Webtrends SharePoint partnership brings analytics to SharePoint social experience

Webtrends, the web and social analytics firm, announced new tools this week to enhance its partnership with Microsoft SharePoint around analytics, especially tools to measure the impact of SharePoint's social tools on the enterprise.

Jeff Seacrist, VP of partner solutions at Webtrends, says the partnership started about 18 months ago and they have since become a preferred partner, which means that Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) recommends them to customers who are looking for an analytics solution.

As part of the SharePoint 2012 Conference this week in Las Vegas, Webtrends announced some new analytics tools that help SharePoint customers better understand the use of SharePoint, especially from a social perspective, across the enterprise.

Among the new tools are heat maps, which allow you visualize where social tools are being used the most, and deeper level social analytics that let you see how deeply SharePoint social tools are being used at the department, office, geography and manager level, and let you identify those users who are leading the adoption curve. In addition, there are tools to measure use across SharePoint community sites and even within Office 365, Microsoft's cloud offering for Office and SharePoint. 

Seacrist explained that social adoption tends to follow a typical maturity curve as users get comfortable with the tools. They may move from simply creating a profile to becoming an active collaborator and consumer of social information. "The value and ROI that organizations can realize from measuring the social enterprise and enhancing productivity is an incredible and largely untapped resource," Seacrist said.

Seacrist noted that understanding adoption is important to many SharePoint customers and says, "We help justify the effectiveness of what people are rolling out. He adds, "Most successful companies think about this up front when they create a new initiative. How will we know this is successful?" He says it's best to think of those highest level business objectives first, then work your way down to create a business objective strategy.

In addition to this announcement, Webtrends also announced a partnership with NewsGator to provide social analytics for the NewsGator enterprise social tool.

Webtrends is probably best known for being one of the earliest web analytics companies back in the 90s. Today, they also provide tools for digital marketers to better understand how people are interacting with their sites and the social world.

These types of tools allow companies to quantify the social experience, to see in where there is enthusiasm and where a department or division might be reluctant to jump in. While the real value of the social enterprise--such as fostering innovation and identifying experts--is hard to quantify, there are ways to measure adoption and tools--like the ones that Webtrends is offering. This can help companies understand the extent of that social engagement, and where it is taking off (and where it's not).

For more information,
- see the Webtrends SharePoint press release
- see the Webtrends NewsGator partnership press release

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