Strategy to keep cloud's simplicity while letting wary companies retain some control made Socialcast a no-brainer acquisition for VMware.
Socialcast entices companies to upgrade to an enterprise license to add features such as Reach for application integration, External Contributors for extended social networks, or the recently announced Thanks employee recognition app. A Town Hall app for company meetings is available for an additional charge.
VMware is strategically targeting enterprises at three levels: the base level of simplifying enterprise operations through virtualization, the platform as a service realm of of vFabric and Cloud Foundry, and the social software area. "We believe strongly that all applications in the enterprise are going to become deeply social," Young said. But at the same time that applications of all types will be sprouting social features, "you really want one social graph across the enterprise," which is where an enterprise social network needs to bring all those feeds together, he said.
The issue of social application integration is "peripheral for now," but will start to become more prominent in the agenda of information technology organizations soon.
Meanwhile, Socialcast sees evidence of increased recognition of the importance of social software in a recent MIT Sloan Management Review social business survey, which showed that "23% of IT staff believe that social software is important to employee development, while only 10% of CIOs do."
Alexi Robicheax, director of product management at Socialcast, reads that as an indication that even if CIOs aren't focusing on social software yet, "the people in the trenches are hearing the demand from their business partners."
SaaS As Innovation Driver?Software as a service is the clear No. 1 way enterprises consume cloud. InformationWeek's SaaS Innovation Survey reveals three tips to get the most from SaaS: Make it a popularity contest. Have an escape plan. And remember that identity is the new perimeter.
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