Socialtext is today announcing a new deployment option, namely Socialtext running on VMWare. The thinking goes that IT departments want to leverage their existing virtualized environments on-premise and hence the perceived need for the Socialtext virtual appliance.
Socialtext was already available either in the cloud or as a hardware appliance, with this new offering it will also be available as a virtual appliance. In fact this shows just how much flexibility Socialtext gives customers – cloud single tenanted, cloud multi-tenanted, physical appliance and now virtual appliance. It’s an interesting play in that Socialtext is singing the praises of the power of social software, and not getting strung up on how that social software is delivered.
Socialtext is in a difficult position – it wants to be seen to be articulating the best approach for its customers, but it also needs to be sufficiently flexible in how those customers consume. Socialtext provides, regardless of how the service is consumed, a fully managed offering – they take care of upgrades for both cloud and on-premise customers, thus removing a potential problematic area in terms of messaging
I kind of get the “offer it in any flavor” approach and I’m sure there’s a demand for all these different deliver methods – I just wish we could simplify things down some.