I've read many analyst reports around social software. Just like other collaboration technologies, most analyst advise customer to go with the well known and established vendors like IBM, Microsoft, BEA, Cisco, etc. I agree with that as these vendors are typically the companies that can survive the bumps and bruises the economy can put on technology companies. Especially with technology changing so much it adds to the risk of choosing a vendor that may not be around in 5, 10, 15 years.
I posted a blog entry almost a year ago when I was doing some competitive research around Lotus Connections. The same still holds true today. The top vendors in social software are still the well known and established vendors and IBM is still leading the pack. There has been much publicity lately as Lotus Connections went head-to-head at Enterprise 2.0 with the closest competitor Microsoft Sharepoint. We were the clear winner and still #1 with social software.
Read more about it here.
"IBM was the clear winner across the board."
Mike Gotta, E 2.0 Conference: Social Computing Platforms, June 19, 2008, Collaborative Thinking Blog