Summary:

Tibbr takes a slightly different approach than the current crop of enterprise social networking tools: not only does it allow employees of a company to connect with one another, it also allows them to subscribe to information and events generated by their enterprise IT systems.

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Over the past few years, businesses have started realizing the value of social networking as a way to keep their employees in the loop and to help them collaborate, particularly as more employees now work remotely. There’s been a proliferation of new enterprise social networking tools, like Socialtext, Yammer and Salesforce Chatter to capitalize on the demand. The latest addition to this highly competitive space is infrastructure software company TIBCO‘s new offering, tibbr, which launched today. TIBCO feels the current crop of enterprise social tools are one-dimensional, in that they only focus on interactions between people, so tibbr takes a slightly different approach: Not only does it allow employees of a company to connect with one another, and with suppliers, customers and partners, it also allows them to subscribe to and interact with information and events generated by enterprise IT systems.

Tibbr allows users to create and subscribe to hierarchical “subject streams,” which can be as general or as specific and granular as the user likes. Users can add business process updates to their streams from various enterprise systems, such as Salesforce, Oracle, SAP and IBM via an App Store-like interface. A user, can, for example, follow the status of an invoice through tibbr, or check the status of purchase orders from within the app, then discuss those updates with dues. Users can also connect to external consumer apps such as Google Alerts, Facebook and LinkedIn. (Admins can make these integrations one-way or switch them off entirely if they prefer.) There’s also a choice of “Utility” streams, which enable users to subscribe to feeds such such as FedEx or UPS tracking. Mobile apps ensure that users can keep in touch wherever they are, and for particularly critical updates, they can also set up configurable SMS and email alerts to keep tabs on a particular subject or person.

Tibbr shows a lot of promise as an enterprise-friendly solution for businesses to cut down on the deluge of data overwhelming many users, particularly as it provides a very simple way to keep tabs on (and collaborate around) many streams of business data from just one social interface. It should be pretty easy for users to grasp, too, even for less tech-savvy folks, as the interface is very similar to Facebook’s.

Tibbr is available as an on-premise or off-premise solution; pricing starts at $12/user/month, with volume discounts available. It’s available on the web, and as a native application for iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry and Android.

How could social networking tools like tibbr change the enterprise?

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