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Press Release

FOR RELEASE: 2009-08-05


Jarrod Gingras ()

Analyst, Real Story Group

Work +1.617.340.6464 ext 105

Social Software Buyers Facing Lower Risk

CMS Watch finds comparatively less marketplace turbulence

SILVER SPRING, MD, USA -- Enterprise social software technology buyers presently face reduced risks amid a marketplace characterized by increased stability, according to the latest Enterprise Social Software & Collaboration Cross-Checktm, released today by independent analyst firm, CMS Watch. The CMS Watch Cross-Check compares vendors' pace of evolution as well their speed of product development.


These findings come from CMS Watch research evaluating twenty-seven social computing platforms against eleven enterprise use-cases. Vendors reviewed include IBM, Microsoft, Google, Oracle, Atlassian, Jive, Telligent, Awareness, Drupal, SocialText, blueKiwi, and Lithium.

"The individual technologies themselves are exciting, but the broader social software and collaboration marketplace has become almost placid," noted CMS Watch founder, Tony Byrne, who added, "For buyers, reduced supplier and product risk a good thing, as long as you're still getting the solutions you need."

CMS Watch ESSC X-Check.  Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge

"There is no 'leading' or 'magic' square, and customers should try to align according to their own risk / reward calculations," cautions Byrne. "Nevertheless, it's rare to see so many vendors falling in segments like Maintenance, Continuity, and Shifting, and so few in Turbulence, Overhaul, and Restructuring."

CMS Watch sees several trends lying behind this stability:

  • Near total absence of the kind of significant M&A activity that has created significant upheaval for some customers in the ECM and Portals marketplaces, among others
  • Maturation of key private vendors and open source projects, whose increasingly influential customer bases play a stabilizing role with respect to backwards' compatibility and future directions
  • Vendors' growing emphasis on specific solutions in lieu of feature creep, which is moderating the pace of new product releases


CMS Watch cautions that this period of relative calm could change. "Significant marketplace entrants or the advent of new, 'must-have' functionality could modify the landscape," notes CMS Watch Analyst, Adriaan Bloem.

In the meantime, buyers should assess each vendor individually. "You can't just select any one vendor and succeed automatically," concludes Byrne. "But the collective risk profile among the leading two-dozen players is definitely lower than a year ago, which means enterprises can spend more effort focused on implementation success."

The Enterprise Social Software & Collaboration Report 2009 is available for purchase online from CMS Watch.


Real Story Group is a uniquely “buy side” analyst firm, working solely for solutions buyers and never for vendors.

We provide research and advisory services to help customers select and optimize the right digital workplace and marketing technologies. RSG evaluates Web Content & Experience Management, Digital Asset Management, ECM, Enterprise Collaboration, Portals, Office 365, CRM, CDPs, and Marketing Automation & Campaign/Lead Management Technologies.