One of the best things that can happen in a product professional's career is when a customer tells you that your product strategy is "game  changing."  In our case, this happened when we shared the plans for Jive 5.0 with an executive from one of the largest brands in our customer  base. I've spent the last week sharing our vision for Social Business Software with analysts and customers on both coasts, and gotten feedback that Jive is ambitiously leading & defining our space.


Basically, our announcement yesterday boils down to two very big pieces of product vision: 1) Jive What Matters; and 2) Jive Apps Market, in addition to partnerships with Google, Twitter, CSC and Dachis.


I plan to write about the product portion of the news in two separate posts, as I want to discuss the trends we're seeing and the significance of our announcement in more detail. Today, I'll start with Product Announcement #1, Jive What Matters.


Jive What Matters


Three years  ago when I joined Jive, Social Business Software was reasonably  undefined. Most of the customers I spoke to weren't even on Facebook and  had no point of reference. When I explained Jive to them they wondered  if it was like Outlook or Lotus Notes. Fast forward to today and much  has changed. Customers spend significant amounts of time on social  software in both their personal and professional lives. They jump among  many social platforms and manage a lot of different interfaces. And,  they have gone beyond just connecting with people – they are starting to  connect in enterprise systems as well.


This is great! Sort of. It  turns out social software is a bit of a victim of its own success. It does exactly what it is good at, which is bring things to your attention. That means when you are in a 50,000 person company with CRM,  ERP, and supply chain systems all chiming in updates, it can get  noisy—really noisy. It also highlights an early arrogance of Social  Business Software vendors (Jive included): that social is a place you go  to. That made sense when most people didn’t go anywhere, but now that  many are keeping up with five or more social sites and platforms it is a  lot to juggle. I like to say that the space needs to become  less "place centric" and more "user (or you) centric." Everything you need, or at least everything that matters, should find you. And that is what we did when we created Jive What Matters.


Jive What  Matters gives you everything you need to know, see, and do all in one  place. Jive What Matters is built on top of two powerful technologies  that strip out the noise and put in the smarts. Let’s talk about the  technology first. Jive has integrated into its platform a powerful  recommendation engine we call Jive Genius, and combined  it with filtering technology to cut through the chatter of other  systems. How do we do it? Well, social software knows more about its  users than any other system that has come before. Who you are, who you  are connected to on the employee social network, where you sit in the org chart, what you read, what you write, what you liked,  what kind of ideas you have, even when/how you access the system.  Software that knows this much about you should be able to make your life better by only showing you things worthy of your attention. I believe  that any vendor that wishes to stay relevant in this space will need to  do the same and it will need to WORK!


"Now" is Jive’s modern  version of the activity stream. It hones in on exactly what you  need to know to do your job more effectively. Everything it shows you is highly relevant and contextualized. Whether it is keeping you up on the most interesting things that are happening right this second, or  making sure you know everything that exists around something you’re working on. Like a helpful friend who suggests someone you  should speak with, a document you should read, or that piece of  news that is going to save you a few days of wasted work.




"My Communication" organizes all of the social communication in your world; and  there is starting to be a lot! Instant messages, replies to your last  blog post, direct messages, micro-blogs, documents, blogs, discsussions  that mention you, alerts from your social media monitoring tools - all of these frequently have the  expectation that you will see them. However, more often than not they  get lost in the mix. My Communciation not only gives you a powerful way to manage all of this in an intuitive interface, but we decided to take  it one step further. We realized that work patterns have  dramatically changed. No one has an hour at the end of their  day to clean out their inbox. Windows of time come in short  bursts, so we created what we affectionately call the "5 minute" button.  If you only had 5 minutes to get through a bunch of communication, wouldn’t you want the system to pull the most important things to the  top? It sure beats the scan, scroll, and hope strategy!


The  third Jive What Matter feature is “My Actions.” As more systems  get pulled into Jive and create updates in the activity stream, it didn’t seem very smart to make people jump to those systems to do simple  tasks. Especially when standards are starting to make much more  powerful things possible. Similar to the task list in Outlook—but smart!  Outlook is literally a list of things to be checked off that  you need to do somewhere else. Helpful from an organizational  perspective, but surely we’ve come further than this in the last 20  years. Our idea is that we should be able to pull that other system to  you. You should be able to view that expense and approve it with a  click, while the system brokers authentication behind the scenes. Same  with documents. Click a button and send them on their way in a workflow  in another system. We think this is the way that all systems should  begin working with each other so that users can get work done quickly  and efficiently.


Jive What Matters is a tremendous stride for social in the workplace, and I believe it will enable faster decision making and  action taking.


I also want to mention that we've got an upcoming webcast with Intel, Yum! Brands (parent company of KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell,  and more), and Forrester Research, during which Jive CEO Tony Zingale will moderate a roundtable discussion on real-world tactics and market trends -- this is a great opportunity to get insights from companies that are on the cutting edge of what is happening out in the trenches today.


That's it for now, stay tuned for Part #2 of my product deep dive, where I will discuss Jive Apps Market and our partnerships with Google, Twitter, CSC and Dachis.