May 10, 2011, 12:54 PM — The announcement early last week (May 2nd) of Salesforce.com's completion of the acquisition of social media analytics company, Radian6, stirred some thoughts I've had on the long term trajectory of socialytics and social CRM. I gave my overview of what I thought this acquisition meant when Salesforce.com announced its intent to purchase Radian6. (See it here) Since Salesforce.com hasn't been at liberty to divulge specific plans or to begin work with Radian6, details are still to come.
Fundamentally, this acquisition is about opportunity for Salesforce.com. Salesforce.com is committed to what it calls Cloud 2. Essentially, that includes all things that can be enabled through a cloud-based construct with the latest components being social media and social networking. Salesforce.com's Chatter was the company's first big splash in this area. The company's commitment to the space is evidenced by the compelling price points for that product including Chatter Free. The acquisition of Radian6 allows Salesforce.com to move rapidly ahead in the ability to support social media analytics, what IDC calls socialytics, in its CRM product, its social product and within the broader platform.
What I want to talk about now is not the functional capabilities that the socialytics bring to the product set but what it means to Salesforce.com users in terms of social strategies within their organizations. CRM and social media have a commonality when it comes to success – strategy and its cousin, process. Radian6 gets the importance of strategy. It was very much a focus at Radian6's first user event, Social 2011, just a month ago. With Salesforce.com, it will now be able to bring process to the table.
The first thing that jumped out at Social 2011 was that it was about the practitioners and strategy and secondarily about the technology, which I found refreshing for a technology event. It was clear in the programming that this event was focused on getting the job done and not features and functions. In his keynote, Paul Greenberg, noted CRM author, got straight to the point; technology must lead to business outcomes. Yes, there were product announcements that pleased the audience, but the days never got lost in the bits and bytes.