Rafat reported, and Fred posted about Austin Ventures‘ new $50 million roll-up fund focused on Corporate Social Networking and Services. The title of Fred’s post was "Is Social Enterprise Software an Oxymoron?" That’s a great question. My view has been that what people call Enterprise 2.0 is really cheaper, easier-to-deploy and more effective knowledge management tools. The challenge in building a business around this is that, as Fred suggests, most social software that is successful in the consumer space couldn’t survive in the enterprise and, there are already a bunch of (very inexpensive) products that meet most of the knowledge management 2.0 needs: Jotspot, SocialText, LinkedIn, salesforce, and so on. What we’ve found most recently is a rebirth of Microsoft’s Sharepoint in a number of financial institutions and professional service firms. But even with all the tools, it’s often tough to get employees to share effectively within an enterprise, and sharing = social.
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