June 20, 2012 – Enterprise social software revenue grew by nearly 40 percent last year and, with increased use and expectations, gave little indication of slowing down soon, according to a new market assessment by IDC.

In its new competitive analysis, “Worldwide Enterprise Social Software 2011 Vendor Shares,” the research firm reviewed packaged software sales for social collaboration by users, inside and outside the enterprise firewall, by publicly held vendors from 2009 through February 2012.

Revenue for the enterprise social software market hit $767.4 million in 2011, almost doubling its totals since just 2009, IDC reported.

The recovering economy had some part in this increase, though IDC stated that this level of accelerated revenue shows that more businesses see the value of social software and are building out a social business strategy.

Along with continued expansive market growth, IDC forecasted an increased desire for integrated and embedded social software into all enterprise applications, especially in terms of decision support, ad hoc reports and the creation of in-house social networks. As this use grows, IDC stated it expects evolved features for analyzing social interaction data, as well as the use of software for measuring participation rates and levels of engagement by employees.

“As the use of social software increases, the operational dynamics of a business change. The ripple effect is a change in the nature of business relationships, and organizations will increasingly look to measure this impact,” wrote report authors and IDC researchers Michael Fauscette and Vanessa Thompson.

None of the top 15 enterprise social software vendors experienced less than 30 percent growth in 2011, from the previous year. Smaller vendors and startups comprised approximately 38 percent of the market share, notching a combined $289.4 million in 2011, or 23 percent growth from 2010 to 2011. Traditional software and networking providers, like Oracle and Cisco, were topped by smaller firms in terms of revenue in 2011, though both experienced more than 30-percent year-over-year growth with their nascent enterprise social offerings.

The top 10 enterprise social software vendors in 2011 in terms of revenue are ranked by IDC in terms of revenue (and percentage growth from 2010) below:

  1. IBM -- $105.4 million (75.1 percent)
  2. Jive Software -- $65.3 million (72.8 percent)
  3. Communispace -- $59.8 million (32.6 percent)
  4. Telligent -- $42.7 million (33 percent)
  5. Socialtext -- $34.5 million (33.2 percent)
  6. Mzinga -- $31.7 million (32.1 percent)
  7. Lithium -- $29.5 million (32.9 percent)
  8. Yammer -- $22.3 million (132.3 percent)
  9. NewsGator -- $18.5 million (54.2 percent)
  10. VMware -- $17.6 million (76 percent)