If you measure the social activity inside enterprise-class networks, it may look like LinkedIn has a lock on the market. But if you study how employees actually connect with each other every day, Facebook is almost always the platform of choice. But because it's not really geared for businesses, it may be vulnerable to services that address needs tied specifically to the workplace. And SAP - of all companies - feels it may have the keys to the enterprise social space, including a supremely fast database and a way for employees to maintain a social profile based on her or his talents.
"The cloud is the ultimate fabric where all the data resides," says Dinesh Sharma, SAP's vice president for cloud marketing, speaking with ReadWriteWeb, "whether it's data we own, or aggregations of data from other places that all come together through Web APIs - that drives a volume of data. You have access to it, and because applications are so easy to consume, it's a perfect fit for the real-time insights that HANA can produce."
Photo of Syracuse University campus by Scott Fulton