Enterprise social media market gaining momentum

The demand for enterprise-class social networking solutions is expanding quickly, leading to an active acquisitions market in which major technology players and large social media companies work to purchase smaller organizations offering specialized solutions.

According to eWeek, the market could be entering a bubble because there is considerable diversity in how much companies are spending to acquire social networking organizations. However, the report said it is more likely that the sector is actually poised for rapid growth, leading to a competitive market that is creating the cost diversity.

There is currently a great deal of diversity in how enterprise social networking companies function, eWeek noted. In some instances, organizations develop large-scale social media solutions that allow companies to create a holistic social model that includes both internal social media collaboration and external social marketing. However, most solutions specifically focus on either internal or external efforts. Furthermore, there are also small companies focused on extremely specific service options that meet nuanced requirements.

This diversity is creating a market in which some solutions providers are working to acquire a diverse range of smaller companies to create a fully featured social system that it can sell to companies. On the other hand, many businesses are struggling to integrate all of their social media capabilities because they have multiple systems performing important, but diverse, functions, the report said.

Matt Calkins, CEO for Appian, told the news source that his company’s business process management software is emerging as a popular option for companies because it helps them take their diverse social media functions and integrate data to support procedural improvements.

“The applications that make up your business are full of events, and some of those events demand interaction and so, ideally, what we should be doing is taking those events, exposing them to the right people and facilitating the necessary interaction right there,” Calkins told the news source.

BPM solutions are becoming more important in the enterprise as companies attempt to deal with structured and unstructured data generated by mobile users, created through social networking services and developed through more traditional enterprise means. As employees not only use this data, but demand it on a variety of devices and from any location with a network connection, the need for an overarching process management solution is becoming critical.