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Telligent Buys Leverage Software To Boost Cloud Power

Acquisition strengthens Telligent's cloud computing and enterprise social networking products.

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Seeking to strengthen its cloud computing and enterprise social networking products, Telligent acquired Leverage Software in a transaction that closed Monday.

Dallas-based Telligent and Leverage Software of San Francisco are both private companies competing in the social software marketing with Jive Software, which just went public, as well as larger companies like IBM. Earlier this year, Forrester Research ranked Telligent's enterprise social networking software among the top four platforms for social collaboration, competitive with Jive, IBM, and NewsGator. Telligent is best known for its software for hosting Web communities, which is where its business started.

Telligent CEO Patrick Brandt said Leverage Software's strength is in enterprise social networking delivered as software as a service (SaaS)--something closer to the service offered by Yammer. Leverage also brings a strong customer base, including companies like Wells Fargo, Stanford University, and Home Depot, he said.

[ It's high season for acquisitions in the social sector. See Salesforce Acquires Rypple For Social Employee Performance Management. ]

"This is full SaaS, true SaaS--multitenant, not the fake stuff," Brandt said. Telligent currently offers applications on a cloud computing business model, with subscription payments rather than traditional software licensing, as an alternative for some of its customers. However, this is on a "single tenant, multi-instance" basis--meaning that Telligent configures and hosts servers for those customers. Cloud services that provision customer accounts from a common pool of servers can activate new services more quickly and operate more efficiently.

"This is a way to improve your velocity, to get your community or your social network online quickly," Brandt said.

The majority of Telligent customers continue to prefer on-premises applications, giving the company an edge with those who are not ready to consider cloud-only solutions, Brandt said. At the same time, the demand for cloud services is increasing, and Leverage will supply the expertise Telligent needs to support that option more effectively, he said. "We are, no doubt, seeing the wave of cloud in our business keeping up with the hype and the news. We are seeing that demand for real."

Known for its "people-centered design" and for its mobile apps, Leverage will help Telligent improve usability across its product line, Brandt said. In the long run, he expects to see a merger of the products, both of which are built on the Microsoft platform.

Leverage founder Joe Kleinschmidt will become VP of cloud products, reporting to Telligent founder and CTO Rob Howard.

Follow David F. Carr on Twitter @davidfcarr. The BrainYard is @thebyard

The Enterprise Connect conference program covers the full range of platforms, services, and applications that comprise modern communications and collaboration systems. It happens March 25-29 in Orlando, Fla. Find out more.

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