Social Messaging Vendor Study - Management Summary


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Social Messaging is the exchange of information in real time by staff and executives. It makes status updates by staff available to the whole network (except if it has been limited to partial networks), which helps colleagues learn from each other, share what they are working on, important events, or relevant information.

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Social Messaging Vendor Study - Management Summary

  1. 1. Social Messaging Vendor Study Management Summary N:Sight Research GmbH In cooperation with AIIM
  2. 2. 1. ForewordThe phenomenon of “Twitter” has brought a real “jolt” to the online-activities of the postnew economy. Public status updates of real or even fictitious experiences, random thoughts,and real conversations can all be found on the Internet service, which by now has a total of175 million registered accounts who combine to send 140 million tweets daily.The Twitter-principle of publicly shared information offers great potential for optimizing theinformation flow in companies. At the same time it makes possible, speeds up and improvesthe exchange of information and knowledge in the company. It improves networkingamongst employees and thus optimizes interaction across departments and country borders.The public platform Twitter is not necessarily an appropriate medium for a company - even ifit may make sense to involve business partners and customers in communication via SocialMessaging. There are several demands, which require customized solutions. New solutionsappeared that address the demands, which in the context of this study will be called “SocialMessaging Solutions”.What the “Micro-Sharing”-solution is about, which possible solutions exist, and how thesediffer is the subject of the N:Sight “Social Messaging Vendor Study”.2. Content of the studyThis paper provides a brief overview about the study and summarizes the results. Thecomplete study provides a much deeper insight into the topic. After an introduction to thesubject and the derivation of the functional models, the study contains a detailed overviewof each function based on 147 questions. Each of the questions is explained in detail. Thesurvey for this study was done in autumn 2010. The 17 solutions are shown in a table foreach subject.Table of Contents • Definition • Basic principles and characteristics of implementation concepts • Potential benefits of Social Messaging • Comparison of potentials and challenges • Significance of the solution category for the Enterprise 2.0 initiative • Architecture of the solution category • Analysis of the solution concept • Analysis of the function block "acquisition of the status message" • Analysis of the function block “processing of the status message" • Analysis of the function block “distribution of an update“ • User Management • Content management • Application management • Analytics and control • Analyses of the technical system concept 2
  3. 3. • Differentiation and allocation of the solution offered • Differentiation according to functional focus • Differentiation according to technological concept • System matrix for Social Messaging solutions • Market analysis for Social Messaging solutions • Vendor fact sheetsThe questionnaire contains yes/no questions and other ones which had to be answered witha detailed description. All yes/no questions are displayed with a table like in the examplebelow.Installation OpenMicroBlogger Lotus Connections SAP StreamWork Just Connect Communote Heart of Co. Socialcast® YoolinkPro Socialwok Blogtronix Socialtext Telligent blueKiwi Yammer ESME Flowr JiveOnline service 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 1Server installation 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0The answers to the more detailed questions are listed together. So it is easy to compare allthe solutions by topic. 3
  4. 4. 3. Social Messaging as infrastructure for communication and interaction in the companyAs part of the new forms of knowledge nd collaboration, “Social Messaging” is beingunderstood increasingly as infrastructure for communication and interaction due to the useof social software concepts. In the following, the principles as well as the challenges andpotentials of the different system approaches will be discussed.4. DefinitionWithin a broad definition, Social Messaging has to be understood as public exchange ofinformation in real time and with indefinite addressees. This definition distinguishes theapproach clearly from other “classical” in-company forms of communication and exchange: Email: defined addresses; communication not in real-time Blogs & Forums: undefined number of people; communication not in real-time Instant Messaging: offers real-time communication with defined addresses; group-chat-function possible. Social Messaging: public status update; undefined or not directly known addresses; exchange in nearly real-time possibleThe restriction of the term Social Messaging to communication and exchange offers a usefuldifferentiation from other in-company communication tools; however, with regards to thedevelopment of methods of resolution in this field of application it is not satisfactory.Rather, the understanding must release the reference "status message" to be interpreted asa pure message. Therefore, the shared message has to be understood rather as a general 4
  5. 5. “micro-information”, which has also shaped the development towards an understanding anddescription of the solution category.Over the last years, several terms have been used to describe the solution market. Theydefine the different levels of understanding of the solution: Enterprise Twitter (emergence at the end of 2008): This first definition described the in-company use of Twitter. Enterprise Micro blogging: This term developed in the middle of 2009, to explicitly distinguish themselves from the original definition. Social Messaging: The exchange of messages also develops a social structure with networking effects, followed by extended information and communication benefits. With the term “Social Messaging”, the “social” effects of such a platform were to be underlined. Micro Sharing: Many approaches for in-company use have increasingly broken up its input options and offer structured content input. That way links, references to documents, locations, and many other content formats are distinguished and can be contextualized with short comments.This study is based on the approach of “Social Messaging” and sees Micro-Sharing as a sub-category.5. Basic principles and characteristics of implementation conceptsThe solution approach underlying this study thus focuses on the distribution of “micro-information”. As underlying principles for the system landscape, the limitation of theamount of information to potentially be published, reduced simplicity of application and thepull-principle in communication is basically valid. • Limitation of the information to be published: The appropriate solutions are characterized by a limitation of the amount of information which can be published by the user. • Reduced simplicity of application: The appropriate solution is characterized by a reduction of application and interaction logic to a very low level. This makes appliance very simple and results in low barriers for usage. • Pull-principle in communication: The exchange of messages follows the Publish- Subscribe-model, in which the person publishing a message directs the message not at specific recipients but always at the public or a defined group of users. It is a user decision to read the published information from other people or groups.The main goal of the approach is to keep the cost of exchange amongst employees as low aspossible. The social software expert and founder of SocialText, Ross Mayfield, hascommented the following: “The more effortlessly employees can communicate, collaborate 5
  6. 6. and share new insights with one another, the faster an organization can respond to changingcustomer expectations and business conditions.”Leisa Reichelt, another social software expert sees in this ability and simplicity of informationexchange an “ambient intimacy“: “Ambient intimacy is about being able to keep in touchwith people with a level of regularity and intimacy that you wouldn’t usually have access to,because time and space conspire to make it impossible.”Andrew McAfee mentioned “The Strength of Weak Ties”, a model developed by MarkGranovetter, as one of the basic principles of Enterprise 2,0. “Granovetter emphasized that ifwe want novelty and innovation, our weak ties, or our more distant colleagues andacquaintances, are actually the place to go first, because they have by definition less overlapwith our knowledge base and our social network. Weak ties are hugely valuable. “Through social messaging solutions, information about the work, processes, and knowledgeof these “weak ties” is made more transparent. That forms the basis for potential benefits ofthis system landscape.In summary, the following system aspects for the solution concept can be determined as: Low acceptance threshold: The systems are easy to use. Whether free-text or structured links. Get to the point: The number of characters available for communication in the systems is limited, which presents the communicator with the challenge of specifying the subject of communication. Speed: The communication or the conversations basically occur in real-time. Messages are published immediately and can be read by subscribers or found via the search function. Reflexivity: Community understanding grows as direct feedback from all network ties (tight or weak) helps the community understand itself through this feedback and other community activities. Democratization of the state of information: Everybody can use the system to discuss whats going on and to share opinions about the company and the companys business processes. The quasi public information establishes transparency about activities in the company. 6
  7. 7. Heart rate monitor: The dissemination of news depends on the subjective importance felt by the recipient and represents a collective filter for the assessment of its relevance. Furthermore, how employees navigate in the system shows what concerns them. Identification and nearness: Incidentally conveyed descriptions of the condition of the employee as well as incidents in the company support the identification with and the proximity to persons and establishments of the company.6. Potential benefits of Social MessagingThe benefit of Social Messaging lies in the creation of transparency regarding the activities inthe company and, results from the fact that the effects of realizing value-added potentialand process improvement. As with other communication tools a direct connection betweeninput and output does not exist. This makes the determination and measurement ofpotential benefits difficult.The following section will draw upon the stage model by Zerfass / Rolke, which originated inthe field of communication controlling research, as reference model for the explanation of benefit of social messaging. • Input: Time involved for activities (writing and reading) of social messaging • Output: Number of generated short messages (status updates, comments on links, etc ) • Outgrowth: Amount of generated knowledge and context of and about business activities • Outcome: Added value through new information and knowledge resulting from that • Outflow: Real time and cost which are saved through output and process improvement or transformation. Increased involvement and commitment of employees through greater identification and employee satisfaction 7
  8. 8. 7. Comparison of potentials and challengesThe system design of “Social Messaging” promotes a number of factors which have valuablebenefit for companies. On the other hand the company has to face challenges.In the table below, the most important potential benefits and challenges of the solution arecompared: Benefits Challenges Transparency: The flow of Concern about the information is promoted across democratization of information: hierarchies and departments. In many companies, information and knowledge are still the basis Satisfaction: The employee of power and the conception of receives acknowledgement leadership. through feedback and reflection of his work. This promotes Quick ROI of user-level: Users general satisfaction. must see value quickly or they will reject the tool. Identification and proximity: Transparency increases Necessity for business relevance: identification with the company Making individual value creation and proximity to the people of transparent for record to the the institution. requirements of the management. Cost-saving: Process and project costs for information and expert Security aspect: privacy policy, research. protection of business secrets. Value added: Solve business Managing complexity: Quick problems through "weak ties" personal benefit through filter (people who are loosely linked or and sub-groups. may not know each other directly). Pick up knowledge and information “in passing“. 8
  9. 9. 8. Significance of the solution category for the Enterprise 2.0 initiativeThe system design of “Social Messaging” is based in many ways on the vision of the“transparent” and “flexible” business concept, which is an objective of many Enterprise 2.0initiatives. Making the information flow transparent, which emerges from this businessconcept, forms an important pillar for the Enterprise 2.0 initiative in two ways: • Social Messaging as centerpiece of the E2.0 initiative: The solution category must be understood as the central element of the Enterprise 2.0 initiative because the type of use represents the communication paradigm of Enterprise 2.0. The per se public pull- communication forms the central element for information exchange, transfer of knowledge, collaboration and problem solving in Enterprise 2.0. The solution category functions as infrastructure for the flow of information and communication of the Enterprise 2.0 initiative and thus represents the centerpiece of the E2.0 concept. • Social Messaging as clock for the E2.0 initiative: “Making transparent” the “flow of information” of activities in the company is again the central supporting feature of social messaging systems for the introduction of E2.0 initiatives in companies. They make visible all changes, improvements and also negative views and opinions – when the E2.0 concept is introduced.Against this background, Social Messaging is understood as an “Enterprise 2.0 killer-application“ – meaning an application which aims at creating a major breakthrough forEnterprise 2.0.9. Architecture of the solution categoryAs explained in the beginning, so far one straightforward definition and specification of thesolution concept “Social Messaging” does not exist. Therefore, all experts and suppliersactive in this field have their own interpretation of the “ideal” system design behind theapproach. However, central to all others is the information technology which supportscommunication and the interaction of a closed user group.From a user perspective, the solutions are marked by the option of simple publication andcirculation of status updates. When reduced to a classical input-output-paradigm, thesolution category can be described as the writing (input) and the circulation and interaction(output) of status updates. The processing in such a model covers the user- and system-based qualification, contextualization and search assistance. Complementary administrativefunctions round off the functional reference model of this solution category, whichconstitutes the basis of this study.Furthermore, for a complete system analys s, the fundamental system concept and thetechnical architecture of the solution must be examined. 9
  10. 10. 10. Functional Reference ModelThe functional system analysis of this study is based on the heavily reduced concept of HIPO(Hierarchical Input-Processing-Output)-method. This method tries to model an informationsystem as a bundle of hierarchically structured functional units. On the top layer, thesolution is seen as an input-processing-output-system.According to this method, the solutions to “Social Messaging” represent the technologicalimage of the distribution and using processes of status updates. The “social” componentdetermines that the publication and distribution of the status updates reaches all users andhappens in real-time – without the requirement of a synchronous presence of sender andreceiver, which makes it different to instant messaging. Additional interaction and contextfunctions furthermore present an extension to the unidirectional standard informationprocessing paradigm.The abstracted functional concept of the solution category contains three functional units: Functional unit “creation of status update”: This subsumes all functionalities concerning entry and publication of status updates. Users as well as systems can generate status updates. Status updates generated by the system contain information about certain activities of a user in the social messaging solution or connected tertiary systems. Functional unit “processing of status update“: This contains all functionalities of user- and system-supported qualification and contextualization of the information. In a broader sense, interaction and search functions are also included. Functional unit “distribution of the status update“: This combines all functionalities concerning publication and circulation of status updates.The following diagram emblematizes the core concept of the underlying reference model: 10
  11. 11. In addition to the procedural functional units, the system analysis also containsadministrative functions which can be analyzed into the following four units: User management (includes the regulation of rights and roles) Content management: (includes the definition and administration of content-types and attributes) Application management: (it includes mainly speech, backup, security and export functions) Analysis & ControlThe following scenario illustrates the ideal reference model for the technical architecture ofthe solution category: 11
  12. 12. 11. Analys s of the technical system conceptDifferentiation and allocation of the solution offeredAccording to their functionality and the conditions, such as installation and possibleintegration into complex systems, social messaging solutions address different approaches.Simple standard systems are represented, as well as complex framework solutions.Furthermore, free open source offers stand against very powerful systems for largecompanies.For the differentiation of social messaging solutions, there exist two dimensions that can becombined in an overview.Differentiation according to functional focusAn initial allocation is obtained by evaluating the supported functionality.The simplest solutions offer a micro-messaging functionality which is based on the Twitterfunctionality. This is no evaluation, as they are very good solutions depending on intendeduse, and other systems might be completely oversized.Micro-sharing represents the next stage of the systems. Here, the focus lies more on theexchange of information. Extensive discussions (threads) are made possible in a clearpresentation. 12
  13. 13. Differentiation according to technological conceptThe second allocation results from the installation of the systems. Largely standardized out-of-the-box solutions are contrasted with such systems, which work within a framework. 13
  14. 14. 12. System matrix for Social Messaging solutionsAfter the merging of the two allocations the following image results: Pure Play Micro Blogging In general, these systems are offered as SaaS, enabling the exchange of messages a la Twitter. Micro Messaging Platform These solutions enable social messaging in the strict sense. The solutions are either available as SaaS or can be easily installed on the server. In general, the focus lies also on the exchange of short messages. However, additional sources of information can be included. Micro Sharing Platform Basis of these solutions is also the exchange of short messages and the easy use as a SaaS solution or installation on a server. The focus lies on sharing information that is available in a variety of sources and formats. In addition to the use of information from other databases, at least the basic functions to manage documents are available. Communication-based Coordination tools This category includes systems that tend to be used rather for project coordination than for communication purposes or sales planning. There are systems, for example, which incorporate messages automatically, or support decision-making processes. Enterprise-built Message-Server This type is not a finished concept, but a technological framework and is, for example, only targeted at micro messaging. You may have to supplement it with further developments to use advanced functions. 14
  15. 15. Integrated Micro-Sharing Usually, in this larger system solution, ocial essaging is provided simply as a kind of system module. Micro-Sharing Frameworks This solution is an easy to set up social messaging platform, to which more items, such as uestion / answer modules, can be added.13. Market Analysis for Social Messaging SolutionsThe architecture and the often historically determined priorities give first indications as tothe classification of the systems. Systems which are delivered within a whole system familyare clearly different from pure ocial essaging solutions.This does not necessarily mean that products which belong to a complete suite representthe best solution for all applications. Often, the possibility to communicate through shortmessages is sufficient. This of course applies particularly to small businesses; however, thisapproach can be very promising even with large applications. That depends entirely on theexisting tool environment.The position in the image does not make a general statement about the quality of theproducts.For the final selection of a system, the individual needs and local circumstances must beconsidered in all cases. An in-depth analysis and definition of the requirements is thereforeneeded. A good catalog of requirements facilitates the final selection by means of the tablesconcerning the individual system functions.Based on the system matrix outlined in Chapter 14, the following classification can beestablished. 15
  16. 16. Pure Play Micro BloggingNone of the systems has been assigned to this category.Micro Messaging PlatformThe solutions in this category have a clear focus on the exchange of short messages, andthus serve mainly the purpose of information exchange, whereas even these solutionsalready offer diverse possibilities for the integration of external information.Heart of Co. A micro blogging platform that is geared to the needs of internal communication and which is offered as SaaS and server installation. As a special feature of the solution, it is offered pre- installed on a server ready for direct use in agencies. In addition to simple document management the solution provides various interfaces for connecting external and internal content.OpenMicroBlogger A micro blogging platform using Wordpress themes. The solution is offered as SaaS and server installation. The key interfaces are available to connect external content, such as Twitter and Facebook.Socialwok A micro blogging platform with integration into the workflow of Google Apps. The solution is only available as SaaS. The use via an iPhone or Android app is also possible. 16
  17. 17. Yammer Micro blogging platform with the functionality adopted from Twitter. The solution is only available as SaaS.YoolinkPro Enterprise micro blogging platform with a stream of activity as core element. The solution is only available as SaaS.Micro Sharing PlatformThese solutions focus next to the sending of short messages more on the sharing ofinformation. lueKiwi Micro-sharing platform with the possibility to process a variety of data formats. The solution offers various interfaces for connecting external and internal contents. It is offered as SaaS solution as well as an installation on the home server.Communote Micro sharing platform with easy integration of enterprise portals, such as SharePoint or Atlassian Confluence. The system is offered as a SaaS and server installation.Flowr Micro sharing platform with further developed network functionality. A variety of data formats can be processed. Integration of external content via various interfaces is easily possible. The solution is offered as SaaS and server installation.Communication-based Coordination toolsSAP StreamWork SAPs solution meets the requirements for micro blogging and sharing in the same manner as the previous products. However, a stronger focus on supporting business processes can be observed. Decision processes are the basis of this platform. The micro- blogging functions largely support this function. The solution processes most of the data formats and provides interfaces to integrate data from various sources. The system is offered as SaaS only.ESME Social Messaging nfrastructure with Open Server architecture(Enterprise-built Message-Server) that can be easily integrated in other solutions. The offer includes SaaS and server installation. 17
  18. 18. Integrated Micro-SharingThe offers of this group offer a wide range of Enterprise 2.0 modules. Social Messaging istherefore only part of the possibilities and can easily be integrated in other applications,such as Wikis.Blogtronix Enterprise 2.0 Suite with ocial essaging solution. The ctivity tream forms the core of the system. Various interfaces allow the connection of internal and external systems. The solution is offered as SaaS and as a server installation.Jive Enterprise 2.0 suite of integrated social messaging solution and extensive feature set. Various interfaces allow the connection of internal and external systems. The solution is offered as SaaS and server installation.Just Connect Enterprise 2.0 Suite with social messaging solution. The ctivity tream forms the core of the system. Comprehensive features enable the processing of diverse data formats and connection of the current systems. The solution is offered only as a server installation.SocialText Enterprise 2.0 uite with the possibility to use ocial essaging as a standalone solution. Various interfaces allow the connection of internal and external systems. The solution is offered as SaaS.Telligent Enterprise 2.0 uite with ocial messaging solution. The ctivity tream forms the core of the system. Various interfaces allow the connection of internal and external systems. The solution is only offered as server installation.Micro-Sharing FrameworksBoth solutions examined offer social messaging based on the activity stream. Extensionsallow adjustments to the needs of different companies. The integration of externalinformation into the ctivity tream is an essential feature of these systems.Lotus Connections Social essaging platform with micro-sharing functionality which is embedded in an ctivity stream. Comprehensive features enable the processing of diverse data formats. The solution is offered only as a server installation.Socialcast Social messaging platform that combines the functionality of the ctivity-stream with the possibilities of micro-sharing. Comprehensive features enable the processing of diverse data formats. Various interfaces allow the connection of internal and 18 external systems. The solution is offered as SaaS and server installation.
  19. 19. 14. Vendor listCompany name Product name HomepageBlogtronix LLC Blogtronix Enterprise 4.0 http://www.blogtronix.comblueKiwi Software blueKiwi Summer 2010 releaseSA 1.37105 http://www.blueKiwi-software.comCommunardo Communote V 1.1.4.Software GmbH http://www.communote.comESME ESME (Enterprise Social Messaging Experiment) v. 1.0 Flowr http://theflowr.comKuhn, Kammann Heart of Co. (1.0) Kuhn AGJive Software Jive 4.5 http://www.jivesoftware.comJust Software AG Just Connect 5.0 http://www.justsoftwareag.comInternational Lotus Connections 2.5 Corp.(IBM)Megapump, Inc OpenMicroBlogger 0.3 http://megapump.comSAP AG SAP StreamWork Socialcast® http://www.socialcast.comSocialText Socialtext 4.3 (we update every two weeks)Voiceroute Pte SocialwokLtd http://socialwok.comTelligent Telligent Evolution v5.6 (platform) Telligent Community v5.6 (external facing application) Telligent Enterprise v2.6 (internal facing application) Telligent Analytics v3.6 (reporting)Yammer Yammer http://www.yammer.comYoolink YoolinkPro 19
  20. 20. 15. Delivery of the studyThe first part of the study contains the 105 pagesIntroduction, analysis, evaluation and mapping ofthe products. The comparison tables are part of itAll vendor profiles pages16. PricingManagement Summary: free of chargeElectronic version (pdf): USD 847 (USD 100 discount for AIIM professional members)17. How to orderVisit 20
  21. 21. 16 Authors Joachim Lindner Björn NegelmannJoachim Lindner is responsible for research Björn Negelmann, managing director of N:projects of N:Sight Research GmbH. Prior to Sight Media Research & conference managerjoining N:Sight, Joachim Lindner worked for of Kongress Media, has worked for more thanABB Germany in the field of marketing and 10 years with disruptive Web technologiesonline communications. He was also member and their impact on business processes.of global teams implementing Web 2.0 andEnterprise 2.0 in the company.© N:Sight Research GmbH 21
  22. 22. About N:Sight Research GmbHN:Sight Research GmbH is an independent research and consulting firm based in Munich.N:Sight publishes studies and professional information on the topics Internet, intranet,knowledge management, Enterprise 2.0 and social Web. N:Sight analyzes best practicescenarios and tools with empirical and qualitative methods.In addition to studies, N:Sight also provides seminars and strategic business consulting on thebasis of the research results. N: Sight Research GmbH is a subsidiary of the Kongress MediaGmbH.About AIIMFor over 60 years, AIIM has been the leading non-profit organization focused on helping usersto understand the challenges associated with managing documents, content, records, andbusiness processes. AIIM was founded in 1943 as the National Microfilm Association and laterbecame the Association for Information and Image Management. Today, AIIM isinternational in scope, independent, and implementation-focused. As the industrysintermediary, AIIM represents the entire industry - including users, suppliers, and the channel.For more information on AIIM: the conversation at AIIMs online community. Find expert bloggers, discussions, wikis,and buyers guides in Social Business and three other topics: Capture, Electronic RecordsManagement, and SharePoint.This community is SIMPLE to join. EASY to use; and provides a UNIQUE learningenvironment by combining a social networking platform, product reviews, best practices, andmore with YOUR know-how. Together, we are creating the insights you need to tackle yourtoughest information challenges.As a member of this online community, you will: Learn and discuss news, perspectives, and best practices Share your experience and and preferred approaches with others Find, connect, and communicate directly with your peers and recognized industry experts Contribute to and use the communitys collective intelligenceIn fact, you will connect and be plugged into the industry like never before. The connectionsyou make will be invaluable.© N:Sight Research GmbH 22
  23. 23. Legal informationThe study is a product of:N:Sight Research GmbHTegernseer Landstr. 2981541 MünchenTwitter: Management Summary of the Social Messaging Vendor Study from N:Sight Research GmbH isunder a Creative Commons Namensnennung 3.0 Unported Lizenz. 22