Tim Buckley Owen Social CRM - who will make port safely?
Jinfo Blog

Monday, 19th March 2012 Sign in to MyJinfo or create an account be able to star items Printable version Subscribe via RSS to get updates as soon as Blog items are added

By Tim Buckley Owen


Social customer relationship management grows in importance with Salesforce, in particular, dominating and launching new products. However, Gartner warns that there may be too many overlapping solutions being offered to too small a market in this field.


Salesforce sails on, dominating the social customer relationship management (CRM) seas. But rival privateers are closing fast – the only question being whether they can catch up before the bubble bursts.

Once again, Salesforce is taking the opportunity of its latest Cloudforce event, in San Francisco, to launch new products. Salesforce Rypple is a social performance management tool which “allows companies to engage and align every employee from within their employee social network” (as the company puts it) and Salesforce Site ensures that marketers deliver a consistent brand experience to every customer, alongside fresh, relevant content.

Rypple is the result of an acquisition by Salesforce last December, and the company is clearly now reaping the benefit. But the purchase came at a time when the technology analyst Gartner was warning that there were too many enterprise social software vendors with overlapping products chasing too few potential customers (LiveWire comment here).

Yammer is one such hopeful. It’s just launched its equivalent to Rypple: an Analytics Dashboard which measures the growth of an organisation’s Yammer network and charts activity across it. The statistics it provides include the number of engaged members, the top performing groups and a breakdown of how users are accessing networks.

Meanwhile Salesforce’s social CRM offerings are being challenged by another social business company, Jive. It’s currently beta testing the Jive Social Customer Service Solution – which it claims will allow companies to address all their core customer service requirements simultaneously, reducing costs by deflecting calls while speeding case resolution times and (Jive claims) improving customer satisfaction.

Then there’s Cision, another software supplier to the public relations and marketing industry. Its new offering is its Social Influencer Search feature, which allows PR folk to find out who’s blogging and tweeting most effectively about a particular topic. Once identified, the influencers can be characterised according to their pitching preferences and social media accounts, as well as being scored according to Cision’s own Influencer Rating.

NewsGator and LinkedIn are among further seekers after the social CRM pot of gold (LiveWire comment here). But if any of these developments come as a bit of a revelation – well, that may just serve to emphasise how dominant Salesforce still seems to be in this market.

Once again, Gartner may well be able to explain why. It’s lack of consistency among buyers that currently keeps the market fragmented, it suggests (more LiveWire comment). The vendors that are going to survive and thrive in the medium term are those who offer tools that do more than just address one thing.

That’s fine if they can all reach port before the investment bubble bursts. Gartner currently gives it till 2013 for consumer networks and 2014 for enterprise social software companies.

« Blog

What's new at Jinfo?

Focus on Value Chain

Document the value chain, and transform the way you think about, manage and report on your product portfolio and your information service contributions to your organisation goals.

Focus on Value Chain

Focus on Risk Assessment

Risk assessment is a required process for a healthy information department. It gauges the ability of your services, team, portfolio and overall value to withstand stress.

Focus on Risk Assessment

Sorry, there seems to be a problem with Webinar and Community listings. Please let us know, by email to support@jinfo.com. Thank you.

Benefit from our research

Our proven processes, resources and guidance will help your team make the shift from transaction centre to strategic asset.


Designed around the most common challenges and pain points for time- and resource-strapped information teams

Supercharge remote productivity and value
Holistic content portfolio management
Future-proof your information service
Executive-ready communications


A tailored overview of our research and active discussion with your Jinfo analyst.


Measure your starting point to articulate your strengths and set priorities for future improvements. Assessments gauge risk, capacity, value and more.

Read case studies, and start the conversation:

Consulting benefits

Connect your team with the practical tools, original research and expertise to build and support information strategy in your organisation.

A Jinfo Subscription gives access to all Content (articles, reports, webinars) and Community.

Subscription benefits