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VMware acquires collaboration provider Socialcast

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1st Jun 2011
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VMware has purchased enterprise social networking tool provider Socialcast for an undisclosed sum to enable business application users across the organisation to collaborate in real-time.

The acquisition is the virtualisation vendor’s fourth in the last two months as it attempts to build up its desktop application family. Socialcast is similar in nature to Yammer and Salesforce.com’s Chatter in that it enables users of CRM, ERP and supply chain packages to share information with ‘colleagues’ in order to enhance decision-making.

Brian Byun, VMware’s vice president and general manager of cloud applications, said: “For enterprise collaboration to improve business outcomes, it can’t just be a feature of a single application. Organisations need a new social collaboration fabric across the applications people already work with.”

The tool comes in three editions that are available on-premise or under a Software-as-a-Service delivery model. The basic version is free, while the premium edition, which includes private messaging capabilities and analytics software to help customers understand social interactions between colleagues, costs $3 per user per month for companies with up to 1,000 staff.

The Enterprise Edition, however, is aimed at organisations with more than 200,000 employees and can be used to graft social collaboration functionality onto existing applications. It also enables users to host company-wide, moderated town-hall meetings. Because features vary depending on individual requirements, pricing does too.

Socialcast will be integrated into VMware’s cloud applications division under Byun and all of its staff are expected to move to the new owner. It is currently unclear what role founder and chief executive Tim Young will play, however.

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