vmware_logo_2011.jpg
VMWare (news, site) makes another buy to broaden its SaaS appeal, picking up enterprise microblogger service Socialcast for an undisclosed amount.

VMWare's Getting SaaSy

VMware is looking less like a virtualization company -- look at the website and it's all about clouds and services. Its latest purchase, Socialcast, adds another line of differentation, offering SaaS-based enterprise social networking and collaboration, everything the enterprise 2.0-era organization needs to get ahead.

Having picked up SlideRocket and its great cloud-based presentations last month and the likes of cloud-office company Zimbra and others recently, the result is a lot of value-added services that the company can offer existing and new clients, plus great opportunities for cross-selling and bundling of these services.

All of this is the focus behind VMware's vision is to move with users away from the old PC desktop concept to a more mobile workforce used to working on multiple devices with data stored in the cloud, and used to using social networking in the business environment.

These new collaboration systems can help users work better together, remain in the loop wherever they are and access documents on the go and contribute to their betterment.

A Socialcast of Thousands

Socialcast offers users cloud, or behind-the-firewall collaboration with mobile, social business and analytics features, which will help neatly dovetail into VMWare's recently acquired office-based services. Tie them all together and you have a company that can take on the likes of Google and Microsoft, but already has a massive presence through its virtualization products.

Socialcast offered three versions of its product, in a free Basic, low-cost Small Biz and POA Enterprise flavors. What VMWare will do with the products remains to be seen. The Socialcast Reach feature already helps the service blend with enterprise tools such as SharePoint.

What it has to do is get all of these recently acquired services playing in a coherent manner, and it could have a great system to offer, with high ease-of-use and other factors that will appeal to growing companies or those trying to break away from legacy services.

With the global market ripe for new business models and new players, VMWare is making all the right moves, adding highly visible and successful tools to its roster, Will the company find the magic mix of ingredients to appeal across the enterprise world?