Enhanced Engineering of Software through Social Networking

Most software makers have been trying to follow the leads of facebook.com with regards to making enterprise applications. A number of companies are developing joint apps that have very similar features with that of Facebook and Twitter, two of the biggest networking sites alive today.

These apps allow employees to post status updates regarding projects and any other updates about work. These apps can also be used to follow documents and other staff members of a certain company.

The Software

One of the latest in this kind of market is the Salesforce.com Inc. They have created a product called Chatter. Chatter can be used in coordination with Salesforce’s customer-relationship management software. The Salesforce Chief Executive Marc Benoiff has blurted out a very intriguing question on the conference about Chatter. He asked, “Why is all enterprise software not like Facebook?” Facebook-lie features are indeed needed in such industry, he added.

But this is not the only company who implemented such applications. In the early parts of 2010, the SAP AG has released an application which they called Streamwork. On the other hand, Success Factors Inc. also gained their Cube Tree for the price of $20 million. On the previous month, Cisco Systems Inc. also announced their own application, the Quad. It is expected to be released on the late quarter of 2010.

The population of Facebook is indeed overwhelming with about half a million users from all over the world. It has influenced a large sector of the society. The growth of Facebook has awakened the eyes of various companies with regards to their communication within their system. Many employees would really like to interact in the office software similar to the way they interact with consumer software. Tom Fisher, the VP of Success Factors has stated, “People are saying ‘I absolutely adore Facebook. How come I can’t own something like that thing inside my place of work?”

The market on social networking apps is still small. These apps have a total of $300-$400 million per year. This has been stated by a software analyst, Michael Fauscette. But it surely is growing in a fast pace. Yearly, it will be growing to about 50-60%.

The Challenge

But this will be a big challenge to all companies. The culture of companies can be difficult to change. Many might love the idea. However, some may protest against such changes, especially the old-timers. Because of the complex communication scheme, employees might be confused with all the ways people can communicate like email, instant messaging, voice mail or video chat.

The Competition

The very first collaboration-software is the International Business Machines Corp. Microsoft Corp.’s  SharePoint has also been present for years. The competition is quite hard. However, many various companies see a clear opportunity. One company is the Jive Software Inc. Their base is on Palo Alto, California. This started on the year 2001 and they have accumulated about 15 million users with over 3,000 companies. It will hopefully go public next year.

People are indeed excited for this new turn of event for such market.

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