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by Gavin Nathan
So what’s the difference between Social Business Software and an Online Community platform?
I just got asked this question recently at a conference and here’s what I said (rightly or wrongly) and of course open to debate…
"Online community is a place for online interaction between people. Social business software is the combination of an online community with other business processes to create business value."
I think you’ve probably guessed where I’m going with this, Social business software:
1. Encompasses everything an online community does and adds significant new collaboration functionality.
2. Connects online communities with existing business processes and systems like CRM, document management, ecommerce, advertizing etc (interoperability)
3. Enables new social business processes that previously did not exist such as crowdsourcing and whole new businesses e.g. Groupon
4. Creates business value, whereas an online community has less ability to do so.
I’m going to be bold and suggest that if you are looking for a platform to connect an online community with multiple data sources and existing enterprise systems to create new social business processes then there are only two vendors that can help you today. One is Jive and the other is Acquia's Commons. The question then becomes which vendor is more interoperable? Or put another way, which vendor has the most apps and modules to plug in?