July 19, 2012 – Becoming far more than a LinkedIn profile or chat tool, enterprise social capabilities will drive a new generation of collaboration expectations, business upgrades and vendor acquisitions, according to Corum Group.

In a review of tech industry trends and acquisitions over the first half of 2012, the transaction specialty firm also presented a playbook of expectations it has for the rest of the year. Much the conversation from analysts focused on the impact of social networks and capabilities of enterprise applications. The meteoric rise of social network and tool providers at the enterprise level will truly take hold through the rest of the year and into 2013, Corum predicted. Corum SVP Jon Scott said that corporations are embracing these social aspects for in-house applications and legacy systems to create the “next generation of business applications.”

“Think about a generation used to using tools on Facebook … entering the work environment,” Scott said.

The vendor landscape for those social tools has already registered some high-profile deals at the start of 2012, including Microsoft’s buy of Yammer and other acquisitions by Oracle and Salesforce.com. And this has given another boost to the already hot SaaS market, which is becoming particularly entrenched at the enterprise level with offerings in the human capital management and HR space.

In other expectations for the rest of 2012, Corum CEO Bruce Milne said that additional, headline-grabbing cloud outages like those recently at Amazon could lead to hesitation over deployments or even a few outright returns to in-house data centers. On the vendor-side, Corum anticipates fluctuations to continue at HP with the possibility of spin offs for some of its operating divisions, and revived interest and growth at Microsoft from Windows and Office revamps.

During the first six months of 2012, Corum counted 1,789 mergers and acquisitions, down slightly compared with the first half of 2011. Transactions through June 2012 consisted of 19 “mega deals” that registered in the upper millions and even billions of dollars, with Cisco’s $5 billion buy of video and content provider NDS Group reigning as the largest. Even though 2012 numbers are down so far, Corum analysts said Thursday they are holding with expectations of about 2,000 deals valued at year-end total of $250 billion, both increases from 2011.

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