Document collaboration software provider, Workshare, is joining the enterprise social network game with their acquisition of IdeaPlane.

Similar to Yammer, IdeaPlane focuses on strengthening communication and collaboration for businesses, but is geared towards highly regulated business sectors, such as finance departments. It was founded by former MySpace executive James Fabricant in 2010, who believed that there should be a way for highly regulated enterprises to be more socially connected.

Workshare, which most recently acquired SkyDox, a cloud-based file sharing and synchronization tool, was founded in 1999. As as provider of document collaboration software, such as the Workshare Cloud Collaboration tool, the company has become an industry leader with over 18,000 customers in over 70 countries.

What does this Acquisition Mean?

Workshare aims to make their products more social through this integration, while IdeaPlane users will have more collaboration options. 

Our combined platform will allow organizations to monitor, manage and closely control the social network being used within their organizations while facilitating collaboration and the exchange of information and ideas,” said Anthony Foy, CEO of Workshare.

As a customizable network, Workshare says that IdeaPlane will not only enhance what its products offer, but it will make them more accessible and manageable. For example, in Workshare’s Cloud collaboration product, users will now be able to see status updates, email notifications, news and changes in groups through the Ideaplane network.

This acquisition makes strategic sense for us given both companies’ focus on customers for whom security, compliance and control are paramount,” said James Fabricant, founder and CEO IdeaPlane. “We have a shared vision for the application of social tools in the enterprise and we have platforms that can be integrated into one unified solution to realize that vision."

A Collaborative, Enterprise Social Network is the Future

Reports, such as Gartner’s 2011 Market Trends: A New Marketplace Develops in the Enterprise Social Software Market as Convergence Continues Through 2015,”  say there's an increase in the need for businesses to not only be able to collaborate, but to communicate in a social setting. A recent report from McKinsley and Company supported this idea stating that adapting a more social platform not only saves companies money, but improves productivity by 20 to 25 percent.