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Any successful software company doesn’t try to “take the hill” alone. Partnerships are critical to growing faster, smarter, and most importantly, delivering the best results for Jive’s customers. We have a ton of talented, creative, intelligent people, but our SBS leadership would not have been possible without our valued partners.


These partnerships can take on many shapes and forms, including:


  • Technology Partners who enable us to extend the capabilities of our product to provide the most feature rich offering on the market.
  • System Integrators who understand Jive’s product thoroughly and deliver successful projects.
  • Agencies and Strategic Consultants who provide Social Business Software guidance and complement our own Strategy Practice.
  • Jive Resellers who have relationships in markets and verticals that expand the reach of our own sales team.
  • OEM Partners who embed Jive within their products to provide their customers with more extensive offerings.
  • Government Experts and International Partners who help us navigate these growing market opportunities.
  • Our Customers, who we have always viewed as our partners,thatleverage their experience in their own domains, as well as their experience with Jive’s products, to create incredible solutions that can be shared with the market.



The best thing about our partners is their approach to servicing customers. I come from an old school consulting background early in my career and many times the approach there is to play defense when attacking a problem. Figuring a way not to fail vs. figuring out a way to do something legendary. One of the greatest things about Jive is working with people who have the desire to be legendary. Our partners share that approach.



I always tell customers and partners from the outset that no relationship is perfect all the time…just ask Mrs. Brown. It’s about being able to work together, to disagree and work through that disagreement, to realize it’s not about winning, but about winning together for mutual success, that really produces those legendary results.



There are too many partners worthy of recognition to single them out here by name -- I would be fearful of an oversight and thus not giving them their deserved credit. Going forward I will blog here about specific examples of our partners accomplishments and the success stories they have created. In the meantime, here is a list of recent news about our partnerships.



Suffice to say, we appreciate and value our partner ecosystem and look forward to growing those relationships and developing others.


Jive Partners truly rock!

The last few weeks have been pretty exciting for Jive.  We received a lot of very positive press and analyst coverage around our announcement of Jive SBS 3.0, including ZDNet, CNET, VentureBeat, Aberdeen Group, and many more.  There was also a tremendous amount of chatter in the Twittersphere.  Much of the Twitter chatter has been trying to make sense of how our historical products Clearspace & Clearspace Community fit into the Jive SBS 3.0 paradigm:






The History of Clearspace & Clearspace Community


For those of you familiar with our products, Clearspace was launched in February 2007 as one of the first fully integrated social suites addressing the needs of employee communities.  Clearspace Community was launched in May of the same year and focused on Customer & Partner communities outside of the firewall.  Jive was the only company who recognized from the beginning that addressing the needs of social software for the enterprise had to include employees, customer, and partners.



Two years later we’ve had some tremendous success with these products and added well over 600 customers to our already substantial customer base with global brands usch as Intel, Nike, CNN iReport, United Business Media, SAP, and NetApp. We’ve seen strong uptake in almost every vertical including finance, manufacturing, retail, technology, government, education, and services.  The most interesting thing is that some of our earliest customers now have tens of communities, and over a quarter of them have more than 2 communities.  As you might imagine this has created the strong desire to unify the user experience across these communities, and subjects like federation and bridging have become very common place, but I will dive into that topic in a future blog.


The Foundation of Social Business Software



If you took all of the product that we have sold to date, it would fit into the blue layer of the Jive SBS architecture pictured above.  Clearspace is now referred to as an Employee Marketplace.  And a Clearspace Community instance is called a Public Marketplace.  These Employee & Public Marketplaces are now collectively referred to as Jive Foundation.  Why?  Because they are the foundation on top of which we deliver our solution-focused Modules and Centers.  In order to purchase a Module or a Center you must have at least one foundational product in place.  This social layer is extremely important, provides a tremendous amount of value in its own right, and ultimately is what distinguishes Social Business Software from the more transaction and process oriented enterprise software that has become so familiar.  But, it is applying the power of social software to specific, understood challenges in the enterprise that provides hard ROI and clear value--this is where the introduction of the Centers truly changes the game.



But Wait! I’ve Got Questions!




You’re not alone.  As with any transformation there is a lot of change, and change can be confusing.  Here are the questions I’ve been getting most often over the last couple of weeks:


  • With the introduction of modules, are you removing functionality from the Foundation?

    Absolutely not.  An example would be the analytics dashboard related to basic user information and system information in the Admin Console of the Foundation products.  The addition of the powerful social analytics in our Analytics & Insight modules will complement these views and information, and not be redundant or conflict with them in any way.  Nothing is being removed from the Foundation or any of the products that our customers currently have in place.


  • With the addition of so many new offerings does that mean you are going to put the Foundation products into maintenance mode?

    Definitely not.  Jive has product management and engineering resource focused exclusively to the Foundation.  We intend to improve upon our leadership position in terms of social capabilities.  In fact, we intend to move more aggressively here than ever before.  Over the next several releases you will see us continue to unify the different modes of social communication into a single usable experience.  There will see dramatic improvements and innovation around social discovery, noise reduction, and actionability.  The Foundation will continue to be a critical part of our roadmap and strategy going forward.

  • Is Jive SBS just Clearspace with a new name?

    Hopefully the answer to this is now clear.  Clearspace is now an Employee Marketplace that is part of Jive Foundation, which is one layer of the Jive SBS architecture.  Modules and Centers are new offerings that are additional to the foundation products and dependent on at least one of the Marketplaces being in place.

  • I really like the Clearspace name and logo.  Why did they have to go?

    Before answering this, I will say that we love them too.  Spark, Forums, Clearspace, and Clearspace Community all had fantastic names & logos.  I’ve often joked that there are startups that would kill for names and branding as good as these products.  But, change is a natural part of growth and maturity, and worked very well for Jive at one time is no longer as good of a fit.

    For those of you in the enterprise software space, you know that it is very difficult to build and develop more than one brand.  When I go into our customers they collectively refer to our software as “Jive” no matter which products they are using.  (Even if it is our older Forums product.)  More importantly, these product brands were not helping our customers and prospects conceptualize the solution that Jive brings to market with our Social Business Software focus.  While there is a firm belief that this is the right decision for Jive and our customers, we’ll always have a nostalgic place in our hearts for the Clearspace name.



The Best is Still Ahead


We’re really excited about our new direction with Jive Social Business Software, and there is a lot more to talk about.  Dave started laying out some of what the Modules and Centers are going to mean to our customers in his blog post (  I hope to go a bit deeper in some follow-on posts.  Admittedly, it is early and the cynical may dismiss this move as pure marketing or hand waving.  But, I’m willing to predict that the skeptics will fall silent over time.  The module offerings were strongly pulled by our customers and will have an incredible amount of uptake.  Our solution focused Centers strategy was not created on a whiteboard, but from a deep assessment of the way our customers are actually using our products.  All we are doing is making their experience easier, cleaner, and more powerful by productizing and packaging our software in a way that provides clear solutions to large business problems.

Changes at Jive

Posted by djhersh Mar 24, 2009

So far, 2009 has been the best year for Jive that I can remember. Our launch of Jive SBS 3.0 was hugely successful, the product has a huge and compelling set of features, and SBS as a category ( is expanding faster than we imagined. Every member of the Jive team has pulled more than their weight the past few months and it's been a joy to work with such a solid team. It's also clear that we're on the other side of a big company transition -- what I like to think of as going from a ‘big small company’ to a ‘small big company’. It's exactly what we needed to go through as an organization, but with this transition comes change.  And one of the tougher transitions for me will be saying goodbye to our Chief Marketing Officer, Sam Lawrence, who is leaving Jive at the end of this month.


Sam is a great friend and a great marketer. He was an instrumental part of moving this company from a small technology vendor to the category leader - from the initial Clearspace direction to developing creative ways to evangelize this new space.


I am going to miss Sam - not just what he's done for Jive, but who he is. His sense of humor and loyalty are unmatched. He has helped in making Jive's first chapter memorable and enjoyable. I'll let Sam talk about what's next for him on his blog, but he'll rock it for sure.


In the meantime, Jive is actively refilling the CMO position and will make an announcement once it is filled.

I've spent a healthy portion of the last month on the road talking to analysts and press about our new release, and it's been one of the most thoroughly enjoyable times I've had as a CEO. Not only is the release packed full of amazing things to talk about, but it's also clear that our vision is closely aligned to that of the analysts and the press, and that this vision is playing out daily with our customers.


The Backdrop




Since we started Jive, we've watched as social computing has changed the lives of over a billion individuals. And we have pushed hard on bringing this revolution to the workplace. And in the last few years, we have seen first-hand how Social Business Software (SBS) can create a marketplace of ideas where people, projects and priorities come together to harness everybody's knowledge, ability and creativity to produce a new asset called social capital. And we have seen how it can create breakthrough returns in the process.



For our customers, SBS is the new enterprise category. The enterprise has been devoid of a new application category since CRM, and they see the advent of social software as the biggest change to happen to the enterprise in fifteen years. It's now spanning every major vertical and the visionary leaders are seeing the gains that can be made by opening up collaboration and focusing on the people. This is especially true in a downturn, where throwing more money at business process software is not going to lead to huge value increases -- you have to look to the areas where there is the most to gain, the white spaces in a company: the people.


Right now, it's too hard, takes too long and costs too much. People spend twenty hours a week managing emails or stuck in meetings. For the company that wants to show huge changes in the input/output equation, you have to think big. You have to think about changing the way you work. The smart companies are already doing it, and they're already seeing the results.



Introducing Jive SBS






What's Important:



1. The Four Centers: The biggest change for the company as a whole is a complete reorganization of our go-to-market strategy around business value -- what we call the four "Centers". Having seen what works and what doesn't, we chose to align ourselves with the transformational business outcomes we know we can produce, and the full sales & services team / product / partnerships and vision to ensure we make our customers successful.


  • Employee Engagement: Allows employees to get their heads above their cubicles (metaphorically) to see that they are part of a much bigger network of people, and to use this network to dramatically improve their productivity by accessing the best ideas and resources across the entire organization.
  • Marketing & Sales: Creates awareness, builds leads and maintains a deep and meaningful conversation with customers, and allows sales and marketing organizations to share information, news and connections quickly and easily.
  • Innovation / R&D: Allows inovation teams to solicit and evaluate ideas and opportunities from customers, partners and employees and reduce time to market dramatically.
  • Support: Improves the quality and speed of support agent response by providing a turnkey way to access, monitor, archive and connect the appropriate internal or external expertise with the issue at hand.



2. Bridging: Early on we made a strategic decision that customers, partners and employees all needed to be part of SBS -- just focusing on customer communities or behind-the-firewall employee collaboration was a not a long term solution, and our customers (very vocally) backed this up. The power of SBS is that it leverages the collective power of a huge group of people. And in this era, the successful companies are ones that can facilitate that "big conversation" and produce the best decisions and outcomes, which requires including your customers and partners. In this release we our thrilled to have our first push at bridging the gap between different communities, allowing employees to see what customers are saying and to start building a deeper relationship with them.



3. Analytics and Insights: Measuring the success of SBS rollouts is critical. This latest release not only offers an incredibly rich analytics module with out of the box reports and a full data warehouse solution to drive the metrics that matter most to your business, but also a full Insights module that reports on the sentiment and engagement of your marketplace (and even other outside public communities). You can think of it like this: the Analytics module measures what people are doing, the Insights piece manages what they are thinking.



The Insights module is done through a partnership with Networked Insights and is a very powerful tool. You have to check out a demo if you have a chance.



4. Video: Essentially a YouTube for your SBS rollout, the video module allows all the main video formats to be quickly uploaded and available as a first class content type, with all the security, performance and scaling the enterprise needs.


5. Bookmarking: Track what's important through social filtering of content.



What about Clearspace?




Clearspace as a product is fully represented in the Foundation layer above. The core product and architecture has largely remained the same, but we have removed the name Clearspace. Ultimately it was creating brand confusion with the name Jive, and we had to make the call. As much as we loved the name, we had to move on to the next stage of our development as a product and a company.



Now Business is Social



We have put a ton of work into this release and we couldn't be more thrilled. SBS is growing up quickly, and it's proving to be what companies need in this time of uncertainty. Please join us for a live webcast with Nike, Cisco, and Forrester to see how SBSis changing the way work gets done in the enterprise.

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