Telligent Named Microsoft Digital Marketing Partner of the YearEnterprise social platform provider Telligent has been named Microsoft Digital Marketing Partner of the Year for 2012. The Digital Marketing Partner of the Year Award recognizes an “exceptional partner who has excelled in developing rich Internet solutions that are highly functional, scalable, flexible, and secure through a unified platform for intranet, extranet, and Internet sites.”

Telligent, Webtrends, Netcompany Rise to the Top

Telligent, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, offers a Social Suite for SharePoint which adds social capabilities to existing SharePoint implementations. Specific functionality of the suite includes interactive engagement among social partners, as well as tools for employees to communicate and capture knowledge and for creating interactive customer channels.

Meanwhile, digital marketing optimization vendor Webtrends was named a finalist for the award. Webtrends Analytics for SharePoint 2010 is designed to provide SharePoint users with access to analytics across digital channels based on data collected through a variety of means including tags, feeds, APIs and public data.

In addition, Danish IT/business consulting provider Netcompany was also named a finalist. Netcompany specializes in developing portals and integration platforms for environments including Microsoft.NET.

SharePoint Gets Social

These three companies were selected from a pool of 3,000 entrants, which shows just how competitive the market for adding social business and digital marketing capabilities to SharePoint has become. Microsoft itself has joined the SharePoint socialization fray with the purchase of social business pioneer Yammer for US $1.2 billion earlier this week. Microsoft says Yammer will continue to develop standalone applications, but will also be integrated with the likes of SharePoint, as well as Office, Skype and MS Dynamics CRM.

And in recent weeks, enterprise social collaboration Neudesic launched Pulse 3.0, which the company said improved its integration with Microsoft SharePoint. The new Pulse version supports direct SharePoint uploading, so that documents can be stored in designated SharePoint sites.

In addition, in a presentation at the Advanced Intranets and Portals conference in Amsterdam in May 2012, Cognizant VP Janardhanan Shankar gave a presentation that included an explanation of how social web is an important emerging SharePoint trend. According to Shankar, those with SharePoint deployments already are looking at ways of layering a social layer on top of SharePoint. From a business point of view, managers are not entirely convinced that there is value in it, so while there is interest, investment has yet to follow.

Where a social layer has already been developed, Shankar said it is being used primarily to bring together started and specific groups. In this respect, he cited brand rooms where disparate teams from around the world are coming together to work on a particular company product, or providing a place where users in a specific region can come together.

So while the need for social business activity within SharePoint is there, how that activity can be best embedded and performed in SharePoint is still being determined. Look for even more entrants in the 2013 Microsoft Digital Partner of the Year Award, with an even higher bar of excellence.