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Social Messaging Vendor study
         Management Summary
1. Foreword

The phenomenon of “Twitter” has brought a real “jolt” to the online-activities of the post
new economy. Public status updates of real or even fictitious experiences – that is the topic
of content of the US-American internet service, which by now has a total of 175 million
users, and is joined by 300 thousand additional users each day.

The Twitter-principle of publicly shared information offers great potential for optimizing the
information flow in companies. At the same time it makes possible, speeds up and improves
the exchange of information and knowledge in the company. It improves networking
amongst employees and thus optimizes interaction across departments and country borders.

The public platform Twitter is not necessarily an appropriate medium for a company - even if
it may make sense to involve business partners and customers in communication via Social
Messaging. There are several demands, which require customized solutions. New solutions
appeared that address the demands, which in the context of this study will be called “Social
Messaging Solutions”.

What the “Micro-Sharing”-solution is about, which possible solutions exist, and how these
differ is the subject of the N:Sight “Social Messaging Vendor Study”.

2. Content of the study
This paper provides a brief overview about the study and summarizes the results. The
complete study provides a much deeper insight into the topic. After an introduction to the
subject and the derivation of the functional models, the study contains a detailed overview
of each function based on 147 questions. Each of the questions is explained in detail. The
survey for this study was done in autumn 2010. The 17 solutions are shown in a table for
each 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 controlling
   •   Analyses of the technical system concept
                                               2
•   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 sheets



The questionnaire contains yes/no questions and other ones which had to be answered with
a detailed description. All yes/no questions are displayed with a table like in the example
below.

Installation



                                                                                                                                    OpenMicroBlogger
                                                                                                                Lotus Connections


                                                                                                                                                       SAP StreamWork
                                                                                                 Just Connect
                                                Communote




                                                                           Heart of Co.




                                                                                                                                                                        Socialcast®




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    YoolinkPro
                                                                                                                                                                                                   Socialwok
                        Blogtronix




                                                                                                                                                                                      Socialtext
                                     BlueKiwi




                                                                                                                                                                                                               Telligent
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Yammer
                                                            ESME
                                                                   Flowr


                                                                                          Jive




Online service            1           1          1          1       1        1            1        0               0                   1                 1                1             1           1            0          1         1
Server installation       1           1          1          1       1        1            1        1               1                   1                 0                1             0           0            1          0         0

The answers to the more detailed questions are listed together. So it is easily to compare all
the solutions by topic.




                                                                                      3
3. Social Messaging as infrastructure for communication and interaction in
   the company
As part of the new forms of knowledge und collaboration, “Social Messaging” is being
understood increasingly as infrastructure for communication and interaction due to the use
of social software concepts. In the following, the principles as well as the challenges and
potentials of the different system approaches will be discussed.

4. Definition
Within a broad definition, Social Messaging has to be understood as public exchange of
information in real time and with indefinite addressees. This definition distinguishes the
approach 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 possible

The restriction of the term Social Messaging to communication and exchange offers a useful
differentiation from other in-company communication tools; however, with regards to the
development 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 as
a pure message. Therefore, the shared message has to be understood rather as a general
                                             4
“micro-information”, which has also shaped the development towards an understanding and
description of the solution category.

Over the last years, several terms have been used to describe the solution market. They
define 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 Microblogging: 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 the in-company use have increasingly
           broken up its input options and offer structured content input. That way, e.g.
           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 concepts
The solution approach underlying this study thus focuses on the distribution of “micro-
information”. As underlying principles for the system landscape, the limitation of the
amount of information to potentially be published, reduced simplicity of application and the
pull-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 entry 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 as
possible. The social software expert and founder of SocialText, Ross Mayfield, has
commented the following: “The more effortlessly employees can communicate, collaborate

                                                5
and share new insights with one another, the faster an organization can respond to changing
customer expectations and business conditions.”

Another social software expert sees in this ability and simplicity of information exchange an
“ambient intimacy“: “Ambient intimacy is about being able to keep in touch with 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 Mark
Granovetter, as one of the basic principles of Enterprise 2,0. “Granovetter emphasized that if
we want novelty and innovation, our weak ties, or our more distant colleagues and
acquaintances, are actually the place to go first, because they have by definition less overlap
with our knowledge base and our social network. Weak ties are hugely valuable. “

Through social messaging solutions, information about the work, processes, and knowledge
of these “weak ties” is made more transparent. That forms the basis for potential benefits of
this 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 exchanges basically occur in real-time.
           Messages are published immediately and can be read by subscribers or found via
           the search function.

           Reflexivity: The direct feedback through tight and weak network knots allows it
           to make itself and to reflect on itself and its activities and as to be understood as
           part of the community.

           Democratization of the state of information: Everybody can use the system per
           se and record occurrences as well as opinions about the company and the
           business processes. The quasi public information establishes transparency about
           activities in the company.




                                                6
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 proximity: 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 Messaging
The benefit of Social Messaging lies in the creation of transparency regarding the activities in
the company and, results from the fact that the effects of realizing value-added potential
and process improvement. As with other communication tools a direct connection between
input and output does not exist. This makes the determination and measurement of
potential benefits difficult.

The following section will draw upon the stage model by Zerfass / Rolke, which originated in
the field of communication controlling research, as reference model for the explanation of
benefit potentials 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
7. Comparison of potentials and challenges
The system design of “Social Messaging” promotes a number of factors which have valuable
benefit for companies. On the other hand the company has to face challenges.

In the table below, the most important potentials and challenges of the solution are
compared:

                  Potentials                                  Challenges


              Transparency: The flow of                   Concern about the
              information is promoted                     democratization of
              across hierarchies and                      information: In many
              departments.                                companies, information and
                                                          knowledge are still the basis
              Satisfaction: The employee                  for power and the conception
              receives acknowledgement                    of leadership.
              through feedback and
              reflection of his work. This                Quick ROI of user-level:
              promotes general satisfaction.              experienced user benefit
                                                          quickly larger than cost,
              Identification and proximity:               otherwise user rejection is
              Transparency increases                      likely to occur.
              identification with the
              company and proximity to the                Necessity for business
              people of the institution.                  relevance: Making individual
                                                          value creation transparent for
              Cost-saving: Process and                    record to the requirements of
              project costs for information               the management.
              and expert research.
                                                          Security aspect: privacy policy,
              Value added: Solving of                     protection of business secrets.
              business problems through
              “weak ties“ (not directly                   Managing complexity: Quick
              involved people).                           personal benefit through filter
                                                          and sub-groups.
              Pick up knowledge and
              information “in passing“.




                                               8
8. Significance of the solution category for the Enterprise 2.0 initiative
The system design of “Social Messaging” is based in many ways on the vision of the
“transparent” and “flexible” business concept, which is the subject of the Enterprise 2.0
initiative. Making the information flow transparent, which emerges from this business
concept, 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 decline – when the E2.0 concept is
     introduced.

Against this background, the solution category is understood as an “Enterprise 2.0 killer-
application“ – meaning an application which aims at creating a major breakthrough for
Enterprise 2.0.

9. Architecture of the solution category
As explained in the beginning, so far one straightforward definition and specification of the
solution concept “Social Messaging” does not exist. Therefore, all experts and suppliers
active in this field have their own interpretation of the “ideal” system design behind the
approach. However, central to all others is the information technology which supports
communication and the interaction of a closed user group.

From a user perspective, the solutions are marked by the option of simple publication and
circulation of status updates. When reduced to a classical input-output-paradigm, the
solution 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 administrative
functions round off the functional reference model of this solution category, which
constitutes the basis of this study.

Furthermore, for a complete system analyses, the fundamental system concept and the
technical architecture of the solution must be examined.



                                               9
10. Functional Reference Model
The 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 information
system as a bundle of hierarchically structured functional units. On the top layer, the
solution is seen as an input-processing-output-system.

According to this method, the solutions to “Social Messaging” represent the technological
image of the distribution and using processes of status updates. The “social” component
determines that the publication and distribution of the status updates reaches all users and
happens in real-time – without the requirement of a synchronous presence of sender and
receiver, which makes it different to instant messaging. Additional interaction and context
functions furthermore present an extension to the unidirectional standard information
processing 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
In addition to the procedural functional units, the system analysis also contains
administrative 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 & Controlling

The following scenario illustrates the ideal reference model for the technical architecture of
the solution category:




                                               11
11. Analyses of the technical system concept
Differentiation and allocation of the solution offered

According to their functionality and the conditions, such as installation and possible
integration 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 large
companies.

For the differentiation of social messaging solutions, there exist two dimensions that can be
combined in an overview.

Differentiation according to functional focus

An initial allocation is obtained by evaluating the supported functionality.

The simplest solutions offer a micro-messaging functionality which is based on the Twitter
functionality. This is no evaluation, as they are very good solutions depending on intended
use, and other systems might be completely oversized.

Micro-sharing represents the next stage of the systems. Here, the focus lies more on the
exchange of information. Extensive discussions (threads) are made possible in a clear
presentation.




                                                12
Differentiation according to technological concept

The 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
12. System matrix for Social Messaging solutions




After 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 Plattform 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 Plattform 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
Integrated Micro-Sharing Usually, in this larger system solution, social messaging
           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 Question / answer modules, can be
           added.

13. Market Analysis for Social Messaging Solutions
The architecture and the often historically determined priorities give first indications as to
the classification of the systems. Systems which are delivered within a whole system family
are clearly different from pure social messaging solutions.

This does not necessarily mean that products which belong to a complete suite represent
the best solution for all applications. Often, the possibility to communicate through short
messages is sufficient. This of course applies particularly to small businesses; however, this
approach can be very promising even with large applications. That depends entirely on the
existing tool environment.

The position in the image does not make a general statement about the quality of the
products.

For the final selection of a system, the individual needs and local circumstances must be
considered in all cases. An in-depth analysis and definition of the requirements is therefore
needed. A good catalog of requirements facilitates the final selection by means of the tables
concerning the individual system functions.

Based on the system matrix outlined in Chapter 14, the following classification can be
established.




                                               15
Pure Play Micro Blogging
None of the systems has been assigned to this category.

Micro Messaging Platform
The solutions in this category have a clear focus on the exchange of short messages, and
thus serve mainly the purpose of information exchange, whereas even these solutions
already 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
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 Platform
These solutions focus next to the sending of short messages more on the sharing of
information.

BlueKiwi                            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 tools
SAP StreamWork                      SAP's 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 Infrastructure with Open Server architecture
(Enterprise-built Message-Server)   that can be easily integrated in other solutions. The offer includes
                                    SaaS and server installation.




                                                       17
Integrated Micro-Sharing
The offers of this group offer a wide range of Enterprise 2.0 modules. Social Messaging is
therefore only part of the possibilities and can easily be integrated in other applications,
such as Wikis.

Blogtronix                  Enterprise 2.0 Suite with social messaging solution. The Activity
                            Stream forms the core of the system. Various interfaces allow the
                            connection of internal and external systems. The solution is
                            offered only 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 Activity
                            Stream 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 Suite with the possibility to use social messaging as
                            a standalone solution. Various interfaces allow the connection of
                            internal and external systems. The solution is offered as SaaS.

Telligent                   Enterprise 2.0 Suite with social messaging solution. The Activity
                            Stream 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 Frameworks
Both solutions examined offer social messaging based on the activity stream. Extensions
allow adjustments to the needs of different companies. The integration of external
information into the Activity Stream is an essential feature of these systems.

Lotus Connections           Social messaging platform with micro-sharing functionality which
                            is embedded in an Activity-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
                            Activity-stream with the possibilities of micro-sharing.
                            Comprehensive features enable the processing of diverse data
                            formats. Various interfaces allow the connection of internal and
                            external systems. The solution is offered as SaaS and server
                            installation.
                                               18
14. Vendor list

Company name        Product name                      Homepage

Blogtronix LLC      Blogtronix Enterprise 4.0         www.blogtronix.com
blueKiwi Software   blueKiwi Summer 2010 release
SA                  1.37105                           www.blueKiwi-software.com
Communardo          Communote V 1.1.4.
Software GmbH                                         www.communote.com
ESME                ESME (Enterprise Social
                    Messaging Experiment) v. 1.0      cwiki.apache.org/confluence/display/ESME/index
Flowr               Flowr                             theflowr.com
Kuhn, Kammann       Heart of Co. (1.0)                www.heartofco.org
& Kuhn AG
Jive Software       Jive 4.5                          www.jivesoftware.com

Just Software AG    Just Connect 5.0                  www.justsoftwareag.com
International       Lotus Connections 2.5             www.ibm.com
Business
Machines Corp.
(IBM)
Megapump, Inc       OpenMicroBlogger 0.3              megapump.com
SAP AG              SAP StreamWork                    www.sap.com
Socialcast          Socialcast®                       www.socialcast.com
SocialText          Socialtext 4.3 (we update every   www.socialtext.com
                    two weeks)
Voiceroute Pte      Socialwok
Ltd                                                   socialwok.com
Telligent           Telligent Evolution v5.6          www.telligent.com
                    (platform)
                    Telligent Community v5.6
                    (external facing application)
                    Telligent Enterprise v2.6
                    (internal facing application)
                    Telligent Analytics v3.6
                    (reporting)
Yammer              Yammer                            www.yammer.com
Yoolink             YoolinkPro                        www.yoolinkpro.com




                                                      19
15. Delivery of the study
The first part of the study contains the             105 pages
Introduction, analysis, evaluation and mapping of
the products. The comparison tables are part of it

All vendor profiles                                  275 pages



16. Pricing
Management Summary:                 free of charge

Electronic version (pdf):           590 Euro

Printed version:                    690 Euro

Electronic and printed version:     690 Euro



17. How to order
Please use the order form to order the study:

http://www.n-sight.de/en/orderform.html




                                                20
18. Authors
                Joachim Lindner                                Björn Negelmann

Joachim Lindner is responsible for research         Björn Negelmann, managing director of N:
projects of N:Sight Research GmbH. Prior to        Sight Media Research & conference manager
joining N:Sight, Joachim Lindner worked for         of Kongress Media, has worked for over 10
ABB Germany in the field of marketing and           years with disruptive web technologies and
online communications. He was also a                    their impact on business processes.
member of global teams implementing Web
2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 in the company.




19. Legal information
The study is a product of the:

N:Sight Research GmbH

Tegernseer Landstr. 29
81541 München

Twitter: http://twitter.com/nsight

Blog: http://blog.n-sight.de/

Webseite: http://www.n-sight.de/




This Management Summary of the Social Messaging Vendor Study from N:Sight Research GmbH is
under a Creative Commons Namensnennung 3.0 Unported Lizenz.




                                              21
Management summary social messaging vendor study

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Management summary social messaging vendor study

  • 1. Social Messaging Vendor study Management Summary
  • 2. 1. Foreword The phenomenon of “Twitter” has brought a real “jolt” to the online-activities of the post new economy. Public status updates of real or even fictitious experiences – that is the topic of content of the US-American internet service, which by now has a total of 175 million users, and is joined by 300 thousand additional users each day. The Twitter-principle of publicly shared information offers great potential for optimizing the information flow in companies. At the same time it makes possible, speeds up and improves the exchange of information and knowledge in the company. It improves networking amongst employees and thus optimizes interaction across departments and country borders. The public platform Twitter is not necessarily an appropriate medium for a company - even if it may make sense to involve business partners and customers in communication via Social Messaging. There are several demands, which require customized solutions. New solutions appeared that address the demands, which in the context of this study will be called “Social Messaging Solutions”. What the “Micro-Sharing”-solution is about, which possible solutions exist, and how these differ is the subject of the N:Sight “Social Messaging Vendor Study”. 2. Content of the study This paper provides a brief overview about the study and summarizes the results. The complete study provides a much deeper insight into the topic. After an introduction to the subject and the derivation of the functional models, the study contains a detailed overview of each function based on 147 questions. Each of the questions is explained in detail. The survey for this study was done in autumn 2010. The 17 solutions are shown in a table for each 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 controlling • Analyses of the technical system concept 2
  • 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 sheets The questionnaire contains yes/no questions and other ones which had to be answered with a detailed description. All yes/no questions are displayed with a table like in the example below. Installation OpenMicroBlogger Lotus Connections SAP StreamWork Just Connect Communote Heart of Co. Socialcast® YoolinkPro Socialwok Blogtronix Socialtext BlueKiwi Telligent Yammer ESME Flowr Jive Online service 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 Server installation 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 The answers to the more detailed questions are listed together. So it is easily to compare all the solutions by topic. 3
  • 4. 3. Social Messaging as infrastructure for communication and interaction in the company As part of the new forms of knowledge und collaboration, “Social Messaging” is being understood increasingly as infrastructure for communication and interaction due to the use of social software concepts. In the following, the principles as well as the challenges and potentials of the different system approaches will be discussed. 4. Definition Within a broad definition, Social Messaging has to be understood as public exchange of information in real time and with indefinite addressees. This definition distinguishes the approach 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 possible The restriction of the term Social Messaging to communication and exchange offers a useful differentiation from other in-company communication tools; however, with regards to the development 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 as a pure message. Therefore, the shared message has to be understood rather as a general 4
  • 5. “micro-information”, which has also shaped the development towards an understanding and description of the solution category. Over the last years, several terms have been used to describe the solution market. They define 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 Microblogging: 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 the in-company use have increasingly broken up its input options and offer structured content input. That way, e.g. 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 concepts The solution approach underlying this study thus focuses on the distribution of “micro- information”. As underlying principles for the system landscape, the limitation of the amount of information to potentially be published, reduced simplicity of application and the pull-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 entry 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 as possible. The social software expert and founder of SocialText, Ross Mayfield, has commented the following: “The more effortlessly employees can communicate, collaborate 5
  • 6. and share new insights with one another, the faster an organization can respond to changing customer expectations and business conditions.” Another social software expert sees in this ability and simplicity of information exchange an “ambient intimacy“: “Ambient intimacy is about being able to keep in touch with 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 Mark Granovetter, as one of the basic principles of Enterprise 2,0. “Granovetter emphasized that if we want novelty and innovation, our weak ties, or our more distant colleagues and acquaintances, are actually the place to go first, because they have by definition less overlap with our knowledge base and our social network. Weak ties are hugely valuable. “ Through social messaging solutions, information about the work, processes, and knowledge of these “weak ties” is made more transparent. That forms the basis for potential benefits of this 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 exchanges basically occur in real-time. Messages are published immediately and can be read by subscribers or found via the search function. Reflexivity: The direct feedback through tight and weak network knots allows it to make itself and to reflect on itself and its activities and as to be understood as part of the community. Democratization of the state of information: Everybody can use the system per se and record occurrences as well as opinions about the company and the business processes. The quasi public information establishes transparency about activities in the company. 6
  • 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 proximity: 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 Messaging The benefit of Social Messaging lies in the creation of transparency regarding the activities in the company and, results from the fact that the effects of realizing value-added potential and process improvement. As with other communication tools a direct connection between input and output does not exist. This makes the determination and measurement of potential benefits difficult. The following section will draw upon the stage model by Zerfass / Rolke, which originated in the field of communication controlling research, as reference model for the explanation of benefit potentials 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. 7. Comparison of potentials and challenges The system design of “Social Messaging” promotes a number of factors which have valuable benefit for companies. On the other hand the company has to face challenges. In the table below, the most important potentials and challenges of the solution are compared: Potentials Challenges Transparency: The flow of Concern about the information is promoted democratization of across hierarchies and information: In many departments. companies, information and knowledge are still the basis Satisfaction: The employee for power and the conception receives acknowledgement of leadership. through feedback and reflection of his work. This Quick ROI of user-level: promotes general satisfaction. experienced user benefit quickly larger than cost, Identification and proximity: otherwise user rejection is Transparency increases likely to occur. identification with the company and proximity to the Necessity for business people of the institution. relevance: Making individual value creation transparent for Cost-saving: Process and record to the requirements of project costs for information the management. and expert research. Security aspect: privacy policy, Value added: Solving of protection of business secrets. business problems through “weak ties“ (not directly Managing complexity: Quick involved people). personal benefit through filter and sub-groups. Pick up knowledge and information “in passing“. 8
  • 9. 8. Significance of the solution category for the Enterprise 2.0 initiative The system design of “Social Messaging” is based in many ways on the vision of the “transparent” and “flexible” business concept, which is the subject of the Enterprise 2.0 initiative. Making the information flow transparent, which emerges from this business concept, 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 decline – when the E2.0 concept is introduced. Against this background, the solution category is understood as an “Enterprise 2.0 killer- application“ – meaning an application which aims at creating a major breakthrough for Enterprise 2.0. 9. Architecture of the solution category As explained in the beginning, so far one straightforward definition and specification of the solution concept “Social Messaging” does not exist. Therefore, all experts and suppliers active in this field have their own interpretation of the “ideal” system design behind the approach. However, central to all others is the information technology which supports communication and the interaction of a closed user group. From a user perspective, the solutions are marked by the option of simple publication and circulation of status updates. When reduced to a classical input-output-paradigm, the solution 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 administrative functions round off the functional reference model of this solution category, which constitutes the basis of this study. Furthermore, for a complete system analyses, the fundamental system concept and the technical architecture of the solution must be examined. 9
  • 10. 10. Functional Reference Model The 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 information system as a bundle of hierarchically structured functional units. On the top layer, the solution is seen as an input-processing-output-system. According to this method, the solutions to “Social Messaging” represent the technological image of the distribution and using processes of status updates. The “social” component determines that the publication and distribution of the status updates reaches all users and happens in real-time – without the requirement of a synchronous presence of sender and receiver, which makes it different to instant messaging. Additional interaction and context functions furthermore present an extension to the unidirectional standard information processing 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. In addition to the procedural functional units, the system analysis also contains administrative 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 & Controlling The following scenario illustrates the ideal reference model for the technical architecture of the solution category: 11
  • 12. 11. Analyses of the technical system concept Differentiation and allocation of the solution offered According to their functionality and the conditions, such as installation and possible integration 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 large companies. For the differentiation of social messaging solutions, there exist two dimensions that can be combined in an overview. Differentiation according to functional focus An initial allocation is obtained by evaluating the supported functionality. The simplest solutions offer a micro-messaging functionality which is based on the Twitter functionality. This is no evaluation, as they are very good solutions depending on intended use, and other systems might be completely oversized. Micro-sharing represents the next stage of the systems. Here, the focus lies more on the exchange of information. Extensive discussions (threads) are made possible in a clear presentation. 12
  • 13. Differentiation according to technological concept The 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. 12. System matrix for Social Messaging solutions After 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 Plattform 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 Plattform 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. Integrated Micro-Sharing Usually, in this larger system solution, social messaging 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 Question / answer modules, can be added. 13. Market Analysis for Social Messaging Solutions The architecture and the often historically determined priorities give first indications as to the classification of the systems. Systems which are delivered within a whole system family are clearly different from pure social messaging solutions. This does not necessarily mean that products which belong to a complete suite represent the best solution for all applications. Often, the possibility to communicate through short messages is sufficient. This of course applies particularly to small businesses; however, this approach can be very promising even with large applications. That depends entirely on the existing tool environment. The position in the image does not make a general statement about the quality of the products. For the final selection of a system, the individual needs and local circumstances must be considered in all cases. An in-depth analysis and definition of the requirements is therefore needed. A good catalog of requirements facilitates the final selection by means of the tables concerning the individual system functions. Based on the system matrix outlined in Chapter 14, the following classification can be established. 15
  • 16. Pure Play Micro Blogging None of the systems has been assigned to this category. Micro Messaging Platform The solutions in this category have a clear focus on the exchange of short messages, and thus serve mainly the purpose of information exchange, whereas even these solutions already 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. 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 Platform These solutions focus next to the sending of short messages more on the sharing of information. BlueKiwi 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 tools SAP StreamWork SAP's 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 Infrastructure 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. Integrated Micro-Sharing The offers of this group offer a wide range of Enterprise 2.0 modules. Social Messaging is therefore only part of the possibilities and can easily be integrated in other applications, such as Wikis. Blogtronix Enterprise 2.0 Suite with social messaging solution. The Activity Stream forms the core of the system. Various interfaces allow the connection of internal and external systems. The solution is offered only 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 Activity Stream 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 Suite with the possibility to use social messaging as a standalone solution. Various interfaces allow the connection of internal and external systems. The solution is offered as SaaS. Telligent Enterprise 2.0 Suite with social messaging solution. The Activity Stream 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 Frameworks Both solutions examined offer social messaging based on the activity stream. Extensions allow adjustments to the needs of different companies. The integration of external information into the Activity Stream is an essential feature of these systems. Lotus Connections Social messaging platform with micro-sharing functionality which is embedded in an Activity-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 Activity-stream with the possibilities of micro-sharing. Comprehensive features enable the processing of diverse data formats. Various interfaces allow the connection of internal and external systems. The solution is offered as SaaS and server installation. 18
  • 19. 14. Vendor list Company name Product name Homepage Blogtronix LLC Blogtronix Enterprise 4.0 www.blogtronix.com blueKiwi Software blueKiwi Summer 2010 release SA 1.37105 www.blueKiwi-software.com Communardo Communote V 1.1.4. Software GmbH www.communote.com ESME ESME (Enterprise Social Messaging Experiment) v. 1.0 cwiki.apache.org/confluence/display/ESME/index Flowr Flowr theflowr.com Kuhn, Kammann Heart of Co. (1.0) www.heartofco.org & Kuhn AG Jive Software Jive 4.5 www.jivesoftware.com Just Software AG Just Connect 5.0 www.justsoftwareag.com International Lotus Connections 2.5 www.ibm.com Business Machines Corp. (IBM) Megapump, Inc OpenMicroBlogger 0.3 megapump.com SAP AG SAP StreamWork www.sap.com Socialcast Socialcast® www.socialcast.com SocialText Socialtext 4.3 (we update every www.socialtext.com two weeks) Voiceroute Pte Socialwok Ltd socialwok.com Telligent Telligent Evolution v5.6 www.telligent.com (platform) Telligent Community v5.6 (external facing application) Telligent Enterprise v2.6 (internal facing application) Telligent Analytics v3.6 (reporting) Yammer Yammer www.yammer.com Yoolink YoolinkPro www.yoolinkpro.com 19
  • 20. 15. Delivery of the study The first part of the study contains the 105 pages Introduction, analysis, evaluation and mapping of the products. The comparison tables are part of it All vendor profiles 275 pages 16. Pricing Management Summary: free of charge Electronic version (pdf): 590 Euro Printed version: 690 Euro Electronic and printed version: 690 Euro 17. How to order Please use the order form to order the study: http://www.n-sight.de/en/orderform.html 20
  • 21. 18. Authors Joachim Lindner Björn Negelmann Joachim Lindner is responsible for research Björn Negelmann, managing director of N: projects of N:Sight Research GmbH. Prior to Sight Media Research & conference manager joining N:Sight, Joachim Lindner worked for of Kongress Media, has worked for over 10 ABB Germany in the field of marketing and years with disruptive web technologies and online communications. He was also a their impact on business processes. member of global teams implementing Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 in the company. 19. Legal information The study is a product of the: N:Sight Research GmbH Tegernseer Landstr. 29 81541 München Twitter: http://twitter.com/nsight Blog: http://blog.n-sight.de/ Webseite: http://www.n-sight.de/ This Management Summary of the Social Messaging Vendor Study from N:Sight Research GmbH is under a Creative Commons Namensnennung 3.0 Unported Lizenz. 21