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When I first interviewed Ben a few months ago, it only took a few minutes before I was trying to sign him up. Finding a good marketing exec is one of the toughest challenges out there -- very few people have the gift to bring big ideas together with an execution mindset, the ability to build a category while working closely with the field, partners and customers; and most importantly, a talent for making the people around them better. In short, Ben is a hugely talented leader who brings the energy and focus needed to put more distance between us and the competition in the Social Business Software (SBS) category.

 

Ben will be responsible for Jive's global marketing strategy, in addition to spearheading strategic partnerships and corporate development activities. He is joining us at a pivotal time in our evolution where, despite the brutal economy, we continue to post record-breaking quarters and demonstrate market momentum. Ben's track record in scaling companies for growth and success, and capitalizing on unique opportunities, is going to be pivotal in our strategy.

 

Before joining Jive, Ben was the Chief Marketing Officer for Interwoven, one of the fastest growing companies in the web content optimization market, through their recent acquisition by Autonomy. He has also held executive management positions for technology leaders including Siebel Systems, Onyx Software, and Clarify (where he worked alongside fellow executive Tony Zingale, now a Jive Board member). In addition, Ben has led product marketing, corporate marketing, field marketing, and partner teams for both emerging companies as well as billion-dollar organizations, and has been very closely involved with the industry analysts. You can learn more about his credentials on LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/ben-kiker/0/167/7a4).

 

You'll be hearing more from Ben soon (he'll have a blog shortly) as we get him ramped up!

dashboard.pngToday we launched Jive Express, a cloud service that lets enterprise business users get up and running with social business software within minutes. The cost is $3 a user/month and we're making the first three months or 100 users free for qualified companies. Departments and cross-company teams have never had such easy access to a collaborative social software product this powerful. It's the same incredibly rich platform that underlies our Jive SBS product along with features specifically targeted for teams like the success dashboard pictured at right. (Want to know how Jive Express stacks up to our full-blown Jive SBS platform? See the quick matrix). Other than being jazzed about the product and the fact that I got to be on the team at Jive that built it, I'm also excited about our first foray into cloud computing and the strategy we're building around it.

 

How is Jive approaching the cloud? We believe large organizations will embrace the cloud but that it will be a multi-year process. We want to be there to help with the transition in a pragmatic, realistic way. In the short-term, that means making it easy to transistion on and off the cloud using our single tenant architecture (see my last blog for more on single tenant cloud apps). We've used virtualization to drive amazing levels of cost efficiency while providing maximum security and data isolation. We know that enterprise companies are still in the intial stages of cloud adoption, so we're making it very easy to start there but then move to on-premise or to our more traditional hosted environment as the implementation scales. This hybrid approach is unique and we believe it's the best approach for enterprise cloud adoption. To implement all of this, we chose Amazon's AWS service as the backend cloud provider. Working with them has been a fantastic experience so far and they seem to be well on their way to solving many of the enterprise cloud concerns around security and compliance.

 

I plan to blog a lot more details about how we built the Jive Express service as well as our ongoing cloud ventures in the future. Also check out my interview with whurley at Infoworld for more details. In the meantime, be sure to check out the Jive Express site and signup.

 


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