Socialtext Feb. 24 launched its annual refresh of its software platform, this time adding instant messaging support for IBM and Microsoft programs, as well as business analytics from Google.
Socialtext software allows business users to build corporate intranets that allow workers to collaborate via modern communication tools, including private and shared workspaces, chat and status updates. Employees at Getty Images, Symantec and more than 6,000 other businesses use these tools to share information with their colleagues.
While many enterprise software makers of late are preaching cloud-only software approaches, Socialtext offers a Web-based solution and an on-premises software appliance that sits behind the customer's firewall.
Socialtext 4.6 now integrates with IBM Lotus Sametime and Microsoft Office Communicator instant messaging products to allow customers to conduct real-time, one-to-one chats with their business contacts. Sametime and Communicator join AIM Yahoo and Skype as instant messaging tools Socialtext supports.
Socialtext also offers a Signals microblog service, a sort of enterprise-grade Twitter, that puts Socialtext in competition with Socialcast, Yammer and Salesforce.com's Chatter.
The software maker now lets users see and share videos from YouTube and Vimeo, slideshow presentations from SlideShare and other multimedia with the whole company or smaller groups without leaving the Signals application. Workers can then comment on the content and exchange suggestions for improvement and other ideas.
Signals also now incorporates notifications so that workers can see messages from colleagues without leaving the application they're using. This feature, available for users who access Socialtext via Google's Chrome Web browser, may also be used via a Mozilla Firefox extension.
The software also now integrates with Google Analytics to provide IT administrators more relevant, detailed information about the content workers are sharing in a Socialtext "dashboard" workspace. Administrators may see which pages people are accessing, how they arrived at them, how long they stayed and where they went next.
Administrators can also "gather information about the locations people live in, the browsers they are using and even their screen resolutions. These details can help companies measure and optimize their intranets, leading to higher levels of adoption and increasing business value."
Although these details might trigger privacy concerns in the case of a corporate security breach, Socialtext has had a solid track record in that department since its inception in 2002.
Indeed, the venerable Socialtext competes with Jive Software, IBM Lotus Connections, Mindtouch, Mzinga and dozens of other younger social software suites in the lucrative business social software market.
Gartner forecasts that the worldwide market for enterprise social software will top $769 million in 2011 and possibly $1 billion through 2012.