Social Collaboration Vendor Telligent Acquires Leverage Software

December 19, 2011

Today Telligent announced that it will acquire fellow enterprise social networking company Leverage Software. Details of the deal were not disclosed.

The companies seem like a good fit. It appears that rather than trying to make up for some missing element of its offering, Telligent is picking up Leverage to enhance its existing strengths. Like Jive Software, both Telligent and Leverage had an early focus on external communities but have had success turning their software to the other side of the firewall. Also, both Telligent and Leverage have focused on building analytics capabilities, allowing customers to learn more about the softwares’ users. Both offer their product as cloud services.

“Both Telligent and Leverage share a similar business culture around devotion to customer success, and both are built on Microsoft technology. Our respective customers will reap the benefits of our shared services, talent and technology,” Leverage founder Joe Kleinschmidt was quoted in Telligent’s announcement. Kleinschmidt will join Telligent as Vice President of Cloud Products.

In the social collaboration world you hear a lot about product from big, established companies like IBM Lotus Connections from IBM and Microsoft SharePoint and about new up-and-comers like Yammer and Podio. It can be easier to forget companies that have been around for years but don’t have names like Oracle or Cisco. Jive has kept in the headlines lately because of its IPO, but companies like Telligent and Socialtext can slip through the cracks. But these companies are part of a middle ground in between new vendors like Convofy and old, large companies like SAP. We’ve been talking about the race to the middle, and Telligent is a great example of a company in this area.

In the big data market, we’ve seen this race play out in the past 18 or so months. On one side you have the old database vendors like Oracle and IBM. On the other you have NoSQL vendors like 10gen and Couchbase. In the middle you had columnar database vendors like Netezza, Sybase, Vertica and Greenplum. Virtually all of the major columnar database companies have been acquired by large vendors. One exception is AsterData, which was acquired by fellow columnar database vendor Teradata.

We’re also starting to see a similar scenario play out in other enterprise software categories with the acquisitions of RightNow and SuccessFactors. With the success of Jive’s IPO last week, I expect to see more social collaboration companies getting snapped up. Keep an eye on Telligent, Socialtext, Newsgator and Saba – and watch for a few more IPOs in 2012.