social business, IDC Cites IBM as Leader in Enterprise Social Software Again

IBM's getting the nod for its enterprise social software -- again.

The International Data Corporation (IDC) named the Armonk, N.Y.-based software giant as the worldwide marketshare leader in enterprise social software for the fifth straight year, IBM told CMSWire today.

IBM produces in its social business portfolio IBM Connections and Smarter Workforce technologies deployed in on-premise or in the cloud.

All About Connections

"Customers are increasingly assuming that all applications must be social,” Vanessa Thompson, research manager for IDC Enterprise Social Networks and Collaborative Technologies, said in a statement. “IBM's focus on a core social networking platform to support application environments, such as Smarter Commerce and Smarter Workforce, aligns well with this customer intent.”

social business, IDC Cites IBM as Leader in Enterprise Social Software Again

IBM Connections began in 2007 and will soon release its eighth version, according to Jeff Schick, IBM's vice president of social software who's spearheaded the Connections effort. One of its latest moves involved a partnership with HootSuite and its social media dashboard in December.

The premise is simple with Connections: connecting people to people and people to information ... just like the SharePoints, Jives, Yammers and Lithiums of the world are also trying to do in the enterprise.

Learning Opportunities

It's about "building a vibrant community" in enterprises that goes beyond providing a "simple click of a button," Schick told CMSWire in a phone interview today. She added:

We drink our own champagne. IBM is still a social business itself. ... We have a very strong skill set ... that helps support what social technology can do for organizations."

IBM believes social capabilities should be embedded into multiple areas in an enterprise to "reflect how people work."

"I can gain access to it through a web browser and on any mobile device or tablet, but I also want to be able to embed it into my email experience and case management solutions," Schick said. "What solution doesn't benefit from the ability to have a threaded interaction or a shared file?"

IBM is delivering open APIs through its IBM Social Business Toolkit, which they say makes it easier for clients and partners to build a new class of cloud-based social applications on the Connections foundation. To date, more than 600 unique Connections-based applications have been developed by 300 ISVs including AppFusions, Flow, HootSuite, Kaltura and Polycom. 

Leaders in Space

Asked by CMSWire what other companies it cited in its research, a IDC spokesperson declined comment. The company does not release market data from its Worldwide Software Tracker to the media. However, it will publish reports in May and June that contain market forecast information, which provides more context of where the market is headed. 

Gartner's latest Magic Quadrant on workplace social software also had IBM as a leader along with fellow leaders Jive, Microsoft and Salesforce. The Forrester Wave for social depth platforms had Lithium, Jive, Acquia, Telligent as its leaders. IBM, EMC and Box were the leaders in Forrester's File Sync and Share Wave.