Social Enterprise Wars: Socialtext Goes After Yammer With Free Migration Tool

Let the social enterprise software wars begin. Socialtext, which offers an enterprise social software platform built around microblogging, is going after competitor Yammer today with a new free migration tool that allows Yammer users to move to Socialtext.

The free tool allows users to move from Yammer to Socialtext, and to use the social platform for businesses at a discounted rate. Customers who have a free instance of Yammer with more than 100 users can switch to Socialtext Signals, and get a hosted or on-premise microblogging appliance to suit their needs.

Socialtext’s CEO Eugene Lee says that the tool was launched because a “number” of potential clients complained to the company about having to pay Yammer to control the data within their network and to manage users. Lee claims that Socialtext offers a more secure offering, that allows users to put their data behind a firewall with no extra cost.

It’s unclear if Yammer is really as “unsecure” as Socialtext proclaims the platform to be. Yammer seems to be doing fine as a company, recently raising $25 million in new funding and hitting the 1.5 million user mark. Socialtext, which declined to name its exact number of individual users, said that there are currently 6,500 companies using its social software.

One thing is clear from this announcement—Yammer may be the one to beat in the social enterprise world. There are a number of competitors in the space, yet Socialtext targeted Yammer as opposed to Salesforce’s Chatter, Socialcast, Jive, Bantam Live, Success Factors’ CubeTree and others. Socialtext has not released a migration tool for any other service and doesn’t appear to be releasing any other tools in the immediate future. The fact is that Yammer is growing fast and competitors are using aggressive tactics to gain (and retain) users.

Of course, Yammer is using its own aggressive tactics as well—the company just put up a large billboard in the SOMA neighborhood of San Francisco advertising its social platform for businesses.