Social business is a billion-dollar industry, evident with how big companies like Microsoft are willing to acquire startups like Yammer in their quest to dominate the enterprise market. However, there is one factor that service providers seem to miss: small businesses.

12 Users or Less

According to Bitrix24's CEO, Dmitry Valyanov, social intranets are becoming smaller and smaller. "Our own data shows that the average intranet network size in Bitrix24 is 4.9 people, which means small businesses have already embraced the new technology," says Valyanov. However, he expressed disappointment with how vendors seem to focus their solutions on big companies "with hundreds or thousands of employees."

We earlier featured Bitrix24 as a cloud-based social intranet platform for small businesses. The main highlight of Bitrix24 is its integration of various online tools in a lightweight platform. The SaaS offering provides project management, document collaboration, file sharing and CRM. Everything is managed over a rich social layer, which provides an activity stream, collaboration tools and IM.

Valyanov says the fact that Bitrix24 offers its service free for up to 12 users is a good reason for small business to come onboard. Meanwhile, a tiered pricing scheme is likewise provided for bigger organizations.

Learning Opportunities

Mobile Access

Three months since its beta launch, Valyanov says the service is already catering to 10,000 small businesses. However, there is still one area that Bitrix24 needs to address soon: mobile.

With mobility being espoused by bring-your-own-device (BYOD) setups in the workplace, employees and connected professionals are increasingly turning to varied platforms for communication and collaboration needs. Gone are the days when IT managed the corporate Blackberry implementation; users are now toting their iPhones, Android devices and Windows Phones.

In this regard, Bitrix24 admits it has yet to come up with a mobile app, although these will "soon be publicly released," said the company in a statement.