Hot on the heels of the SkyDox merger, Workshare today acquired IdeaPlane, an enterprise social network built specifically for highly regulated industries. The 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 McKinsey report, adopting social technologies offers companies the potential to improve productivity of highly skilled workers by 20-25% and save billions of £pounds from time lost on inefficient communications and information searches. The acquisition enables Workshare to extend this benefit to its customer base and further differentiate its platform.

Built in partnership with one of the world’s largest investment banks and launched earlier this year, IdeaPlane’s customisable social networking platform can be rapidly and securely deployed across regulated organisations. Workshare say 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.

“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 organisation,” said Workshare CEO Anthony Foy. “Our combined platform will allow organisations to monitor, manage and closely control the social network being used within their organisations while facilitating collaboration and the exchange of information and ideas.”

“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 & 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.”

COMMENT: Private Eye magazine has “the curse of Gnome” – here on the Orange Rag we clearly have the opposite effect, “the gift of the Orange glow” maybe? Yes, just one week after we publish an article by IdeaPlane founder & CEO James Fabricant, his company gets acquired by Workshare.

Seriously, it has been the cause of some head-scratching why more mainstream software vendors have not embraced social media-type platforms more enthusiastically. OpenText has dabbled, HighQ Solutions is in there but apart from them, to-date it has been Yammah or nothing. Will Workshare now kick-start the push towards the Facebookization of legal software – or at least create a house-trained version of Facebook suitable for use within the corporate environment? You can read James Fabricant’s original article here…  legaltechnology.com/the-orange-rag-blog/socialmedia-the-potential-in-law-firms/