Becoming a Leader in Enterprise Social Network Platforms

The IDC published a report on Worldwide Social Platforms Revenue by Vendor, for the period ending 2009, that covered market share and revenue as a basis:

This IDC study examines the social platforms market for the period from 2007 to 2009. Revenue and market share of the leading vendors are provided for 2009.

Interestingly, the revenue growth, totaling over $369M, is being compared against the starting point of zero (0) for some of these companies. So growth in the 100’s of percent is only expected.  My readership has grown by these same types of numbers if I use null as the starting point.

I was also cautious of how they defined and perceived social software.  I found this answer in another article from IBM Press.

IDC characterizes social platform software as “promoting transparent and authentic two-way dialogue that is open, synchronous, and unstructured.”

Without reading the full $3,000 report for IDC, it seems some of the software solutions listed would not fit into my personal definitions or were not inclusive by any means of the possible choices.  I tend to think there are many that would fit this definition, even those built in house by companies over the years.

Three vendors accounted for 55.8% of the market total, yet saw a decline of .3% in 2009 from 2008.  I would attribute it to the simple matter of demand versus early adopters.  Companies as a whole are not quick on the addition of such social software in the enterprises.  A hesitation is generally made as many see it as a time waster for employees as they compare it to public facing social networks.  Growth numbers for deployment are simply attributed to the groundbreaking movement of this new area of enterprise needs versus existence of any such product.

Interestingly, depending on how you wish to split the numbers, Telligent stated this in their copy of the press release:

According to the IDC study, the three top vendors – Telligent, IBM and Communispace – accounted for 29 percent of the total market in 2009

Yet in others, Microsoft, IBM and Cisco were the top three worldwide leaders.  All of this material was regurgitated across multiple sites from the press release push.  It would be nice to see what software packages from each vendor were included.  I found that IBM only included Lotus Connections and LotusLive Connections, not Quickr, Domino or Sametime.

So does this number and information push your organization to deploy social software solutions to your employees or does it have no bearing in your decision process?