Socialtext is trying to grab customers away from enterprise social networking vendor Yammer with a new migration offer, announced Thursday.
Customers running the free version of Yammer with more than 100 users will be able to switch to Socialtext's Signals product for $4 per user per month, a 20 percent drop from the US$5 per user per month price of Yammer Enterprise. Volume discounts are also negotiable.
In addition, Yammer Enterprise customers with more than 100 users can receive a migration service at no charge, as well as Socialtext Signals and Socialtext People at no cost for a year if they buy Socialtext's entire social software platform for two years.
Yammer is known for its microblogging function and also provides capabilities for employee profiles, communities and document sharing. It is integrated with SharePoint 2007, Twitter and other applications.
Socialtext contends that its platform has a broader range of functionality and more robust security through the option of a behind-the-firewall appliance deployment model, as well as SaaS (software as a service).
Still, the vendors' seemingly closely matched feature sets speaks to the strong competition in the enterprise social networking sector, where other prominent independent players include Socialcast.
There are apparently plenty of customers to go around, as well. Yammer claims that some 90,000 companies and organizations use its software today after just two years in the market.
Pure-play companies like Yammer have been able to thrive because legacy application vendors have done a poor job of building social collaboration tools into their software, said Ray Wang, CEO and principal analyst with Constellation Research. And Socialtext and their rivals "still have a few more years of runway," he said.
For one, social collaboration technology "may be easy to create, but it's not easy to do well," he said. The segment should see a run of consolidation in coming years as platform vendors decide to buy instead of build such tools, he added.
Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com.