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Hi, I'm Ari Newman. I was Founder and President at Filtrbox, and am now going to be managing the Jive Market Engagement (JME)  platform at Jive. Its been an exciting first few weeks as a Jive employee and I wanted to tell you a little more about myself before I go any further. I've been involved in early-stage technology companies for over 13 years, and have been passionate about disruptive technologies for as long as I can remember. This is why I started Filtrbox, and why I'm so excited to be part of Jive. Social Business software is changing the way companies operate, and Jive is leading the revolution! You can find more about me here, and on Twitter.

 

It’s only been a couple of weeks since Filtrbox and Jive joined forces, but I’m already more excited than ever about the combination of the two companies. We were confident going in it would be a great culture fit—we’re both equally passionate about providing intuitive tools that people love to use, and share a vision for helping companies leverage the power of the real-time Web to improve responsiveness, efficiency, and profitability. Now that we are  drilling deeper into the solutions we’ll deliver in the coming months and years, and the way our customers will use them, the full potential of our joint efforts is becoming clear.

 

The reality is simple: the Social, real-time Web is where it’s happening today—it’s where brands are made or ruined, where buyers look for guidance, where market trends first emerge, where influencers from top analysts to the trendsetter down the street spread their word-of-mouth. This has a lot of different implications for businesses—here are just a couple:
  • Social media is either an uncontrolled X factor that keeps you up at night, or a new source of actionable intelligence you can put to work in powerful new ways. It comes down to whether you have the right tools in place, and whether you have empowered the organization to jump in.
  • It’s also now clear that social media is a new communication channel for customer service, maybe the most important one yet. The evolution started with phone support, then help tickets, then email, then Web-based support—each step brought companies closer to their customers. The social Web is the next step, and it brings you closer than you’ve ever been, in real-time. As long as you’re set up to use it, that is—otherwise, it’s the other guy who’s getting closer to your customers.

 

For enterprises and brand managers, the exciting thing about making Filtrbox part of Jive is that it combines real time social media monitoring and engagement with social business software so you can fully take advantage of what’s happening on the Web. Think of it this way: Filtrbox helps you identify important conversations and Jive gives you the community in which to have a meaningful interaction around them. Together, they help you do things like:
  • Breaking social media monitoring out of its silo and making it easy for more people in the company to listen, interact, and respond to customers where they live online
  • More than just posting links—actually using social media insights to fuel private conversations among experts across the enterprise so they can make better-informed decisions, faster
  • Preserving the full meaning and value of customer feedback by keeping it in its original context—tweets, blog posts, comments, etc.—so it retains its spirit and sense of urgency (nothing kills momentum faster than copying text from the Web to email to a document to another email …)
  • Making business conversations more fluid by keeping them in that same social media context. After all, what document-based discussion has ever been as dynamic, engaging, and fast-paced as a good Twitter interaction?

 

As I see it, with this acquisition, social media monitoring and engagement is rising out of its infancy. The months ahead are going to transform the way companies engage with their customers, and unlock incredible new business value in the real-time Web. I’m pretty psyched about it.
If you’re as excited as I am, sign up for a trial of Filtrbox and join the revolution!

When a Jive customer is prominently featured twice in the media in one week - including in The Economist - you know that customer is doing something special with Social Business Software!

 

That customer is the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and in this week's The Economist magazine you'll find the DIA featured in the magazine's special report on social networking in the workplace. A-Space, the DIA's Jive-powered secure social networking platform, connects over 14,000 members of the U.S. intelligence community. We're thrilled to see A-Space program manager Ahmad Ishaq and his colleagues highlighted for the work they're doing to break down information silos in an innovative application of Social Business Software. And that second story I mentioned on the DIA? OhMyGov this week included A-Space in their list of top government social networks. If you’d like to learn more about A-Space, join us for a live webcast on February 10th. I'll be speaking with Ahmad about the DIA's journey with Social Business Software, focusing on topics including techniques for increasing adoption of enterprise 2.0 technologies.

 

We are also thrilled to see The Economist covering what we’ve been seeing over the past year – Social Business Software has become mainstream in business. Gone are questions like "are these technologies a good fit for the workplace?" Now the questions include "how fast can I implement Social Business Software?" as companies look to impact everything from generating new product ideas faster to compressing product life cycles to shortening sales cycles and of course improving customer satisfaction rates. Or, in the case of the DIA, how many lives are saved. As reporter Martin Giles points out in the article, “… In the corporate world such hoarding (of information) leads to lost profits. In the world of intelligence it can lead to lost lives.”

 

Social Business Software has come a long way from being seen as simply "Facebook for business." For more proof points, just check out the announcement we made earlier this week on Toshiba America Business Systems (TABS) and their implementation of Jive Social Business Software (SBS) to improve channel performance.

 

From all of us at Jive, congratulations to our friends at the DIA and to the hundreds of global organizations - including more than 25% of the Fortune 100 - who are putting Jive SBS to work in transforming their organizations. We're honored to be your business partner, and to help you set the pace for business for the next decade.

Over the last couple years, as part of Jive's Product Marketing team, it's been amazing to watch the impact that social media has had on marketing.  There is no doubt that Marketing's world has changed forever.  Whether you believe it or not, the fact is that customers have never had more power and higher expectations around authentic dialogue.  Check out this video if you still have doubts.   Or better yet check out Paul Greenberg's new book, CRM at the Speed of Light 4th Edition.  The Jive team had the pleasure of working with Paul here at the Jive offices the last two days.  I learned a ton, and also was happy to hear Paul's positive feedback towards several of the customer examples we showed him and how they support social CRM strategies.

 

 

 

However, as I prepare for next week's webcast with Steve Ziemba, Dir. of Social Media at WOMMA, and Darren Guarnaccia, VP of Prod. Marketing at Sitecore, and reflect on the panel discussions I was on at the Gilbane conference just last month, I still see many of us Marketer's in a state of mind of 'Where do I start?' or 'What KPI's will social help drive?'.

 

So that's exactly where I'm going to focus my discussion, as part two of this 90 minute webcast.  I plan on covering similar real-world examples we walked Paul through -- Marketers out in the wild using Jive SBS to turn this conversation economy to their advantage -- RIM, IHG (Intercontinental Hotels Group), National Instruments, Intel, or Bank of America. Maybe others...still finalizing which will provide the best lessons that you can take home and use in your organization.

 

It's going to be great though, I promise. A few of the key areas I'll be hitting, include:

  • The best way to get started engaging targeted audiences 
    • How to find your influencers and turn them into brand champions
  • Examples of becoming a conversation hub
    • How to ignite and leverage the passion of your advocates to drive Marketing KPI's
  • Growing your existing customer relationships 
    • How to integrate social with more traditional customer marketing campaigns such as the annual conference.

 

I'd love to have you join us:

 

Date: Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Time: 2:00 pm Eastern / 11:00 am Pacific
Duration: 90 Minutes (First half will be Darren - 7 Habits for Website Conversions)

Click here for event registration and details

Nothing makes our day like a customer being recognized for “excellence” in their use of Social Business Software.  The Society for New Communications Research recently presented the prestigious SNCR Excellence in New Communications Awards to not one, but FOUR of our customers: Manheim, NetApp, SAP and Sprint. The detailed case studies found here truly capture the essence of the biggest issues facing enterprises as we move into 2010 and beyond.  It’s anything but business as usual.

 

For Manheim, their Jive implementation needed to show senior management, “the business benefits of social and how it will be crucial in helping us meet our changing communications needs,” according to Jennifer Bouani from Manheim.  This is an issue many companies face, and the case study has some wonderful insights into how they pulled off such great success.

 

Take Sprint as another example – they launched an internal community to positively impact its reputation among employees and building brand ambassadors from the inside out, calling the community “Sprint Space.”  Sprint Space is open to all 49,000 employees, and from what Sprint has reported, they are seeing high levels of adoption among its customer facing employees in retail store and customer service operations - approximately 75% of Sprint's employee base.

 

NetApp launched NetApp Live using Jive SBS as part of a major rebranding effort to provide employees with a new tool to help them help customers "Go further, faster." After an initial pilot for just over 1,000 users, adoption jumped to more than 8,468 in a little over 12 months.

 

Lastly, SAP America was recognized for excellence in Collaboration and Co-Creation for its University Alliance Program which is based on Jive SBS. The University Alliance Program represents 900 member campuses in more than 40 countries. To date, over 175,000 students are registered on the system with a goal to have over one million students active in the community by 2012.  Using the system, hundreds of jobs have been filled by applicants who were connected to the community via the job board and the community has generated interest among the larger SAP community network. It is now accessed via the top link tab across the entire system -- as seen by 1.8 million SAP users.

 

The people behind these initiatives are truly the heroes of the Social Business Software movement – the people changing the way we all work.  We congratulate each of you, and thank you for your perseverance and vision.

Ever noticed how some companies are able to not only survive tough economic conditions, but actually excel?  Jive customer ArcSight is one of those companies.

 

As a bit of background, ArcSight, who recently announced 39% year over year growth during their Q2 earnings call, provides security and compliance management solutions that protect businesses and government agencies.  Their customer list is impressive – T-Mobile, McAfee, the Defense Information Systems Agency, the FAA... the list goes on.

 

What I found most interesting about them was this – nearly 50% of ArcSight’s revenue comes from existing customers.  With this in mind, they re-launched a new and improved version of their external community (powered by Jive's public community software) at their user conference that encourages customers to connect with each other to share mission critical information, and to encourage each other with stories of success or trials and errors.  For the notoriously private, "close to the vest" security community, this is a very big deal.  It turns out, there was a tremendous hunger to share and receive information with trusted associates about what’s working and not working… all they needed was the right communications channel, which is what PROTECT 724 has become.

 

Also, a key engine powering their solution is the information shared by customers including content they’ve created, and rules that alert when malicious activity occurs in the network. In other words, the more customers who share the ArcSight content, the stronger the solution becomes.  Although the community only launched in mid-Sept, they have already seen a significant uptick in the number of people sharing.

 

For ArcSight, this is only the beginning.  In the second and third phases of their community plans, they’ll be introducing greater levels of sophistication in what Social Business Software can do for their business and their customers.

My Mom always likes to put everything in a positive light. We call it her "golden paintbrush." She can take any crappy piece of news and find some way to make it look positive. It's a great trait, but sometimes you're like "c'mon….the dog died! It sucks and that's it."

 

Well a lot of these momentum releases from companies can be like that. They try to put the golden paintbrush on their results and do what they can to make it look like the dog dying is a good thing. Well, I can't tell you how great it is to have a company like Jive at this point in time where I don't have to do that. 2009 rocked.

 

Like a lot of companies, we went in with a "hunker down" philosophy. But we worked incredibly hard to put ourselves in the best position possible going into 2010. And thanks to our amazing customers, partners, employees and community we have done just that. We have furthered our vision in a dramatic way and secured our leadership position in the space.

 

I am incredibly proud of our team and their dedication, optimism, talent, and unstoppable drive to make big things happen. And now, after a very brief chance to relax over the holidays, we're back at it with our Worldwide 2010 Kickoff. And being together here with our extended team, it's clear how much we have accomplished.

 

The last three months of 2009 were truly telling of how far we've come – from the inaugural JiveWorld 2009 community conference, to the release of Jive SBS 4.0, to Gartner's positioning of Jive as a Leader in the Magic Quadrant report to the great financial results and new customer list. Here's a few of the items that make my life a lot more enjoyable – and that need no golden paintbrush.

 

  • Financials – For 2009, we increased our full year revenue 85 percent over 2008, capping the most successful year in Jive's history, and we were cash flow positive for the year.
  • Customers – We had another record year for new and renewed business including Booz Allen Hamilton, Bupa, EMC, Intercontinental Hotel Group, Kaiser Permanente, Life Technologies, Manheim, Musician's Friend, Qualcomm, SAP, Scheels Sports, Sling Media, Sprint, StrongMail, Swiss Re and United Business Media Limited.  In addition, Jive hosted its first Annual Jive Social Business Software (SBS) Awards at JiveWorld09.  Six customers: United Business Media (UBM), NIKE Inc., National Journal Group, CSC, Kaiser Permanente, and Swiss Re were awarded for their outstanding achievements exemplifying the business outcomes that Social Business Software can generate.
  • Product – 2009 was our most ambitious and productive year of product innovation in our history. Starting with Jive SBS 3.0 in March, we followed up with the first cloud edition of Jive SBS, and then finished the year strong with a string of new solutions in the fall that was capped off by  the release of Jive SBS 4.0 in October. We also embarked on an exciting new strategy to extend a social layer across an organization's content silos. The first module under the new strategy, released in October, is Jive Connects for Microsoft SharePoint, a deep integration between Jive SBS and Microsoft SharePoint.
  • Community – We sold out our inaugural JiveWorld Conference in San Francisco almost a month in advance, and it was a huge success with the attendees.  We're already planning next year's event and it promises to be twice as big and interesting.

 

 

 

 

Our momentum and progress only motivates us to serve our customers and innovate even more.  We're making some big investments this year and are excited for what's in store. The Filtrbox acquisition is a big start, and we've got a lot more coming. Thankfully, it doesn't look like I'll need the paintbrush anytime soon.

I'm so excited that Jive is entering 2010 with the acquisition of Filtrbox to accelerate our social strategy. This acquisition is about real time monitoring and engagement to help enterprises be PROACTIVE AND REACTIVE, moving social media monitoring (SMM) and listening platforms beyond their limited scope of managing brand disruptions. SMM is useful technology, but when social media monitoring is seamlessly unified with Jive SBS something wonderful happens.

 

Leading up to today:

In January of 2009 Forrester published a report titled The Listening Platform Landscape followed up immediately with The Forrester Wave: Listening Platforms, Q1 2009. In many ways these reports were a much needed recognition that times were changing.  Forrester observed that the age of Brand Monitoring was over saying, “If marketers are to survive and thrive in this connected world, they must mine—not just monitor—these conversations to glean insights that inform future strategy.”  With the benefit of another year behind us it is clear Forrester was right about the death of Brand Monitoring, but the last year has taught us that the vision of Listening Platforms needs to be broader than this.

 

Mining of conversations and sentiment by marketers ultimately has the same fatal flaw as the Brand Monitoring tools—it is too abstracted and isolated from any kind of true action. It's really no different from the mindset that watched customers talk to each other from behind a one way mirror – they took notes, they formed judgments, they wrote reports, but they never entered into the dialogue.  Real customer insights come from conversation, not observation. I feel the most damning evidence that the thinking has not progressed far enough here is that the Forrester Wave™: Brand Monitoring, Q3 2006 looks remarkably similar to the Listening Platform Wave of 2009—as represented, this is at best an evolution, not a revolution.

 

A new era:

The real opportunity is not about mining, but engagement.  And it is not just for marketing or the CMO, but for anyone at any company who wants to be closer to their customers.  2009 has been a great year for examples of how companies are starting to realize the potential of this technology.  Engineering, Products, Marketing, Customer Service, Sales, and even corporate executives have taken advantage of the chance to enter into an open dialogue. Their handling of praise and criticism entered into the annals of the internet for the judgment of every future person who considers doing business with them.

 

As Jive contemplated how to best empower our own customers to take advantage of this technology we came to a few immediate conclusions:

 

  1. Ubiquity. Access to the customer needs to be available throughout a company—not just the domain of marketing. This means the solution needs to be affordable, easy to use, and not discourage its adoption by charging more when employees want to keep an eye on additional areas of interest.
  2. Be Here Now. So many vendors in this space are distracted with accumulating massive histories for “mining” customer sentiment. We believe the bigger priority is around managing influencers and lightning rod events. Identifying these immediately and responding authentically should be the priorities.  In the real time web what happened a year ago, while interesting, is largely irrelevant.  You are being judged on how you handle your evangelists and critics today.
  3. Engagement. So much energy is being put into listening. But other than crude workflow and email tools, little is being done to facilitate a real conversation.  There are two critical components in my mind: 1) You need to be able to get the right information to the right people quickly, whether you know who they are or not; and 2) You need to be able to respond in the same context in which the conversation is taking place while it is taking place. It doesn't matter whether it is happening on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, a blog, or somewhere else.

 

It is for these reasons that Jive selected Filtrbox to be an integral component of our Social Business Software (SBS) platform.  They are thinking about the same things we are: How can companies engage with a customer to provide them the experience that they want?  Their technology focuses on being affordable enough to put in the hands of an entire company who can all be engaging on different topics; easy enough to use that you don't need legions of services to get up and running; and most importantly focused on engaging in the conversation that is happening now where it is happening.

 

I'm thrilled for what our combined forces will enable Jive to do for its customer base. A socially connected workforce means nothing if it is not connected to the customers it serves. It is time for enterprise software vendors to help companies provide experiences for customers that make them feel valued, important, and heard.

filtrbox logoAs you may have just seen in our press release, we're kicking 2010 off in a big way with our acquisition of Filtrbox. Needless to say, we're thrilled about bringing them into the fold here at Jive, as this is a category-busting acquisition that moves us closer to our vision of enabling the real-time enterprise.

 

As we begin 2010, the global economy has truly become a conversation economy, where the social web is fueling faster and smarter business decisions.  While search was king in the first generations of the Web, conversation has become a very powerful force that will continue to grow over the coming years. Meanwhile, the application of social media monitoring today as a listening platform is really just the tip of the iceberg. Businesses are only starting to take advantage of the real-time web.  As the social layer that connects people, content, and activities across the extended enterprise, Jive's vision is to serve as a company's real-time business hub by providing traction in four business-critical areas:

 

  • Velocity: the ability for companies to make decisions driven by conversations inside the organization and in the marketplace
  • Authenticity: the ability to participate in a real-time, two-way dialog internally and externally
  • Engagement: putting the focus of Social Business Software on employees, customers and partners, versus simply processes and data
  • Transparency: the ability to hold business-critical conversations without regard to organizational or functional divides or time and distance barriers

 

We looked at all of the top providers in the space, and Filtrbox truly wowed us with incredible technology, a similar vision for the real-time enterprise, and an accessible, user-friendly application that makes it easy to prioritize feeds and dial the "noise" up or down to manage information overload.

 

If you are interested in hearing more about how Filtrbox will complement Jive's product offering, Chris Morace gives a great perspective on this acquisition in his blog post today, in addition to a detailed FAQ on our website.

 

The acquisition of Filtrbox signifies a major step in the future of SBS, as social media listening and engagement goes from niche technology to a powerful part of the overall equation.  We're certain that our customers will see a huge benefit from this combination and are hopeful that it will inspire them to transform the way that business is done.

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