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"This is huge."

 

This is a recurring statement each and every time we demo the new Jive iPhone application and Blackberry capabilities for a customer. Social Business Software has matured rapidly and grown by leaps and bounds since the early days of wikis and blogging. But as long as our customers remained tethered to their computers, we knew we could only take the Social Business revolution so far.

 

Our Announcing 4.0: A Blockbuster Release puts that problem to rest, giving people access to all of the same content and conversations they’ve worked with at their desks, extending this experience to the iPhone and Blackberry. We believe that by extending Jive to mobile devices in a meaningful way, we are making it even easier for people to get hooked on Jive. Not only that, but something about the iPhone is a lightning rod for creativity and innovation. I've gotten more incredible ideas as feedback since we started sharing this app than any piece of software I've ever built. I truly believe that within a year this application is going to fundamentally change the way people work.

 

As our customer Kevin Smyth, CIO at Cerner stated so eloquently:

 

"We are thrilled to see Jive extend the platform to the iPhone, replicating the desktop experience in a rich, seamless way. The ability to download the application straight from the Apple Apps Store is going to support rapid adoption."

 

We certainly hope so, but seeing is believing.  Check out the screenshots. I dare you not to get hooked.

It's been a thoroughly enjoyable couple weeks as we've gotten to preview Jive SBS 4.0 to a handful of customers from a variety of industries. Always fun to showcase the new stuff, especially when they dig it. And they did. If this were a movie we had to promote, we would have no shortage of those pithy quotes to use ("A non-stop tour de force", "Ice Cube's Best Work!"). In our case, the quotes were things like "jaw-dropping" and "awesome." Here's a real quick summary:

 

Going Deep: Having been a part of so many major customer rollouts over the last few years, it was clear that we needed to go deeper into our customer's work lives.  This paved the way for our integration with Microsoft Office and SharePoint.

 

Going Out: Social media monitoring has become an incredibly important activity for businesses, but they've had no way to distribute or collaborate on the insights / analytics. Enter the Jive Market Engagement Solution, now integrated into 4.0. SBS + SMM = Faster, better decisions at the moment of pain or opportunity.

 

Going Wide: So many of our customers now are working outside the firewall with customers and partners, that they need a way to bridge the firewall and pull all the pieces together. Jive Bridging takes this concept to a level never achieved before.

 

Going on the Road: Mobile. Can't ignore it. It's a part of everything we do these days. So we developed a iPhone app (an information addict's dream) and better tools for working from a Blackberry

 

This is a huge release for us and we're thrilled with it. I'll let you judge for yourself though, and hopefully you'll have your own pithy quotes.

 

To our customers – thank you for your enthusiasm, creativity and partnership.  To my fellow Jivers – thanks for the hard work, and tenacity.  This is just the beginning.

 

With the magnitude of the Jive SBS 4.0 release, jive bloggers decided to team up on the news and split it into digestible pieces. In this series of posts, we delve deep into the new mobile tools, bridging public and private realms together, deep Microsoft Office integration, and provide a high level perspective of Jive SBS 4.0.

 

Bill Lynch on Jive Connects for Microsoft Office

David Greenberg on Jive Bridging

 

Dave

SBS 4.0 is all about closing the gap between the way business tools MAKE people work and the way we WANT to work. And let’s face it, most of us work within Microsoft Office.  Jive recently announced a new content management strategy with Microsoft SharePoint integration as a first step. But for SBS to be adopted broadly in enterprises, that social layer has to reach not only across content silos, but also to Word, Excel, PowerPoint and the like. So we’re going the next step to integrate with Microsoft Office to help its 600 million users be more social.

 

As part of the 4.0 announcement this morning, we introduced the Jive Connects for Microsoft Office. This a simple plug-in that allows multiple authors and contributors to make comments and changes on an Office file simultaneously with automatic synchronization of each other's changes. When users create and save Office content, it gets published in their Jive activity stream, which invites comments, discussions, and constructive feedback. Before, users would have to upload the file to Jive then individually download it. With the plug-in, that synchronization to Jive occurs directly from Office.

 

This eliminates two classic headaches:

  • Version control: one user can work on the graphics of a PowerPoint presentation while another is working on the script and see changes in the file as they happen. Confusion is eliminated because there is only one synchronized version of a document available to users, which also ensures that everyone is working from the same content.
  • Reply All as your collaboration tool: it eliminates reliance on email to share and review content by providing a unique Jive URL for every saved document that can be accessed by any user with appropriate access. In fact, non-Office users can preview and provide inline comments to any Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint file as well as any PDF.

 

So for all of us who live in Microsoft Office, things just got a whole lot better.

 

I'd also like to thank our partner DocVerse who helps power this solution.  You can read more at Shan Sinha's blog, DocVerse's CEO.

 

With the magnitude of the Jive SBS 4.0 release, jive bloggers decided to team up on the news and split it into digestible pieces. In this series of posts, we delve deep into the new mobile tools, bridging public and private realms together, deep Microsoft Office integration, and provide a high level perspective of Jive SBS 4.0.

 

Dave Hersh on Jive SBS 4.0

David Greenberg on Jive Bridging

We at Jive are obviously a bit biased, but we are big believers in the idea of “community.”  Online communities have the power to connect people, unearth game changing ideas, and give voice to people who otherwise might not be heard.  But despite having drunk the kool-aid, I think anyone who manages an online community will tell you it’s not all rainbows and unicorns.  For many companies, it can sometimes feel as if there is a river of activity and conversations happening, but no easy way to capture the sentiments, ideas and insights in a seamless way that allows the organization to take action on what they learn.

 

That’s why our customers are so excited about the Jive Bridging module in 4.0. In just a few clicks, you can capture a conversation happening in the community and begin socializing it within the organization – behind the firewall – gathering input and feedback almost instantly, and then providing a response just as easily. This is going WAY beyond what others have been promising with  Social CRM.

 

With the magnitude of the Jive SBS 4.0 release, jive bloggers decided to team up on the news and split it into digestible pieces. In this series of posts, we delve deep into the new mobile tools, bridging public and private realms together, deep Microsoft Office integration, and provide a high level perspective of Jive SBS 4.0.

 

Dave Hersh on Jive SBS 4.0

Bill Lynch on Jive Connects for Microsoft Office

Today at Gartner Symposium the Magic Quadrant for Social Software in the Workplace was unveiled, and I feel privileged to share that Jive Software was positioned in the Leaders quadrant. In today's business world the Gartner Magic Quadrant is arguably the most recognized and respected qualitative assessment of a market and its participants. This recognition is particularly meaningful because of the diligence with which Gartner selects leaders by focusing on maturity of offerings, and the vision necessary to continue to lead a market. The process is exhaustingly thorough and involves hundreds of customer conversations, which is why companies across the world rely on Gartner's guidance for selecting vendors.  It is without a doubt a privilege and an honor to be recognized in this way.

 

I'd like to take this opportunity to do three things. The first is to express sincere appreciation to the hundreds of companies who had the vision and foresight to recognize the potential for what Jive Social Business Software could mean to their companies. Enterprises like Kaiser Permanente, United Business Media, Yum!, and Manheim invested in Jive early on and have played an integral part in shaping the direction of our products. They are helping us realize a vision of transforming the way customers, partners, and employees connect with each other to achieve unprecedented results for their businesses.

 

The second is to pause and reflect on what an amazing moment in time this is for Jive as a company.  In what was one of the worst economies in recent history we just wrapped up our 4th consecutive quarter of record revenues with 100% year over year growth in Q3.  We closed a second round of investment from Sequoia Capital who has an unmatched track record of identifying successful technology companies that transform the way we live and work.  We are approaching our inaugural users' conference, JiveWorld, that in a year of the non-conference and the un-conference, sold out far in advance and has an incredible line-up of customers speaking about their success.  And, we are releasing Jive SBS 4.0 which is easily the largest, most impactful release in our company's history.

 

And lastly, I would like to reaffirm our commitment to our customers. Being recognized as a leader is an honor, but I know I speak for every Jiver when I say that it just increases the belief, determination, and commitment we bring to work every day.  Thank you for helping us grow to this stage and allowing us to do what we love.  See you next week at JiveWorld!

 

(UPDATE: You can now get a complimentary copy of the MQ Report on our Analyst Coverage page)

Some Great News to Share

Posted by djhersh Oct 19, 2009

I have some exciting news to share about Jive, and I also want to give a review of the past quarter to give a measure of our progress.

 

We just closed our Series B funding round with our VC partner, Sequoia Capital who invested an additional $12 million into Jive. We just issued a press release, and I want to give some additional context on how we will use the funding. There's a very simple four part answer:

 

  1. It's about innovation. We are going to continue to expand the Jive SBS product footprint by dramatically increasing our R&D efforts. We're doing a lot more hiring! In just the last month, we have added 11 new Jivers with 10 more starting in the next two weeks. If you're interested, take a look at our open jobs. We're also going to be pursuing smart acquisitions that complement our portfolio.
  2. It's about customers. We will build out our customer-facing teams to further support the success of our clients and to grow the company.
  3. It's about partners. We have seen some great success with channel partners and we will be building out that ecosystem to get Jive onto the desktops and mobile devices of more customers. And we'll continue to improve the "partner-friendly" aspects of our application to allow for deep yet hassle-free customization and integration.
  4. It's about championing SBS. Jive has built a great community around SBS in the last few years, and we want to continue to spread that gospel. I'm happy when I see new customers say, “I never knew I could do that!” But I'm even happier when I hear them say, "This has changed how I work, and I want more."

 

Looking at Q3, we had another great quarter and again achieved a record for quarterly revenue, with more than 100% growth compared to Q3 of 2008. We added a number of new customers and a number of existing customers expanded their deployments. Our services team continued their outstanding track record of delivering customer success. And we had some great news in the government sector.

 

But that only tells half the story. Suffice it to say that Jive is in the midst of the greatest period of product innovation in the company's history. We have recently and will soon deliver new products that will push the envelope on what people think Social Business Software can do.

 

More to come very soon.

When my kids were toddlers (which was some time ago), they did one thing that always drove me crazy.  They would take their coloring books of dinosaurs, princesses, Sponge Bob, or whatever was their latest fancy and attack them with abandon.  Scribbles of different colors would go everywhere and bear no resemblance to the underlying outline of said dinosaurs.  I would tell them, "try to stay inside the lines....try to make it look like the dinosaur really looked."  But my efforts were an exercise in futility.  Their only response would be "why?"

 

I didn't have a good answer for that question -- it just seemed to me like the right thing to do.  It only dawned on me many years later that they were acting like people act -- they think creatively, expressively, and outside the lines. I, on the other hand, was thinking like a machine -- neat, orderly, and linear.  Did my two decade career in information technology train me to think differently than my genetics told me to?

 

Of course I'm a big fan of the advancements in work (and life) that computer technology has brought us over the past forty years.  However, it’s had a side effect that we’ve all come to just accept as a given.  Basically, we as humans have had to conform to how computers work.  Unlike machines, we think non-linearly, spatially, and combine knowledge with context – context about the people we’re working with, the history of a particular issue, cultural sensitivities, etc.  Computers think in rows and columns – they don't "off road" or venture "outside the lines."

 

As computers have not been very good with “nuance,” we lost context.  For example, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software was huge boon to the industry, and completely transformed the efficiency in which we worked with prospects, customers, and partners.  But a classic CRM trouble ticket didn’t tell you how really upset the customer was or if their problem was just a minor annoyance.  Of course, we then had to compensate for the software's shortcomings – in this case, creating new fields for humans to type in information to share their observations.  But this approach still must stay within the machine's structure.

 

Also, this neat, linear processing of information only reinforced the traditional business hierarchy.  Information flows from my employees to me, then to my boss, then to his boss, then to his colleague, back down his employee, etc.  Besides not being terribly efficient, it’s counter to way as humans we want to work.  People are more like dogs than cats – we’re pack animals, and we thrive on the social context of the way we get things done.  That’s our emotional need – it gives us joy to not only accomplish something, but to accomplish it with other people we like, respect, and learn from.  The modern age took some of that away from us.

 

It’s taken decades, but finally computers have caught up to how humans want to work.  I’m excited to have joined Jive, as the category of Social Business Software is truly transformative.  Although much press is written about the public social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, that’s not the real story.  What’s happened is that these public social sites have re-trained the workforce on how to interact – ironically back to the way we we’re more comfortable with anyway.  As the power of the intersection of social behavior and technology becomes more self-evident, it is actually businesses that gain the most by harnessing this power.

 

As proof that this is happening now, this week Jive announced its new strategy to extend a social layer across an enterprise. As part of the strategy, Jive will deliver a series of solutions for content unification to enable organizations to surface content and activities from almost any content management system (CMS) from inside Jive SBS.  The first deliverable under the new strategy is the SharePoint Connector which integrates Jive SBS with Microsoft SharePoint. This enables Jive customers to do the bulk of their work in the highly intuitive Jive environment for networking and collaboration without giving up easy access to SharePoint’s powerful content, workflow and portal capabilities.  What we have done is essentially taken a mission-critical enterprise application and "socialized it" to make it consistent with the way humans work best.

 

Communities are built around human interaction, and organizations who build communities both inside and outside their firewall and bridge those together will literally transform the way they serve customers and partners while at the same time unlock expertise and efficiency across their enterprise.  Once you’ve taken every part of your business and made it social, you can’t imagine doing it differently.  Humans wouldn’t have it any other way.

If you've ever been involved in planning or producing a major public event, you can probably relate to the “all hands on deck” call that goes out in the 30  days prior to the event.  There are often hundreds of  "to do's" as the clock clicks down to showtime.

 

Fortunately, we crossed off one of the big "to do's" over the weekend when we tallied up the registrations for JiveWorld09 and realized the conference is sold out!  We announced this in a press release today, and I wanted to share some additional comments today in  JiveTalks.

 

Before I continue, a huge THANK YOU to Jive customers, prospective customers  and partners from all of us at Jive! In the year of the "non-conference" - and  in an environment where every travel dollar is scrutinized - we appreciate this  incredible vote of confidence. We’ve had customers tell us their budgets  restricted them to only one event this year – and they chose ours. That has  everyone on Team Jive even more motivated to deliver a high-impact  program that arms conference participants with the information they need to move  even more aggressively with their Social Business Software  agenda.

 

We’ve started a waiting list because there’s always the possibility that someone who previously registered won’t be able to join us. If you’re interested in attending JiveWorld09 and didn’t register, I encourage you to add your name to this list as soon as possible. We’ll start at the top and work our way down when we have an open slot.  We’ll also be providing select conference materials through the JiveWorld09 community site.

 

And if you can’t join us in person this year, you can still participate in video form. Check out the contest we’re holding and share what it means personally to you and your organization to “Jive Together.”  Entries will be shown during the conference as a video mashup.

 

We’re in the midst of announcing some of the most significant innovation to ever come out of Jive, and we’re just beginning. We’ll have much more to share at JiveWorld09, and I predict it will provide even more inspiration to lead a Social Business Software revolution in your organization.

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