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@CloudExpo Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Peter Galvin, Sanjay Zalavadia, Pat Romanski

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Workshare Acquires Leading Enterprise Social Network Vendor, IdeaPlane

Workshare, a leading provider of secure enterprise collaboration applications, has acquired IdeaPlane, an enterprise social network built specifically for highly regulated industries. This deal will provide Workshare customers with a complete collaboration and communication solution by integrating IdeaPlane’s easy-to-use, secure and compliant social networking features into Workshare’s collaboration platform.

According to a recent report by McKinsey & Company, adopting social technologies offers companies the potential to improve productivity of highly skilled workers by 20-25% – and save billions of dollars from time lost on inefficient communications and information searches. This acquisition enables Workshare to extend this benefit to its growing customer base and further differentiate its integrated enterprise collaboration platform.

Built in partnership with one of the world’s largest investment banks and launched earlier this year, IdeaPlane’s customizable social networking platform can be rapidly and securely deployed across regulated organizations. IdeaPlane will enhance the Workshare platform with robust social networking features, including status updates; the promotion of important events, news and content; email notifications and the creation of open, closed and secret groups. Enterprise administration features allow companies to comprehensively manage and moderate the network.

According to Gartner, Inc.’s November 2011 report, Market Trends: A New Marketplace Develops in the Enterprise Social Software Market as Convergence Continues Through 2015, “The enterprise social software market is evolving in response to the demand for flexible environments in which participants can connect, create, share, and find people and information relevant to their work. Moreover, established vendors are enhancing their products with improved support for social interactions.”

“The enterprise social network market is projected to be worth more than $6.4 billion by 2016 but is currently served by vendors providing consumer-oriented, open networks that do not prioritize the security and compliance requirements of enterprise organizations. IdeaPlane’s integration into the Workshare product portfolio allows us to meet our customer requirements for ultra-secure social networks that maintain the integrity of data and IP security mandates set by an organization,” said Anthony Foy, CEO of Workshare. “Our combined platform will allow organizations to monitor, manage and closely control the social network being used within their organizations while facilitating collaboration and the exchange of information and ideas.”

“Forrester believes that a new generation of social enterprise apps will finally deliver the productivity businesses desire by systematically grouping and rating people, information, and processes required to answer business needs,” said Henry Dewing, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research, Inc., in a November 2011 report entitled Social Enterprise Apps Redefine Collaboration. “By creating a social layer between information workers and the applications and communications infrastructure, social enterprise apps will overcome the adoption malaise that has affected unified communications and collaboration.”

“This acquisition makes strategic sense for us given both companies’ focus on customers for whom security, compliance and control are paramount,” said James Fabricant, founder and CEO IdeaPlane. “We have a shared vision for the application of social tools in the enterprise and we have platforms that can be integrated into one unified solution to realize that vision."

Over 18,000 organizations across 70 countries rely on Workshare including 98% of AmLaw 200 law firms and 62% of the Fortune 1000.

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Workshare, IdeaPlane, enterprise social network, social network, SkyDox, compliance, privacy, secure collaboration, next-generation collaboration, file sharing, enterprise, IT, business users, security.

About Workshare

Workshare is a leading provider of secure enterprise collaboration applications. The Workshare platform allows individuals to easily create, share and manage high-value content anywhere, on any device. Workshare enhances the efficiency of the collaborative process by enabling content owners to accurately track and compare changes from contributors simultaneously. The integrated Workshare platform also reduces the commercial risk posed by inadvertently sharing confidential or sensitive documents. More than 1.8 million professionals in 70 countries use Workshare’s award-winning desktop, mobile, tablet, and web applications. For more information visit http://www.workshare.com or follow Workshare on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/workshare.

About IdeaPlane

Built in partnership with one of the world’s biggest investment banks, IdeaPlane is an enterprise social network that provides the best of both worlds: easy-to-use social tools combined with enterprise-grade security, compliance and privacy control. Founded by James Fabricant, former MySpace International executive, IdeaPlane helps businesses to use social technology to better communicate, collaborate and share knowledge. For more information, visit www.ideaplane.com.

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