For the third year in a row, research firm IDC has kicked out its list of 10 Innovative Application Companies Under $100M to Watch

The Trends

A huge part of being on this list is about re-orienting offerings around the ever-changing landscape of business. This time around, IDC required the winning companies to exhibit one or more of the following trends in their offerings:  

Commerce 2.0

If you've been following our 3 C's of Customer Experience Management theme this month (content, commerce and community) then you should be quite familiar with this trend.

Thanks to the increasing importance of providing a superior customer experience, eCommerce has made a huge comeback. The proof can be found in the growing number of commerce tools, all of which combine social, mobile, online and even brick and mortar experiences.

IDC says that underlying this shift in commerce are even more new technologies, platforms and applications that will power the next generation of customer commerce experience.

Social Business Solutions

Ah, figuring out how to move from social media to social business. That seems to be the golden ticket. Enterprise social solutions that support this transformation are seeing major success right now by enabling communities, blogs, microblogs, wiki’s or other social collaboration and business functions and applications.

We talked a lot about this topic earlier this year. Here's a few highlights: 

Socialytics

While I'm not sure how I feel about the word "socialytics", I do know that measuring the data from social applications is increasingly important. After all, people are talking, and they're talking everywhere. Collecting and analyzing social data like emails, IM, blogs, social communities and networks, microbogs, etc. can provide actionable and much needed business insights.

The Stars (+1)

Without further ado, here's IDC's list of winners (in alphabetical order):

For the first time ever, IDC also included one additional company as an Honorable Mention: Congratulations, Marketo! "We used the Honorable Mention category to recognize a company that submitted that we believed was unique and innovative, even thought it did not specifically fall into this year’s three trends," said Michael Fauscette, IDC's group vice president, Software Business Solutions.

"The social Web, new commerce models that incorporate mobile and social technologies, socialytics, and an increased use of mobile in the enterprise are all impacting businesses and the enterprise application software needed to help drive business change," confinued Fauscette. "Contributing to much-needed innovation in enterprise software is a group of small companies with the vision and technology to help businesses deal more effectively with the new business environment."

That said, IDC's report is a qualitative evaluation. The vendors are not ranked, nor do they represent an exhaustive evaluation of all companies. So. If you think a vendor is missing from this list, feel free to say so in the comments section below.