A lot of chatter about Yammer since it won the TechCrunch50 and most of the chatter is negative. It appears I am not alone in my concerns around the company's questionable business model as well as its ability to provide a secure solution to enterprises who turn to cloud computing for their employee communications.
Something positive that's come of all of this negative attention? Without it, it's possible that Present.ly, which Intridea launched today at Web 2.0 Expo, might not have made it onto my radar. While I won't claim that Present.ly is the end all, be all in enterprise microblogging solutions I will say that it is certainly a lot closer to providing what enterprises need in this context -- from its integration with other social software, to its improved security to a business model that actually gives enterprises control of their networks from the get-go.
Present.ly is a solution that enables microblogging across several technologies and could, if managed and implemented correctly, meet enterprise demands for integration, collaboration, security and privacy.
Again, nothing is a silver bullet, but here's what Present.ly currently has over Yammer:
- Better business model: Participants can only join if they have been invited to do so by the administrator that purchases Present.ly. Therefore, the administrator controls the users and cost. Present.ly also offers a 60-day free trial period so that buyers can attempt to make a quantifiable assessment. The cost is competitive with Yammer, however, averaging at about slightly less than $1 per user per month, but in this case businesses can make a decision up front whether or not to use the service and maintain full control of the technology.
- Licensing: Yammer doesn't appear to offer any licensing model, other than its $1 per month per user fee. Present.ly is available as an on-premise software license, which is more in line with what enterprises seek in terms of scalability.
- More on scalability: Yammer's cloud-based offering is limited and offers little to no integration. Intridea will negotiate prices for enterprises that want to bundle Present.ly with other Intridea social media solutions, such as the Intridea SocialSpring white label social networking software, Intridea CrowdSound widget for social feedback, and the MediaPlug appliance server. These bundles can be either for on-demand solutions or on-premise software licenses.
- Security: Present.ly accounts are private and the only way to join is by invitation -- backed by SSL authentication. Participation can be limited to groups in the enterprise, and since the enterprise has full control, it can apply its own security solutions to protecting Present.ly data.
- Platform approach: Present.ly's API is fully compatible with the Twitter API and existing Twitter applications can workwith Present.ly with almost no customization.
- Professional services: Intridea generates a good portion of its revenue from consulting services related to implementing social networking solutions for enterprises. The same developers who are creating Intridea’s social media products are also providing the consulting services.
One tick against Present.ly? I have reliability concerns only because it's Ruby on Rails-based -- the same foundation that has historically given Twitter and its users some notorious headaches. Only time will tell if the solution can truly support its claim of reliability for up to 50,000 users.
What would you pick -- Present.ly or Yammer?