"Given that most likely buyers will be the existing customers, social needs to be ingrained at the process level to be successful," said Ray Wang, CEO of Constellation Research, via e-mail. "While Oracle claims that type of integration, the enablement to date seems superficial. On the positive side, Oracle customers will expect enterprise capabilities such as security, scalability, and integration."
OSN is just the latest time Oracle has taken aim at the collaboration market, coming after InterOffice, Oracle Collaboration Suite, and Beehive.
Beehive received a particularly high-profile launch at Oracle's OpenWorld conference in 2008, but since then has seemed to gain little traction in the marketplace.
Some of the product's users recently speculated on its future in an official Oracle forum, questioning whether an expected version 2.1 would ever be released.
An Oracle spokeswoman declined to comment on that prospect.
While not "Beehive in the cloud," OSN does use some of Beehive's technology, Oracle confirmed during the webcast. But officials did not respond to a question posed about whether OSN would supersede Beehive.
Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com.