Small, innovative providers are the “new black” of social networking.
Although there are about 100 vendors offering some kind of solution, even more specialty offerings are hitting the market on a weekly basis, according to a new study.
“Last year, providers of corporate social software had revenues of about $277 million. We see revenue increasing by 72% to over $420 million by the end of this year,” says David Mallon, who analyzed the data in Enterprise Social Software 2009: Facts, Practical Analysis, Trends, and Provider Profiles.
The Bersin & Associates report says the use of social software is still in the early stages within most companies. Typically, most purchases are being made at the departmental and workgroup levels; fewer than 5% of organizations have an enterprise strategy for social networking.
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But when companies do use social networking, a lot is directed toward onboarding; recruiting; support of formal training; alumni and retiree relations; succession planning; customer communities for loyalty marketing and self-service; and corporate intranets.
The report notes that this market could reach $2.5 billion by 2012, and the space is characterized by innovation in collaboration, search and tagging, presence awareness, content management, mobile access, and integration with the consumer web.