It's been about eight months since Telligent acquired Zimbra in the social enterprise software space, and all things point to a complete transition. In fact, Telligent is so confident in Zimbra's platform that it has rebranded to the latter.
A regular in the Magic Quadrants and Waves for social software and communities, Zimbra's hoping to make another splash with today's release of its community software solution: Zimbra Community 8.0, which Zimbra says features customer support and private social networking for remote and mobile workers.
Social Software Focus
Brendan Cosgrove, director of product marketing at Zimbra, told CMSWire that Zimbra Community 8.0 includes two new starter kits and offers a feature filled free edition that allows anyone to start their own social community of up to 50 users.
The announcement comes as part of Zimbra's plan to remain a force in the enterprise collaboration software space. Yahoo and VMWare once owned Zimbra, but ultimately weren't focused on the space and sold it off, with Telligent grabbing the now Dallas-based Zimbra from VMWare.
Telligent, led by founder and CTO Rob Howard, told us its vision was to keep its and Zimbra's platforms on independent growth paths and to integrate them in the services arena.
Howard also told us in August the acquisition's goal was to provide "the tools and technology integrated and working together to streamline information in the workplace."
Asked what makes Zimbra 8.0 unique from others in this space, Cosgrove said "there are no other community platforms that can deliver such polished experience out of the box on any device."
Zimbra Community Free Edition, he added, "leads the market in terms of features and functionality available at zero cost. Additionally, the starter kits lower development costs and deployment time, shortening your time to engagement."
Zimbra’s latest release also includes advanced analytics that drive contextual search capabilities, a new mobile interface and pre built templates.
Workplace Social Software Leaders
In its September 2013 Magic Quadrant for Workplace Social Software, Zimbra was seen as a visionary. Before this year, Telligent had received Gartner recognition the prior four years, which puts it on a five-year streak. IBM, Jive, Microsoft and Salesforce were seen by Gartner as the leaders in the space late last summer.
"Online communities have become true business drivers for our customers, promoting engagement both within and outside of the organization," Cosgrove told CMSWire. "Most organizations have some sort of social strategy, but it’s relegated to engagement on other networks that they don't own. Without a more comprehensive social strategy that includes internal employee communities and direct to customer external communities, many organizations aren't seeing the costs savings and the ROI that they been told to expect from social."