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If you haven't heard the news already,  Jive acquired OffiSync, a company I founded in 2010 along with my brother, Roy. We built this company for one purpose -- to fundamentally change how users collaborate in the enterprise.

 

Up until a few years ago, I worked at Microsoft for 8 years as a product manager for both Microsoft Office and Microsoft SharePoint product lines. During that time, we introduced SharePoint with the goal to address the collaboration challenge in the enterprise. SharePoint ended up working out great as a document management solution, but in the end, it missed its main goal of enhancing collaboration. Ever since this, empowering new ways to work has become my main passion.

 

We founded OffiSync because we noticed a massive change in the way companies are approaching collaboration. With the influx of social technologies in the enterprise, there was a disconnect between these new social platforms and the traditional ways people collaborate using documents and email. OffiSync was all about connecting the 2 worlds together -- social collaboration meets Microsoft Office.  To achieve this vision, we knew we would need some serious engineering talent.  We knew surface level integrations and widgets would not get the job done, so we looked for people with deep expertise that could get the job done.  We recruited an extremely talented team of engineers who were all former Unit 8200 developers with the IDF.

 

Our first product, OffiSync for Word, Excel and Powerpoint allowed multiple people to work on documents simultaneously, a technology called co-authoring. We also had the ability to have real-time conversations attached to documents and participate in those conversations directly from Microsoft Office. This is where our relationship began with Jive. We quickly partnered integrating our offering into the Jive platform. It was a natural move for the two companies. And the initial success of our partnership combined with the incredible opportunity to bring social directly to where people are already working, led to today's acquisition of OffiSync.

 

Now, we look to the future. We're targeting the number one application where knowledge workers spend their day, Microsoft Outlook. By bringing the Jive experience into Microsoft Outlook, we can use social to change how people work, without having to change where they work. This helps drive adoption of Social Business, which drives participation and engagement across companies.

 

The decision to join forces with Jive was a very easy one. In the market of Social Business, Jive is the company to beat. They have by far the most advanced and unique Social platform for the enterprise. What we loved about Jive all along were the people - by far the smartest and most capable in the industry. This is a team of people who has taken on a mission to revolutionize the way work gets done. In the end, we want to be a part of this revolution by keeping Jive ahead of the game.

 

This is an exciting time to be in enterprise software, and I am thrilled to be part of a company that is leading the social business transformation.

I know everyone at Jive is excited about the General Availability of Jive 5 (announced today).  What I think is most exciting though is the involvement that Jive customers have had throughout the entire development cycle of this release. On behalf of Jive and of the entire Products team, a BIG thank you to our Jive customers that helped us make Jive 5 the industry's best Social Business platform. You spoke, and we listened.  You pushed us to refine, and we got it done.

 

Sometimes prospective customers ask me what kind of involvement current customers have in shaping our products. We have many ways of channeling customer feedback into the product development cycle. And as we continue to grow, we constantly strive to refine and expand this process.  Here are a few of the customer feedback channels we use at Jive:

  • Ideas created and voted on by other customers within our Product Innovation and Feedback area here in the Jive Community
  • Jive Advocates, a new group created for the release of Jive 5. It includes a few hundred people that were given access to Jive 5 in a special environment in February. They shared invaluable input and were truly instrumental in helping us to ‘get it right.’
  • Jive’s executive advisory board, which enables us to listen to the perspectives of executives from across our customer base.
  • Jive Champions, which includes a mix of leading-edge executives and people on the front lines that manage social projects.
  • The Jive Early Access group, which consists of technical maestros willing to install and play with Beta versions of our release.
  • JiveWorld, our annual conference, where we get to hear first-hand from customers on panels and case study sessions.
  • Customer user group events held in various cities throughout the year.
  • Literally hundreds of meetings that the products team has every quarter with clients.

 

Again, thank you to all of you who have given us their time and shared their experiences and insights to help us get the best product to the market.

 

Here are a few video clips with some of the feedback we got from these early advocates that we thought we'd share with you.  We also want to hear from you about your favorite feature in Jive 5 so please comment on this blog or send me your feedback directly.

 

Manheim gives Jive What Matters and the new mobile capabilities a big thumbs up.

 

NetApp gives more props to What Matters, the activity streams, and how it’s even easier for people to now engage and digest information.

 

Juniper Networks gives some love to the Jive Apps Market and the improved user experience that the new look enables.

This morning we announced Jive's acquisition of OffiSync.

 

Those of you who aren't familiar with OffiSync are certainly familiar with another company: Microsoft. With more than 600 million users, everyone would agree that Microsoft is the de facto standard for desktop productivity applications.

 

OffiSync offers the market-leading Microsoft Office social integration solutions. It also brings the the broadest, deepest integration for social solutions across all Microsoft Office applications, including Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint. The company already has a deep integration with Jive -- we've been good partners for more than one year. Hundreds of thousands of end users at Jive customers already use OffiSync to bring a social experience to their desktops. Which made the decision to join forces an obvious choice. Because while social has transformed workplace productivity, these applications haven't changed  much in 20 years. Our inboxes are clogged with mile-long email threads. Reply-all really means CYA. Sharing and working together on files is  painful. No wonder so much time is wasted trying to get the context for&  what we're working on or emailing about -- it's trapped in someone's  inbox or folder.

 

For those who've wondered whether it's really possible for an enterprise to embrace Social Business, you can stop wondering. With this acquisition, Jive is bringing Social Business to you, where you work, to your desktop, to the applications and emails you live in eight hours a day. Our customers no longer have to choose between collaborating on Jive's Social Business platform or the familiar Microsoft Office UI.

 

This is not a lightweight feed or stream that offers little actual business value; Jive is giving Microsoft users the ability to fully interact with the Jive platform, from their favorite desktop application. Think about it. Now it's possible for more than 600 million users of Microsoft to 'like' their desktops.

 

With our acquisition of OffiSync, Jive is absolutely going to accelerate the pace of Social Business adoption in the enterprise.

 

For more details about the announcement, and about the power of Jive and OffiSync, please check out these videos of me and Oudi Antebi, co-founder and CEO of OffiSync.

 

 

 

You can read more in the FAQ about the acquisition as well.

During the New Way Tour Live Broadcast on 5/24, we are going to host a Social "Press" Conference.

 

Now, it's your chance to ask the biggest Social Business questions to Tony Zingale, Jive Software CEO.

 

Here's how to participate:

1. Submit your question below, on Jive Software's Facebook Fan Page, or via Twitter by messaging @JivesoftwareTrisha Liu, the community manager at ArcSight--an HP company, will determine the best, most popular questions and serve as the Community Reporter, representing the voice of the people and submitting the best questions for Jive to address.

 

2. Tune in on May 24 at 8:30 PST for the live broadcast, where Tony will be addressing the biggest questions from the Social Business community and sharing the New Way to Business.

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adam.mertz

Jiving with Facebook

Posted by adam.mertz May 17, 2011

As Marketing and Service executives continue to evolve their strategies and make 'social' a critical element, there’s a question I hear regularly. How can we get deeper integration between Jive and Facebook? With Facebook becoming an essential element of a successful marketing strategy, and with more and more companies looking at Jive to develop powerful external communities, this connection is becoming increasingly important.

 

Today, we announced additional fire power for Jive clients in this area that’s already seen incredible response across our customer base.


The two-minute video below provides an overview of how Jive can live inside Facebook and how Facebook questions can be easily exposed within Jive communities. When you watch it, you’ll see we’re going well beyond simple 'liking' and leveraging of Facebook Connects for logging into a community, which we already support with our platform. The focus here is on bi-directional visibility and engagement between the two platforms.

To learn more about ‘how it works’ view the embedded video.  In the meantime, I’ll touch on two other important aspects of connecting Jive and Facebook

 

  1. The challenges with a disconnected social strategy
  2. The value of seamless Jive-Facebook integration

 

1.  The challenges with a disconnected social strategy

Facebook has millions of users, and you need to go where people are living daily online. However:

  • Engagement often centers around short status updates vs. more in-depth conversions and connections.
  • Those conversations, likes, and shares help bring visibility to a fan page within Facebook, but are essentially invisible to Google.
  • Facebook ultimately owns and controls the end user experience.
  • You don’t own the data – this limits reporting, moderating and SEO efforts

 

2.  The value of seamless Jive-Facebook integration

  • Increase brand awareness by extending your reach to the millions of Facebook users.
  • Increase brand advocacy by offering more in-depth ways for your customers and prospective customers to connect within your Jive-powered community.
  • Better leverage your customer experts from within your Jive-powered community to answer customer questions from Facebook.
  • Improve your SEO efforts as all content on Jive, whether it starts in Facebook via the connector or on the branded community itself, can be indexed and found by Google.
  • Gain control – over the user experience, data, reporting and moderation aspects of your Facebook community.

 

 

When our new Facebook Connector is coupled with other capabilities such as social media monitoring and engagement, which tracks the full Twitter firehose of 100M tweets/day and every Facebook group and fan page, Jive clients have an unmatched competitive advantage when it comes to a comprehensive and connected social media strategy.

 

If you have any additional questions please post them here or let me know.

Adam

@adammertz

As a person who boycotted conferences for a couple of years because I was tired of hearing pundits spout theory, cite zero practical examples from their own work, and tell me nothing new I hadn't already read, JiveWorld was a breath of fresh air. Because the conference sessions are almost entirely led by Jive clients, practitioners like me doing this stuff every day, it's extremely relevant. When you attend, you will walk away with several ideas you can immediately take back to your company to implement on Monday. And by ideas, I don't mean, "I should try to prove ROI by measuring business outcomes". Instead, you'll walk out with practical examples like, "We were able to prove ROI by showing that users who were active in Jive logged X% fewer help desk tickets to our support organization, which led to $ saved, and we measured activity by..., we measured reduced help desk tickets by..., and we reduced the number of variables influencing those numbers in order to better prove causality by...". Just like you, I want to talk to people who have figured it out, not experts or sales people telling me what I "should" do.

 

Hands down, JW10 was the most valuable conference I've ever attended across the various jobs I've held.

I'd also underscore Tracy's comments on the value of the Jive client network. They are a truly passionate bunch, and collaboration is in all of our job descriptions, so the willingness of the group to share openly and freely is invaluable. So if you're looking for the real deal from people like you, I'll see you in Vegas in October. Head over and register today, because the early bird and alumni pricing ends at midnight!

iStock_000005412602XSmall.jpgDuring my first month on the job, I've been a road warrior on the New Way Tour.  It has been an awesome experience bringing real-world case studies of social business success to cities across North America and Europe.  I just found out that we're going to stream live video of the San Francisco event, so the folks at home can get inspired, learn best practices, and network without leaving their desks!

 

Date:  May 24, 2011
Time:  8:30 AM – 10:30 AM PST

 

Agenda

Mark Yolton, SVP, SAP Community Network
SAP has embraced the new way, and achieved amazing results. Hear @MarkYolton share how mission-critical Social Business is at the fourth-largest software company in the world.

 

Chris Fletcher, Research Director, Gartner
@ChrisFletcher will share his views on the rapidly growing social business industry.  Hear him share his perspective on what's in store for companies already embracing social, and the implications for the ones that haven' done so yet.

 

Tony Zingale, CEO, Jive Software
@tonyzingale will share his perspective on the state of Social Business, and what the future of work holds for all of us. You'll also get an exclusive, up-close look the company's latest software release, Jive 5.

 

Register for the New Way Tour Live Broadcast.

Last week, I hit the road and headed to Dallas for the Jive Software New Way Tour.

 

It was great to share with fellow business and technology leaders how social is both redefining their roles, and improving the results they are achieving.

 

Specifically, Jivers helped attendees:

  • Understand how Social Business is transforming the way work gets done, and how businesses should now be operating.
  • Heard from a business leader on how they’ve implemented social to produce measurable business results. Click here to see who the keynote is in your city.
  • Learned more about the business value and technology innovation with Social Business in our track sessions.
  • Networked with fellow trailblazers, who are looking for new ways to engage their employees, customers, and the broader social web.
  • and showed existing Jive customers a peek at Jive 5—our biggest and most important product release.

 

It's not too late to participate in this great event, but you don't have to take my word for it.  Check this On The Road footage from attendees.

 

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