The new version features several new features including an OpenSocial widget builder for both developers and non-developers, Google Analytics integration and a new HTML5-based mobile interface. The new features fit into the ongoing trends of putting development tools into the hands of non-developers, the increased role of analytics and HTML5 making its way into the enterprise.
"Social software improves the connectedness of workers, promotes collaboration and helps capture informal knowledge," said Tom Eid, research vice president at Gartner. "Social software excels in business contexts that leave room for individuals to interact informally, brainstorm, explore ideas and encourage or challenge peers."
Eugene Lee, CEO of enterprise social networking provider Socialtext, said he's not surprised by Gartner's aggressive revenue forecast.
"From our perspective, we've been noticing the size of customer's deployments are growing quickly," Lee told InternetNews.com. "We've gone from the early days of experimentation around the tools to adoption at the department level. Now those departments are realizing it doesn't make sense to be operating in a silo, but to extend the benefits across boundaries — why give social software to just one department?"
Socialtext 4.5 provides familiar social networking features like activity streams, user profile pages, instant messaging, group creation, workspaces, blogging, and user-defined control panels in a framework that integrates with traditional enterprise CRM and ERP systems.
One of the major additions to the platform is a more powerful filters and search interface. With Socialtext Explore, users can find not just links to documents, projects, websites and more, but also see the microblogging messages, pages posts, pictures and files attached to shared work. It essentially combines search with bookmarking, allowing employees to see context around any shared work. Users can search microblogging messages by tag, a person, group, or date range.
Socialtext will announce the new version of its enterprise social media suite, Socialtext 4.5, at the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Santa Clara. The new release includes a connector for Salesforce.com, which will pipe activity streams from Salesforce.com into Socialtext. Also new in this release is Socialtext Explore, a new way for users to browse status updates by metadeta.
The Salesforce.com connector follows the launch in June of the company's first pre-built connector for Microsoft (MSFT) SharePoint and of the development platform that makes the creation of these bridges possible called Socialtext Connect.
"A traditional system like Salesforce.com has important information that's useful to more employees than just our sales, solutions and delivery teams," John Atherton, vice president of Solutions Consulting and Knowledge Management at GT Nexus, said in a statement. "The Salesforce.com connector will integrate this valuable CRM data into our social software platform, which spans our enterprise."
"Right now, employees waste a day a week looking for people and information," says Eugene Lee, Socialtext's CEO. "By bridging information silos and making it simpler for people to share and discover work with colleagues, Socialtext 4.5 accelerates business performance and the speed with which employees can serve their customers."
Socialtext's enterprise-level solutions cover a range of collaborative/social features, such as social networking, blog, wikis, microblogging and groups. Most recently, the company also upgraded SocialPoint, the offering that allows information to flow directly from SharePoint into the Socialtext activity stream.
“Signals allows us to respond faster,” says Hayes Knight CIO Jack Pedzikiewicz. “The speed with which we’re answering questions has been cut in half, and is a full 7-8 minutes faster on average. The wonderful thing is, as we capture these great answers inside of Socialtext workspaces, we also cut back on repetition where questions cover the same issue and build best of breed responses and knowledge on key issues of importance. It allows us to serve our customers faster and more consistently.”
As we've said before, status updates are a must-have feature for enterprise collaboration tools - and have applications far beyond collaboration. Yet some enterprises are slow to recognize the business value of this technology. So if you want to sell your manager on an activity stream or microblogging solution, what are you supposed to do? Here are key points for making the case for activity streams in the enterprise.
Socialtext Connect can be used to build integrations between Socialtext’s social software platform and on-premise or cloud-based enterprise applications. The tool will enable access to enterprise applications by individuals who typically are not users, the company said.
Socialtext is positioning Connect as an open standards-based tool designed for surfacing critical events from enterprise applications and injecting them as streams into Socialtext’s social software platform. Socialtext says that its new solution eliminates the siloing of data, events and processes among users of individual enterprise applications.
Socialtext already brings companies popular social media features like blogs, wikis and real-time chat in an enterprise-friendly layer that addresses compliance and security.
With Connect, the company said it can make corporate information tied to enterprise applications like CRM, ERP and document management more available to Socialtext's social media applications.
Socialtext is adopting Twitter annotations for a new service it is calling Socialtext Connect. The service is a method for connecting legacy apps by surfacing events that appear in an activity stream.
Socialtext Connect will provide the ability for events from these systems to be passed as a message that people or machines can subscribe to and follow. An application could subscribe to another application that triggers an event such as a reminder to a system to replenish an inventory system.
One of the challenges facing business social networking tools is that they might not connect meaningfully with workers’ day-to-day activities. Socialtext is tackling part of that problem with a new service called Socialtext Connect, which adds social features to existing enterprise applications.
Essentially, Socialtext Connect is a bridge to information inside an app that's traditionally unavailable unless you're a user of the app. Built on open standards, the tool enables companies to access critical info and stream it into Socialtext's social software platform. From there, employees across an organization can view and collaborate.
The 2010 CIO 100 Awards honor 100 companies that are creating new business value by innovating with technology. Food flavoring manufacturer FONA International has deployed an internal social network called FONApedia, which runs on Socialtext's software-as-a-service platform. The platform is designed to disseminate market changes, best practices and ideas, and employees can update it themselves. One result: Workers send less email.
SocialPoint, the tool that links the Socialtext platform and SharePoint, just got some fancy new duds. Now complete with a microblogging system and searchable directory, the SocialPoint upgrade aims to enable more productivity in a familiar environment.
The Socialtext platform has a feature called Socialtext Signals, which is more or less the company's internal, enterprise-y version of Twitter. The new Socialpoint allows this feature to be integrated into SharePoint, meaning you can post and view messages from the comfort of your own platform without having to worry about security.
Social media — complete with Facebook-like status updates, profile pages and networks of social connections — is coming to your office cubicle.
"People are bringing their Facebook experience into the enterprise," said Rob Koplowitz, an analyst with the research firm Forrester.
At Meredith Corporation, the publisher of Ladies Home Journal and Better Homes & Gardens, microblogging tool Socialtext Signals is the platform of choice. Using Signals, the marketing function can post alerts to employees and partners on a wide range of marketing issues, such as researching competitors, brainstorming new ideas for a direct marketing campaign, or analyzing the outcomes of current campaigns.
Says Dave Ball, Vice President of Consumer Marketing for Meredith, "Signals allows us to break down the silos and easily share information with each other internally. We also use Signals to communicate with groups of external vendors, so we can brainstorm current campaigns with them, propose new ideas and share best practices. It is amazing how much we have cut down on email traffic while increasing our productivity."
Today, Socialtext, the developer of an enterprise social software platform built around microblogging, is rolling out a more powerful version, called Socialtext 4.0, of its collaboration applications.
One of the features users were asking for was the ability to create groups within their Socialtext applications. So now, you can create collaborative groups within your Socialtext app, that comes with a group home page including an activity stream of group member updates, a dedicated microblogging channel, and one or more workspaces. Collaborative Groups can be synced with other groups and can also be configured for privacy needs. A group can be listed, with its membership designated as either “request-to-join” or open. Alternatively, a group can be unlisted, which makes it completely private.
One year after it added Signals, a Twitter-like microblogging component, to its eponymous enterprise social networking and collaboration suite, Socialtext is giving users features to manage that stream of posts.
Version 4.0 of the Socialtext suite, released on Wednesday, lets users segment the Signals stream by creating channels, find Signals posts using a search engine and slice their profile activity streams to view posts from specific groups and people.
"Because of Signals' popularity, activity streams are becoming more voluminous, so we've added activity stream filtering," said Eugene Lee, Socialtext's CEO.
Socialtext is one of the smarter companies we cover in the enterprise space. The people there have an intellectual bent. Co-Founder Ross Mayfield is a thought leader and one of the original pioneers of the social Web. He's one of the thought leaders. And the CEO, Eugene Lee, is one of the more eloquent people we run across in the interviews we do.
Socialtext came into the market in 2002, long before blogs bloomed and years ahead of what we know of as the real-time web.
As a result, they have an established client base. They were one of the first, if not the very first, to offer wiki technology as an enterprise product.
Today, they announced a new version of its software: Socialtext 4.0. It's a far cry from its original technology. This is the era of the real-time web. And Socialtext has had to adapt.
Socialtext, the enterprise social network, collaborative workspace and microblogging tool, today announced the launch of Socialtext 4.0. The major updates in this release are centered around making it easier to use the app to work on projects, or in teams.
Particularly useful is a new feature called “Collaborative Groups.” Using it, anyone can create a group on the fly, and each group comes complete with a group home page, an activity stream that shows group updates, a dedicated microblogging channel and one or more workspaces — ideal for creating a quick collaborative space for an ad hoc team to work on a specific project.
SocialText 4 has been released with more focus on process related and microblogging related issues. While this release is more technical in nature than previous releases, there is plenty to cheer up even the most curmudgeonly of Enterprise 2.0 observers.
Forrester's Rob Koplowitz said Socialtext is doing what it needs to do to stand out in a competitive social networking services market.
"What they've always been about is trying to be the first to develop consumer social media technology that is hardened for the enterprise," he said. "So the customers that like that are the ones that want to stay on the cutting edge."
The new release boasts a new Groups object to provide users with a "virtual gathering place," to rally around a particular topic or goal. Socialtext Signals, the company's microblogging tool, now lets users filter the short messages colleagues share with them by group. Socialtext Desktop lets users "flashback" from any microblogging message to see the context of the discussion at the time it was published. In this slide show, eWEEK walks through the new capabilities.
In a video interview with Internet Evolution, Socialtext CEO talks about the future of social software and enterprise collaboration.
SocialText, founded in late 2002 and based in Palo Alto, Calif., is one of the earliest vendors to adapt Web 2.0 tools to the business world, now referred to as Enterprise 2.0.
The integrated SocialText suite includes a personalized homepage called Dashboard where users can access employee profiles, wiki pages and other social networking features; a Twitter-like microblogging tool called Signals; and SocialText People pages, the equivalent to Facebook's profile pages.
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