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This article was published on May 18, 2010

Outlook Made Social with Socialwok

Outlook Made Social with Socialwok
Mike Brevoort
Story by

Mike Brevoort

Mike Brevoort is a software developer living in Denver, Colorado. Follow him on Twitter. Mike Brevoort is a software developer living in Denver, Colorado. Follow him on Twitter.

Socialwok has released a new plugin for Microsoft Outlook called the Socialwok Outlook Social Connector. It lets Outlook users view a sender’s Socialwok activity stream along side of a received email message and see their Socialwok network contacts email addresses, profile details and photos in an Outlook Contacts folder.
Here’s a short demonstration video by Socialwok:

Socialwok is a cloud based collaboration and microblogging platform that up until now has focused exclusively on Google Apps customers, positioned as the missing social layer of the Google Apps productivity suite. The service runs on Google App Engine and is one of the top rated and featured apps in the Google Apps Marketplace. They were theTechCrunch TC50 Demopit winner last year. They were just featured on the Google Code blog leading up to Google I/O.

Here’s what Ming Yong, Socialwok CEO, said about this new feature and their new partnership with Microsoft : “This Socialwok Outlook Social Connector for Microsoft Outlook marks only the very first step in what we plan to do with the Microsoft Office platform both on the desktop as wel as in the cloud. Microsoft Office 2010 also includes the release of Microsoft Office Web Apps. We see Microsoft becoming a dominant player in the cloud based Office Productivity space. By working closely with Microsoft, my company aims to realize our vision of being the largest business social collaboration network for cloud based office productivity in the world.”, says Ming Yong, Socialwok CEO.

Social Context Email Integration

Integration of social context into email is a growing trend. For example the new social CRM Gmail plugin Rapportive, other Outlook Social Connectors for LinkedIn, Facebook and MySpaceSocialcast’s Outlook integration and Gist.

Strategic Differences and Similarities

Ming goes on to say “Socialwok is committed to bringing the power of social networking technologies like passive sharing to small and medium-size businesses (SMBs). There are many SMBs on the Microsoft Office platform already using Microsoft Outlook for everyday messaging.”

As Socialwok seems to be targeting small and medium sized businesses, Socialcast is focused on large enterprisesand Yammer’s per user pricing (with volume discounts) seems indiscriminate of size. Both Socialwok and Yammer are exclusively committed to SaaS while Socialcast offers behind the firewall options. Yammer and Socialwok are creating ways to collaborate with people external to their community networks (see Yammer Communities) while Socialcast seems less focused with the external user use case. Amongst the pure play activity steam/microblogging platforms there are a multitude of hybrids and all-in-ones competing in this quickly evolving space (aka E2.0) as well. Much has changed in six months since I compared the various enterprise microblogging platforms!

More News To Come

With Google I/O happening this week, I expect more big news to emerge from Socialwok including a new premium service level and two way integration with embedded Socialwok feeds in public facing websites. I’ll be in San Francisco this week to report this and other news that unfolds at Google I/O. Hit me up on Twitter if you’re there and want to connect!

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