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SAP Challenges Salesforce With New Social Enterprise Offerings

on Wednesday made a series of announcements intended to establish the company as a major player in the enterprise social software space – and to step up its game against

The key announcement was the release of a new platform, SAP Jam, which combines elements of SAP's existing Jam enterprise social network and StreamWork collaboration software.

Jam includes technology acquired from SAP's December, 2011 acquisition of human capital management vendor SuccessFactors. StreamWork was launched in 2010 as a stand-alone product, although it failed to gain much traction with enterprise customers during that time.

The repositioned SAM Jam platform will be integrated with the company's existing enterprise software, including sales and marketing-focused applications.  It is designed to support social communication and collaboration between sales, marketing and customer service teams, both internally and with customer-facing applications. This will include integrations with SAP's CRM, Sales OnDemand and Financials OnDemand products, although the company said it also wants to sell its social software offerings to non-SAP users.

"Consumers are increasingly connected and informed today and this has transformational implications on how organizations engage with them, serve them and innovate for them," said Sameer Patel, Global Vice President and General Manager, Social Software Solutions, SAP. "Deploying social software in a silo isn't enough. Social software needs to be pervasive across our business applications and our devices, not in social silos, so the best minds can come together where collaboration is needed the most."

A second product, Social OnDemand, is designed to help enterprise marketing teams monitor social media channels, prioritize responses to customer comments and complaints, and route or escalate communications when appropriate. Another new release, SAP Social Media Analytics, will provide measurement and analytics support for companies with heavy data-management needs.

The SAP announcements draw obvious parallels with, which has placed a major emphasis on its own social enterprise software offerings. This includes the Salesforce Marketing Cloud, announced during the Dreamforce 2012 event, which integrates the company's Buddy Media and Radian6 acquisitions.