Gist, which today announced it raised another $4 million.The social enterprise space continues to gain acceptance. After years of promise, the market seems to be truly hitting its stride. This is best represented by the continued funding of social enterprise services such as
A catalyst for this new energy has to be how it's working together with cloud computing, which is fueling apps and ecosystems that provide a fertile place for SaaS services to grow and build their subscription base. Demand is increasing for these services as many enterprises continue to find ways to drive efficiency and optimize returns. The way to do that is through cloud-based services that leverage Web-oriented architectures and offer affordable subscription-based services.
Gist represents this trend. The Seattle-based company offers a contact management system that organizes contacts across platforms such as email and social networks and lets you see that information using a dashboard environment.
Gist competes with services such as Batchbook and Etacts. We mentioned these companies yesterday in a post about the crossover between collaboration and CRM services. All of these companies are part of the Google Apps Marketplace, which is serving as a community for apps to gain a foothold in the market. We've heard off the record that the company is using Capsule CRM, a service with a focus on project collaboration. It's unconfirmed, but it shows that Google Apps customers are taking advantage of the marketplace.
Gist also has a partnership with IBM Lotus Notes, again showing how SaaS providers can leverage the strength of established heavyweights.
More proof comes from Atlassian , which recently raised $60 million form Accel Partners. The Google Apps Marketplace is becoming one of its most important channels for selling its services.
Jive Software is a bit different. it just raised $30 million and is moving toward an IPO. Jive is competing more directly with Google and Microsoft, though the company integrates with Sharepoint and is also in the Google Apps Marketplace. Jive is seeking to build its own apps marketplace. It is launching an open API in the Fall.
The $4 million round for Gist came from Paul Allen's Vulcan Capital and the Foundry Group out of Boulder Colorado. Gist previously received $6.75 million in May of last year.
All of these companies have the flexibility of leveraging the vast infrastructure that has been built for the purpose of serving applications. The cloud is the catalyst and will continue to serve as fertile ground for social technologies in the enterprise.