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Frost & Sullivan: Mobility, Cloud And Big Data Driving Innovation In The Social Collaboration Market

Social collaboration will also impact and transform other markets beyond enterprise collaboration. The integration of various communication channels, especially the e-mail and Instant Messaging (IM) is a result of the transformation.

Anand Balasubramanian, Industry Analyst, ICT Practice, Frost & Sullivan ANZ says, "E-mail will continue to be relevant, however e-mail will be more social in nature in the coming years. We are already witnessing that sort of innovation from vendors in the marketplace."

The integration of social media with enterprise collaboration will also greatly benefit the contact centre industry, as the capabilities of contact centre agents will be improved by the integration of analytics with customer information, enabling agents to better collaborate with other agents and departments to assist the customer across multiple channels (voice, e-mail, chat).

The social collaboration market was initially identified as having a number of small players, each offering similar, identical services. However, the market is evolving towards an integrated platform approach in which the e-mail and IM forms are combined with social collaboration, voice, video and other applications. Unified-Communications (UC) vendors and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) providers are in a good position to leverage this demand and are beginning to include social collaboration capabilities and building these as strengths in their portfolios.

As part of the research, Frost & Sullivan surveyed 210 IT decision makers in Australia to understand market behaviour and views towards Social Collaboration. Some of the key findings include:
  • Close to 34% of organisations are at the inception stage of social collaboration adoption and are in the process of evaluating the role and scope of social collaboration as a part of an overall strategy.
  • Microsoft, Google, Cisco and IBM were rated as the preferred vendors for social collaboration solutions

Going forward, Frost & Sullivan expects further consolidation in the market, with only a small number of players dominant by end of 2013. There were a number of acquisitions in the market in 2012, with Microsoft's acquisition of Yammer and SAP's acquisition of SuccessFactors being the most significant. Prior to that VMware acquired Socialcast to gain an entry into the market. Such consolidation trends are expected to continue, which will give an advantage to vendors able to offer an integrated collaboration experience for the user. The most significant acquisition in 2012, Microsoft's acquisition of Yammer set the foundation for Microsoft to emerge and hold a strong position in the social collaboration market.

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