Forrester isn't the only analyst firm taking a close look at Social Media. CMS Watch has taken a hard look at some of the top social software and collaboration tools on the market today. Unlike Forrester, however, they are looking at more than just community tools for interactive marketing.
If you have been unsure about how to use all these neat (yes I said neat) social media tools in a way that benefits your organization and not just ties up your employees time, this report will help.
The Enterprise Social Software & Collaboration Report for 2009 from CMS Watch is an indepth analysis of social software and collaboration technologies in the enterprise. But it's more than just a close look at the technology. The report provides you with an approach to evaluate these technologies to suit your business needs.
Not every organization needs a blog, or a wiki, or a social network. You need to understand how these types of "social" technologies can fit into your business strategy - if they even do. Then you need to determine which vendor technology is the best fit for your need.
What is Social Software
As CMS Watch clearly points out in this report, there are numerous definitions of what social software is. Their definition is straightforward: "Tools for collaboration and Networking within and beyond the Enterprise".
The report discusses a number of common scenarios for software, both internal and external. These include:
- External: Branded Communities, Reader Interaction, Partner Collaboration and Professional Networking
- Internal: Project Collaboration, Enterprise Collaboration, Enterprise Discussion, Information Knowledge and Sharing, Knowledgebase Management, Communities of Practice and Enterprise Networking
Along with a discussion of common business scenarios, you also get some key advice on the subjects of governance, culture and adoption, institutional issues and technology considerations.
Approach to Product Comparison
There are many vendors to look at when evaluating social software as Jeremiah Owyang indicated in his review of Community software vendors for his report, The Forrester Wave™: Community Platforms, Q1 2009. CMS Watch divided the vendors up into several categories and evaluates them within these categories:
The report provides indepth reviews on each vendor outlining their strengths and weaknesses, where they are actively marketed, what business scenarios they are most suited for (and what ones they aren't) and what products are similar (so you can look closer at specific vendors based on your needs).
The report is 512 pages long and costs US$ 1,650.00 for a team edition. That's not a bad price considering the cost to purchase similar reports from other analyst that are only a fraction of the size and depth.