As I mentioned in my first post about Jive What Matters, the second big piece of our recent announcements is Jive Apps Market. Jive Apps Market represents a significant breakthrough in how we'll be able to interact with business organizations. Jive Apps Market will function as a gallery of apps, tailored for various industries or business functions. Business users will be able to select and adopt the most innovative and easy to use apps.
The Lost Decade
Tony Uphoff, TechWeb CEO (and one of Jive's premiere customers) calls the last 10 years in technology "the lost decade." Why? Because, let's face it, traditional enterprise software has failed us in many ways. Designers of large, monolithic enterprise application interfaces long ago confused user experience with user interface, and sacrificed elegance as they stuffed screens full of fields. These technologies were engineered with an assembly line mindset, and built for transactional efficiency. But, the reality is that users only need a fraction of the functions from these legacy systems to get most of their jobs done.
While this tendency toward assembly line user interfaces propagated throughout enterprise applications, innovation fled away from the enterprise and toward cloud computing, somewhere around the time of Google's appearance in the marketplace. This fueled the rise of innovative, socially-focused consumer applications that, in the vacuum of enterprise IT innovation, set the bar for user experience.
Eventually, IT turned its attention back to business, trying - and failing - to apply to the enterprise what was going on in the consumer space. They tried to implement concepts such as the freemium concept and pure grass roots adoption tactics, for example. But, the reality is that freemium models and pure grass roots adoption is a great myth, with no companies emerging as the shining victors. Instead, the reward typically seems to be that when your favorite freemium/grass roots applications hit a tipping point, IT rips them out.
The Next Decade
Over the next decade, enterprises must capitalize on the last decade's consumer-driven innovation if they hope to remain competitive in their markets, both for employee talent and for brand mindshare. They must innovate how employees consume enterprise applications and how their suppliers, partners and customers participate in the business processes associated with them.
To fuel this innovation, we're developing a new model with the Jive Apps Market, which brings together the best of both the enterprise and consumer worlds. IT will be able to successfully meet the needs of the enterprise once again, by offering a better user experience with enterprise systems in the context of their social graph. We’ll give the enterprise the controls they need and offer multiple commerce models that can extend all the way to the end users. Our goal is to be a frictionless and more tailored Social Business solution for the enteprise and for the end user. The business apps of the future will be disposable and frequently swapped, and will make use of the enterprise social graph in a way that provides unique insights. Similar to the Jive's Engage Platform, they will span across employees, customers, and the social Web.
We've been excited to see the way that this vision has been embraced by vendors both large and small who are already making commitments to participate. We’re at the beginning of this, but it is clear that great things are ahead.
As the 2.0 platform becomes one of the primary interfaces people interact with, building connections to legacy enterprise applications provides a new lease of life for the investment in legacy architecture. Old style apps can be surfaced in the 2.0 platform as frames in a dashboard, remodelled forms with links to the underlying systems that are made available for data input and workflow inception, or events which are syndicated from transaction applications or knowledge stores to show up in activity streams.