It's been noted that SharePoint 2010's improvements in the area of social computing are relatively impressive, but built-in features have a tendency to be outshone by third-party solutions. Ergo, we thought we'd round up a few of our favorites:
NewsGator (news, site) Social Sites amps up communities and collaboration within SharePoint by enabling users to create rich social profiles from which they can connect and share ideas with fellow colleagues. The company is one in just a handful that builds their solution directly on top of SharePoint, enabling them to cook up advanced capabilities like micro-blogging, communities and mobile solutions.
The company's recent acquisition of Tomoye has has translated to the upsell of Social Sites to a number of government organizations, and it looks like smooth sailing will continue well into the era of SharePoint 2010. Furthermore, the release of Social Sites for Microsoft's newest version of SharePoint was accompanied by an iPhone and an iPad client.
"Part of the reason we leverage SharePoint so aggressively is because we do see tremendous value in providing the social layer on top of broad-gauged enterprise platforms that can handle WCM, ECM, search, etc," said J.B. Holston, NewsGator CEO and President . "This has been fundamental to our strategy in enterprise social computing for a couple of years, and it’s been the right call."
Telligent (news, site) integrates Telligent Community with SharePoint to enhance forums, blogs and wikis. The company considers their tool as the leading social software solution for the .NET architecture.
Telligent Community hones in on customer engagement by:
- Providing insights directly from customers
- Offering a scalable customer support community
- Connecting happy customers with prospects
- Inspiring two-way conversations with influential customers
Jive Software (news, site) believes their Social Business Software Suite (SMS), is the greatest thing to happen to the enterprise since sliced bread (or something like that). Since the suite's initial release, Jive has diligently continued to add features, their most recent being the ability to take content stored in an Enterprise CMS and socialize it.
Jive's SharePoint Connector integrates SharePoint and SBS tightly enough to provide activity streams and merged workflows; however, documents must be pushed into Jive before the collaboration magic happens. This is because, Interestingly, instead of building directly on top of SharePoint, Jive makes SBS the primary work tool. And while there is a read-only view of SBS content in SharePoint, users still have to work from SBS if they want to be able to do anything--even view the content.
Awareness (news, site) provides social technologies for organizations that normally deal with people outside the enterprise. The integration of their software into SharePoint enables SharePoint customers to tie their internal collaboration to their external Web communities. This merging makes several nifty features possible, such as:
- Monitoring, moderating, contributing and searching content
- Display user details and status
- View a dashboard of community activity
- Access to the community social networking functionality
- Enhanced user-generated content functionality
Atlassian (news, site) integrates their Confluence wiki with SharePoint in order to provide bi-directional content embedding and linking, and cross-product search and single sign-on. Users can embed a Confluence wiki or blog page directly in SharePoint (where they can then edit it), and can also link SharePoint content inside a wiki page in Confluence.
Enterprise social software provider, blueKiwi (news, site), provides conversational tools that are designed to bring your employees together and reel customers, partners and prospects in closer. With special attention paid to managing customer forums sprinkled in, the SharePoint connector enables expertise identification, a visual view of the social network and an aggregated conversation view.
Connectbeam's Social Activity Platform and applications are built to enable enterprises to connect knowledge workers and their collaboration tools with traditional Enterprise Search and information repositories. Spotlight Connect for SharePoint is an add-on module that enhances SharePoint data collaboration and discovery results by leveraging social metadata and human experience.
You can check out a live demo here.
Leverage Software is a white-label social networking platform for enterprises of all sizes, and works to connect people with others within or outside their organizations while maintaining security and privacy.
And The List Goes On...
This is nowhere near all of the third-party add on providers, but it's a pretty good start.
Point is, social computing is the new pink and Microsoft obviously understands the value in working with such partners (and is committed to riding the SharePoint wave).
If you know of anyone else that should be on this list, please take a minute to add them to the comments below. We want to help get names out there.