We just released Clearspace 1.0.4 (download, README, changelog). Like version 1.0.3, this is primarily a bug fix release. We fixed 23 bugs and made 6 improvements. Two of the most requested minor improvements were added to the 1.0.4 release, those being the ability to set a global theme, and the ability to completely disable guest access in Clearspace. We are now focused on delivering the external version of Clearspace in the coming month, so keep your eyes peeled.
A review of Clearspace 1.0.2 just came out in PC Magazine, you can check it out here. Their review was very thorough and it's good to hear them call out some opportunities, like expanded space permissions, that we already had on our radar for upcoming releases. A lot of our decision to keep permissions at the administrative level was born out of our existing Enterprise customers who were used to control being "admin-centric." Now that Clearspace is out, we've learned much more from our customers and are on the same page as PC Magazine's take. Can't wait to show them where things are in the coming months!
We're at several conferences next week:
WebVentures, March 21: Dave will be giving a talk about Enterprise 2.0, including Clearspace and Openfire.
It's a busy schedule, but we love getting the word out!
We just released Clearspace 1.0.3 (download, README, changelog). Like version 1.0.2, this is a bug fix release in which we fixed 32 bugs and made some very minor improvements. Overall, work continues on new features and we'll detail them soon.
One of the areas we focussed on for 1.0.3 was LDAP integration. We fixed quite a few issues uncovered by customers and ourselves. We've also recently made the Clearspace issue tracker public so feel free to browse the issues and vote for any that may be affecting you.
I'll be giving a quick Clearspace demo at the Under the Radar Conference at the Microsoft campus on March 23. We'll have a little booth there to casually chat or if you'd like to see the demo, stop by the Mercury room from 10:45 to 12:15. We're in the "Team Work" session with our friends Atlassian.
The conference is filled with a lot of interesting companies doing really smart things. We look forward to learning a lot and meeting as many as possible.
We're excited to announce that Bob Pasker has joined our Advisory Board. Bob has been a friend of Jive for a long time, and has gotten to know our company quite well in the process. He is most well known as the principal developer, cofounder and Chief Architect of WebLogic, but has been quite active since then with a number of companies.
Bob represents the rare mix of deep technology and business experience that's perfect for Jive. And he's a great guy in general. We're excited to make him part of the team.
So I stirred up a bit of interest with the ROI blog. It's always fun to do that by making a broad statement, but I don't think I fully made my point. Then again, I wrote the whole thing from 6am to 6:10am on the day we did our company ski outing :).
Let me clarify several items:
1. External communities are much easier to measure than internal communities. My blog was specifically in relation to internal employee communities. We have done and seen lots of ROI analyses for external communities, and it usually comes down to percent of offloaded support calls, increases in customer satisfaction, new leads generated, increase in purchases and increase in customer insights. I think these are very clear and measurement can do a good job of articulating the benefits.
2. I very much expect that we will be doing ROI analyses for our customers. It's a fact of the industry and we're no exception. My point was merely that it's very difficult to do it for internal rollouts without a lot of fuzzy areas. Even the best analysts will have difficulty measuring it. That said, there are some solid ways to get started: time employees spend researching an answer, the number of redundant questions, total output before and after, process time, employee satisfaction, etc.
3. Most of the ROI analyses I've seen for the team collaboration space have been half-baked, unless it was for a specific company. Once you get into the details of measuring employee efficiencies, it can get pretty sticky and it's almost always unique to the company, department and even employee.
In short, I don't at all doubt ROI analysis will continue to be a factor in all of our lives. What I have yet to see, however, is a compelling analysis that defines the benefits of Enterprise 2.0 on a broader scale.
I've been getting a number of reporters asking about the ROI behind an application like Clearspace lately. My general response is that it's a fool's exercise. Trying to determine if the savings and revenue increase are worth the expense is like trying to measure whether the view from atop Everest was worth the climb -- it's exceedingly hard to measure and it should be painfully obvious.
"The goal you should be looking to achieve is not increased sales revenue or a measurable productivity increase. Instead, what youre looking to do is capture the conversations that typical occur in the hallways between meetings, the short yet invaluable lists of todos that go along with any project, the random thoughts and insights that come to us throughout the day but usually end up getting lost somewhere between checking the morning email and the three hour long sales meeting."
He's more eloquent than me on the subject, but the point is the same. My message has been, 'for less than the cost of pens (an actual quote from a recent prospect), you can free up all the knowledge that's stuck in people's heads, left at the water cooler or trapped in an email outbox for eternity.'
I'm sure some analysts somewhere will start measuring productivity output, satisfaction levels and resolution times. The rest of us will be enjoying the view.