Gartner just released its Magic Quadrant for team collaboration and social software. What's interesting is that there aren't any leaders and only two visionaries, Socialtext and SuiteTwo, products from Socialtext, NewsGator, SimpleFeed and MovableType, bundled by SpikeSource and distributed through Intel. Blogs, wikis, forums, RSS and even social graph
Microsoft and IBM are the highest in their ability to execute, and they are more accepted brands in the enterprise who have long established products, can bring more complete solutions and deploy large armies of sales people and consultants to customers. Many of the companies are smaller startups who are pioneering the new age of social software.
According to Gartner, Magic Quadrants "depict markets in the middle phases of their life cycle by using a two-dimensional matrix that evaluates vendors based on their completeness of vision and ability to execute. The Magic Quadrant has 15 weighted criteria that plot vendors based on their relative strengths in the market. This model is well suited for high-growth and consolidating markets where market and vendor differentiations are distinct."
The Magic Quadrant is not based on any apples to apples comparison of products from the various vendors. Socialtext, MindTouch and Twiki, for instance, are primarily enterprise-class wikis and all have an open source option. Jive Software and Leverage Software add more of a social networking dimension with user profiles, allowing people to locate people with some specific expertise. Social Platform includes ecommerce capabilities, auctions and classifieds as part of its solution. Six Apart's MovableType Enterprise Solution focuses on blogs and Telligent's Community Server supports blogs and forums. Traction Teampage combines blogs and wikis, as do some of the other players. SiteScape goes the more traditional route with instant messaging, chat, SMS , email and conferencing. voice-and web-conferencing, and also has forums, blogs and wikis.
As social software matures, consolidation among vendors will occur and comprehensive suites, rather than best of breed, will dominate enterprises. Perhaps social software will be Oracle's next conquest. If the BEA acquisition happens (it's seems less likely right now), Oracle would pick up some sophisticated collaborative information discovery tools.