Telligent, provider of software for social business and communities, has closed its acquisition of Leverage Software. Why buy another social player? Here's what they got in the deal.

Telligent Accelerates Its Social Business Strategy

We expect to hear about acquisitions all the time in the world of enterprise and web content management. But it's not as regular an occurrence in the social business sector. But with the proliferation of social software solutions, we all knew this was bound to change.

NewsGator actually did it first in early 2010 when it acquired Tomoyee, a complementary Communities solution. Now we see it happen again with Telligent's buy of Leverage Software.

This is a pretty big jump for Telligent. In a conversation with the company's CEO, Patrick Brandt, he explained that along with the belief that these two companies have a similar culture, technology philosophy (they are both on the .NET platform) and customer base, he told me there were three primary reasons Telligent went after Leverage.

Top three motivations:

  1. User Experience: Now Telligent is no slouch in the UX area. It has a strong focus on people-centered interfaces and experiences. What it gains with Leverage is an even broader base of knowledgeable experts who can continue to ensure that Telligent's UX remains the best it can be and to help it differentiate from the rest.
  2. Mobile: Leverage has a great mobile story, including an iPhone app that utilizes the iPhone's camera, location-based GPS and push notifications.
  3. Cloud: Leverage offers a true multi-tenant SaaS solution. This provides Telligent with a pure-play cloud offering (Telligent does have a SaaS offering, but it's single tenant).

What's obvious from this reasoning and our related conversations, is that these things are not just nice complements, but top Telligent's 2012 priority list.

Brandt was quick to point out that this is not a change of strategy for Telligent -- that the company is still committed to providing the social layer that organizations are demanding today. By acquiring an organization that has strengths in the areas Telligent wants to focus on, Telligent can bring new solutions and capabilities to market faster. That's clear.

Leverage founder and CTO, Joe Kleinschmidt, will take on the role of VP of Cloud Products for Telligent, reporting directly to Telligent founder and CTO, Rob Howard.

A Consolidating Social Software Market

Brandt indicated that this isn't the only acquisition we can expect to see from Telligent. In fact, we are to expect another one sometime within the next year and more to come after that.

One area where Telligent is looking to grow is analytics. While it was one of the first social software solutions to offer social analytics, it currently integrates some third party analytics capabilities that it would prefer to have in-house.

This acquisition is indicative of what's to come in the social software market in the next few years.

We will start to see some consolidation of smaller vendors with larger ones like Telligent, Jive, NewsGator. It will be interesting to see if larger orgs like IBM, Oracle or OpenText dive into the acquisition arena here and grab some of the more nimble vendors. Maybe we'll even see some Web Content Management vendors pick up a social software solution, complementing their Intranet and customer experience stories.

The truth is, there are too many options available -- the market is saturating.  Something has to give.

For customers of Leverage Software, this deal might not be so bad. Telligent brings to the table more integration/development partners, professional services and a considerable community of brands that are living on the edge of social adoption.

The question is, how much of Leverage's solution will remain after the final integration strategy is executed. And, for even more speculation fun -- when will Telligent announce its own IPO?