Saturday, September 04, 2010

New social networks for enterprises: move over Yammer, Podio is coming!

A friend of mine in the Netherlands told me about Yammer, a new social network for enterprises. She was checking it out for her organization (Visio). On behalf of several companies I worked and freelanced for, I have been looking for a secure “in-company” social media platform. It seems that I finally found some.

Yammer is sort of a hybrid version of Facebook and Twitter that helps members of an organization to let their workers interact and collaborate. Yammer works according to the freemium-model: to start a Yammer network is free; but in order to own, control, and administer the data and content, it will cost between $3 to $5 per user/per month.

Yammer claims that it is being used by more than one million users and 80,000 companies worldwide for their internal communications. It offers access in three ways – through web login, a desktop application, and mobile apps.

According to an excellent article on TechCrunch, Yammer (aka Twitter for business or as an enterprise microblogging platform) is facing stiff competition from Podio. Podio describes itself as a ╩╗social work platform╩╝ similar to Facebook for companies. It claims to be a full work platform with messaging, calendars, tasks and contact management. It gives users the ability to build their own ‘apps’ without any technical knowledge, and allows for almost endless customization. According to Podio, over 2,000 apps have already been built by users, which include CRM systems, meeting planners, process facilitation, recruiting, contract drafting, and employee feedback.
To quote TechCrunch, Podio “is a full work platform with messaging, calendars, tasks and contact management, – not just another project management space.”

But Yammer is not giving up, and announced the launch of Yammer 2.0. Yammer’s CEO and founder David Sacks believes that the ability to create a go-to corporate social network is a Facebook sized opportunity.

Another new social network to watch is ZYB. It describes itself as a mobile phone utility and social networking site. It started in 2005 as a European service to provide easy back-up services for mobile phones. ZYB leveraged the data set into building a social networking platform with Twitter-like location-based functions.

For now, the race between Yammer and Podio to acquire enterprise customers is on. Depending how it will pan out, both Yammer and Podio could be targeted for acquisition by companies such as SalesForce or Google.

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