Updated evaluations of IBM Connections, Google Apps, NewsGator, and Moxie

As part of our ongoing evaluations of Enterprise Collaboration and Social Software vendors, we’ve updated our detailed chapters on Google Apps, IBM Connections, and NewsGator as well as added Moxie software to the line up.

Of course, the first three are central players in this marketplace, so our updates feel a bit like a health-check for the industry as a whole.  Here’s a short-hand version of our prognosis:

IBM’s social software portfolio contains many tools but it’s very clear that IBM Connections remains at the center. In the digital workplace, you can make a distinction between collaboration and enterprise social networking scenarios and Connections remains more suited for the latter. In typical Big Blue fashion, Connections will often work best when deployed together with other IBM collaboration products – at times overlapping and jostling with them, but also filling in for the missing pieces of functionality.  Our review has all the messy details.

Google Apps also gathers many tools under its umbrella, but gmail still remains the tip of the spear and many Google Apps customers are actually lured because of gmail. Google Drive (now housing Google Docs), Google Calendar, Google Talk, and Google Sites are also part of the Apps bandwagon. Individually, they’re all serviceable-enough instruments, but together a symphony they do not make. May still be value for money and attractive propositions but first make sure what you’ll be getting and what you won’t be getting.

What do you call the enterprise social capabilities in SharePoint? If you answered NewsGator, you were not far off the mark. So, not surprisingly after Redmond acquired Yammer, many customers considering NewsGator posed the important question, “two’s company, but will three be a crowd”? From what we’ve seen so far of Microsoft’s plans for Yammer (and SharePoint 2013) as well, looks like NewsGator will continue to play its part as a major SharePoint-socializer.

Moxie Software’s Collaboration Spaces is a new addition to our evaluations. Spaces is not as functionally rich as the more mature offerings in the marketplace, but is a lightweight tool offering many collaboration and social services in a single suite. Moxie Software’s main focus is services for knowledgebase management, so Spaces might interest customers with simpler requirements, especially if they already license other Moxie modules.  Our review details all the high and low points.

Beyond the marketplace health-check, subscribers can obtain detailed CT scans of these and two-dozen other products here.

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