Socialtext Revamps UI, Adds Connector for SF.com

Socialtext has a new version of its eponymous enterprise social networking and collaboration suite that features a revamped user interface designed to simplify that filtering of activity stream items.

The user interface upgrade in Socialtext 4.5, called Socialtext Explore, became necessary as the suite has expanded its capacity to draw a wider variety of notifications into user profiles' activity streams.

Socialtext users can post microblogging messages, links, photos, files and pages from an increasing variety of sources, including intranets and third-party enterprise applications.

"We needed a better UI to help users with the sharing, curation and discovery of content," said Ross Mayfield, Socialtext co-founder and president.

Along with Socialtext 4.5, the company is also announcing a new pre-built connector for Salesforce.com designed to let users broadcast Salesforce.com actions and data via their Socialtext activity streams.

That way, it becomes possible to share more broadly across an enterprise Salesforce.com CRM data that may be relevant for non-marketing department employees to have, Mayfield said.

The Salesforce.com connector follows the launch in June of the company's first pre-built connector for Microsoft SharePoint and of the development platform that makes the creation of these bridges possible called Socialtext Connect.

The Salesforce.com connector is currently on beta, or test, mode. Like the one for SharePoint, it is an optional add-on to the Socialtext suite.

Socialtext, based in Palo Alto, California, was founded in 2002 with a focus on wikis for the workplace and has built a broader suite for enterprise social networking and collaboration.

It currently has about 40 employees and 6,000 customers, including DHL, Walgreens, Intel and Columbia University. Deployments of its suite range from departments to company-wide.

Socialtext's suite is available as cloud-based software and also loaded in an appliance that can be installed behind a corporate firewall. The appliance software, however, is kept up to date with the cloud-based suite through Internet-delivered updates.

Pricing for the Socialtext suite starts at $5,000 per year.

Socialtext competes to different extents against other enterprise collaboration vendors like Jive Software, IBM/Lotus, NewsGator, Microsoft, Google, Box.net, Cisco, Novell, Zoho and Yammer.

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