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NewsGator tunes social collaboration suite for 'Aha!' moments

Social Sites, an enterprise social network add-on for SharePoint, now has stronger brainstorming features

By Juan Carlos Perez, IDG News Service
October 15, 2013 01:05 PM ET

IDG News Service - NewsGator wants its Social Sites add-on for SharePoint to handle companies' innovation cycles with a beefed-up set of capabilities for brainstorming, idea evaluation, concept development and execution.

Social Sites, an enterprise social networking (ESN) product, has an existing "ideation" module that's called Idea Stream and is mainly for brainstorming, but NewsGator released on Tuesday a broader "innovation" edition of the full suite.

With Social Sites for Innovation, NewsGator wants to tap further into the demand for enterprise software that lets companies solicit ideas from employees, collect and manage their contributions and distill the suggestions into concrete plans.

In fact, last month Mindjet, which makes project-based collaboration software, merged with Spigit, which specializes in innovation management, to offer enterprises tools that help from idea creation to completion of projects. Other NewsGator rivals provide various levels of innovation management functionality for their broader ESN suites.

Social Sites for Innovation can be used with on premises and private cloud implementations of SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013.

The product replaces the existing, more limited Idea Stream module, which costs $5 per user per year, according to Jen Keyerleber, senior solutions manager at NewsGator.

"Current customers who own the Idea Stream module are able to expand their innovation process by purchasing the new [Social Sites for Innovation], which accesses of all of their existing ideation campaigns to take advantage of [its] end-to-end innovation capabilities," she said.

Ahead in the roadmap are plans to extend Social Sites for Innovation for use not only internally among employees but also by a company's customers and partners, Keyerleber said.

Social Sites for Innovation can be bought via a subscription or a perpetual license, which are both priced per user. Cost depends on the size of implementations.

For example, a subscription for 5,000 users to Social Sites for Innovation is US$12.50 per user per year, on top of the $17.50 per user per year for the core Social Sites suite, which is required.

Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.

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