these charts. Buyers with strong internal IT processes and a predilection for "early adoption" may favor a vendor undertaking fundamental changes, while other customers may prefer a supplier evolving at a more moderate - or even very conservative - pace.

The Market Analysis finds smaller vendors innovating on:

  • Providing social as an architectural "layer" rather than a siloed destination
  • Offering advanced business applications in lieu of basic features like freestanding wikis

To be sure, smaller vendors also carry their own risks. RSG's Market Analysis found smaller vendors struggling to:

  • Adequately address enterprise compliance needs
  • Maintain multiple codebases for internal versus external scenarios
  • Build broader ecosystems of consulting support

The Market Analysis also notes that the marketplace could shift later in 2012, as the largest collaboration vendors (Microsoft, IBM, and Oracle) prepare major upgrades to their suites. However, "Customers should remain wary of potential future enhancements," cautions Kompella, "since this marketplace already has a history of undelivered promises."

RSG's 2012 Enterprise Collaboration & Social Software Market Analysis is available for a one-time purchase ($875), but is available as a free download to our Social Collaboration vendor evaluation research subscribers.


The Real Story Group just celebrated its 10th anniversary and opened a new office in London at the end of 2011. The Real Story Group provides research and advisory services to support end users through content technology selection and implementation. Through highly detailed technical evaluations, Advisory Papers, and other premium services, The Real Story Group helps sort out the complex technology landscape, so that you can minimize time and effort identifying technologies suited to your particular requirements. The Real Story Group evaluates Web Content Management, Digital Asset Management, Document & Records Management (ECM), Portals & Content Integration, Enterprise Collaboration & Social Software, Enterprise Search, and SharePoint Ecosystem vendors. To retain its independence as an impartial analyst firm, Real Story Group works solely for solutions buyers and never for vendors.