Only hours before the first day of the Enterprise 2.0 event in Boston, two of France’s leading software companies announced today that they would be combining social software with traditional business process to create “social innovation”, and help organizations succeed in Enterprise 2.0.
BlueKiwi was created in 2006, and is already the leading European provider of enterprise social software, with an on-demand platform that allows organizations to create secured social networks among employees, partners, and customers, integrating all the standard Web 2.0 services such as wikis, blogs, forums, and tags.
Dassault Systems is one of France’s largest independent software company, and a worldwide leader in product lifecycle management and 3D software (notably CATIA used by Boeing and Airbus to create their airplanes).
The presentation by Carlos Diaz, CEO of blueKiwi, explained that enterprise social software is the fastest-growing software market (24.4% growth according to Gartner), but that alignment with business process is essential for Enterprise 2.0 success:
“Enterprise 2.0 only works if it is part of a business process. It’s great to work in new ways, but it’s not enough. To make it real, it has to be very practical.”
To enable this, the partners are creating a social-enabled, “PLM 2.0” product to help enhance the product innovation cycle:
“Social enterprise software helps the conversations that are an essential part of product innovation. There’s a virtuous circle: a conversation turns into an idea; an idea turns into a product; and when products are used, they start new conversations, that lead to new innovation and new products.”
Dassault CEO Bernard Charlès explained that Dassault will be distributing the product through their sales force worldwide, and is entering into the capital of blueKiwi.
“We’re a satisfied customer of blueKiwi. We have 1,000 users today, and this will be rising to 8 to 10,000 by the end of the year. It’s much more than a tool – the conversation approach has changed the way our salesforce and partners work together”
“We also want to help French startups to be successful, and do everything we can to help them have a worldwide presence.”
In part to help support the new relationship, Diaz also announced that blueKiwi will be opening two offices in the US, in San Francisco, and next to Dassault’s US headquarters in Boston.
The two companies emphasized that blueKiwi would maintain its existing relationships with companies like Microsoft, providing focused social enterprise functionality that can easily be embedded and integrated with other solutions.
What This Means to the Bigger Market
Up until now, the markets for traditional business applications and enterprise 2.0 software have remained largely separate. But if enterprise 2.0 initiatives have to be aligned with business process to be successful, we can expect to see tighter integration and market interaction between existing business application platforms such as SAP’s Netweaver and the vendors of enterprise social software.