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Social Software Disco Is Coming to an End: You Have to Decide with Whom to Leave the Dance Floor


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“1:50am on the social software dance floor. It’s at the end of the night, you have to understand who you can partner with –or be confident on going it alone.” And the fact that you have danced with that rosy giggler is no reason to take her to your home. Dancing is one thing but an intimate relationship is something else)))

Jeremiah Owyang chose this interesting metaphor to describe the current social platforms market. It is meant that it is the client who has the final word, not the “rosy giggler” – the vendor with whom the client has worked on a couple of pilot projects for the last few quarters. Now the “disco” is on its last legs and the client should either stop having a “relationship” with the vendor or leave him and find another. According to Jeremiah, thousands of customers all over the world have found themselves in such a situation.

In fact, a new epoch of social business is beginning.

Four years ago, when no one ever heard of social business and the Witology Project had been just started under the name PRINTEL (a search engine for brainpower reserves), Jeremiah Owyang predicted the emergence of Social WEB and that it will become a mainstream phenomenon in the 2010s. That’s exactly what happened. PRINTEL has turned into Witology and now everyone talks about social business – software vendors, consultants, PR agents and certainly all their clients.

Moreover, in 2010 through 2012, developed countries have seen social applications going through thousands of pilot projects, providing real measurable business benefits at that. So, “dances” with vendors coming to a close, many major companies are choosing strategic partners, or vendors, for years ahead. That’s what happened to ERP 20 years ago, and to CRM and SCM 10 years ago.

What are the main criteria for choosing a strategic partner – a social platform vendor? Indeed, “dancing” is one thing but a serious relationship is something else. Jeremiah Oyang answers to this question in his post «1:50 am on the Social Software Dance Floor».

It’s simple, says Jeremiah (and Gartner in his new report Changes to the Social Software Magic Quadrants agrees with him). There are two stringent criteria.

The first criterion is platform scalability, i.e. the ability of a platform to function equally well whether it is used for a company’s internal purposes or for open social projects. The second criterion is platform integrability. If a platform meets the two must criteria, you can think of building a “long lasting relationship” with the platform vendor.

If not, let the vendor leave “the disco” on his own. In that case, you have to enjoy some “splendid isolation” and then with renewed strength start looking for another strategic partner whose social platform is easily integratable and scalable.

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Sergey Karelov

Соучредитель и CTO Witology