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Social Business Software VS. Online Community platform?

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?


Posted on by yeti bib.

This is an excellent article. In a nutshell it holds up good and valid differences. From a practical view of what is happening in the real world there is somewhat merging and overlap between the two, if you look at FB with its 750 million users, the way ads are served, the amount of business and ecommerce is done. At its basic level FB is fun, social conneection and friends (and even some amount of a sort of dating) while at a deep level a massive amount of user data mining, user trending and a successful ecommerce, that is thriving more and more daily.

Can any php (or RoR, python, perl, asp etc) solution come up at least featurewise with FB ? Probably no. The hugely successful Apps or Gadgets (Google plus also added those recently) are crowd puller and gives a sticky crowd - this is just absent in the php or other free or commercial solutions in a in-built integrated smooth and no-hassles manner (except phpfox, perhaps). The php solutions also lacks seriously the ways how one user can built up his list of friends/follows/contacts, how he can import them, and how he is suggested whom to add. These lists or circles in turn helps ecommerce. Something like +1 or Like is completely lacking. Drupal's Drigg had a halfbaked thing like this but it was killed.

I think it is not just Jives but there are nicely available packages that have ecommerce and collaboration tools that can be seamlessly plugged into them like

Wordpress-Buddypress with ecommerce
Elgg with ecommerce and social business modules
Dolphin Boonex with ecomm and White Board for collaboration
Joomla with Jomsocial and ecomm packages
And paid scripts like phpfox, dzoic, socialengine etc

The forum giants VBB and Invison board has also made available social solutions along with their integrability into ecomm and social business solution.

However no such site can talk to each other. In a way email does - you can be yahoo mail user and still add hotmail contacts and write to hotmail user without owning a hotmail account. Social solutions still do not offer this interoperability. Though Diaspora and Appleseed claim to be offering this or on the way to offer this.

Coming back to the original question I don't think Jive will be ever be in my or many people's choice list, infact many small to medium operators haven't even heard its name.

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