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Jive Talks

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In a bid to make the internet a better place for web developers, there's been a big effort lately to kill IE 6. My favorite part of the story is Microsoft themselves, with a promise to donate food on behalf of people that upgrade from IE6 to IE8:

 

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Our UI team regularly curses the large set of workarounds and compromises that IE6 support forces on them. Such is the reality of being an enterprise software vendor -- we still have many customers using the browser as a corporate standard (and believe it or not, there are some real reasons to delay the upgrade due to the expense of re-writing internal webapps that were specifically targeted at IE6).

 

On the other hand, I talk to plenty of customers and prospects that are clamoring for us to keep pushing the boundary of what's possible with social software in a web browser, especially after they've seen and tested Google Wave. Dropping IE6 will let us develop richer features faster and with less bugs. We're already committed to supporting it in our next release, but here's my question: should Jive drop official IE6 support in our release after next? No promises on timing of that release of course, but we're likely talking about late next Spring. We'll be conducting a more official survey, but your non-scientific opinion counts too! Leave a blog comment or tweet me @matttucker. And, cheers to a better internet for everyone.

Are we really in the midst of a market rebound? I'll let my broker figure that one out. But as I look at the market, one thing has become clear to me. A broad cross-section of companies see the window of opportunity -- the potential to change the way they work so they can perform better, no matter the economic conditions. This is why the application of Social Business Software has become much more interesting and strategic as of late. Just look at the Lufthansa and Toshiba announcements we've made in the last few weeks.

 

But to take advantage of that opening, they know they have to move aggressively and accurately. That's why we are working so hard on new innovations that will expand the Jive offering in exciting ways. It's also why we're investing aggressively in all areas of the company - products, services, sales and marketing. And it's a big reason why there are more and more Jivers around in the U.S. and in Europe. In fact our "new" Bay Area office has expanded so fast that we're opening a bigger one as soon as possible.

 

On a personal note, my family and I recently recognized another window of opportunity. As I find myself back and forth between Portland and Palo Alto every week, we've decided to move back down to the Bay Area where my wife is from and where we spent many years. And as Jive has continued to expand aggressively, our presence in the Bay Area is becoming a bigger part of our growth (employees, customers, partners, and investors). Portland will remain Jive's physical headquarters -- our Portland team is absolutely incredible and will continue to be a big part of our growth.

 

Where I live has become less important as I spend a lot of time on the road visiting customers, prospective customers and partners. Jive is a distributed company that is great at working across geographical boundaries - we practice what we preach in a very deep way and use social software to stay connected. Our executive team lives in Portland, California, Phoenix and Texas, and we're hiring the best people we can find wherever they are located. As we like to say, "our real headquarters are in Brewspace" (our internal instance of Jive).

 

Irrespective of my base of operations, I will be spending significant time in both offices - when I am not traveling elsewhere. And I'll be completing the move soon to try to get our kids into the school year as quickly as possible.

 

Stay tuned for some exciting things to come from Jive. And to learn everything from the top Jive experts, join us at JiveWorld on October 27-29 in San Francisco.

The past few months have flown by, due in no small part to how heads down we’ve been. In addition to pulling off another record sales quarter, the product team has been busy working on an amazing release and we’ve all been working hard on some huge strategic projects around SBS. So as the summer heat is in full swing and we have a minute to smell the roses, I wanted to share and reflect on some of the great things that have happened over the course of the last three months here at Jive.

 

  • SAP partnership - The Jive ecosystem is growing rapidly, through ground-breaking partnerships with companies like SAP. We're integrating their BusinessObjects OnDemand platform with our Social Business Software to create a whole new level of understanding around online community dynamics. I have seen the potential here and it is absolutely inspiring. Expect more in the coming months as we unite world-class software with social technologies.


  • Jive Express - At Jive, we take cloud computing very seriously, but are doing it in a pragmatic way that allows our customers to adopt whatever model works for their deployment. A big step in this direction was Jive Express, which lets teams or departments get up and running fast, in a cost effective model for smaller deployments within large organizations. They also really like that we've developed this so they can migrate to on-premise if needed, or easily migrate to the full-blown version of our Employee Engagement Center for increased levels of customization and company-wide deployments.


  • Palo Alto - I just got back from three excellent weeks in the Bay Area where I got to work out of our new office for awhile and assist with some recruiting and customer visits. Outside of the long commute from Mill Valley to Palo Alto, it was great to be with the team down there and get to see so many of our customers. “Jive South” serves as a nice complement to our phenomenal team in Portland as it puts us closer to our rapidly growing customer base in Silicon Valley, as well as provides access to even more top notch talent.


  • A customer, Premier Farnell - I'd also like to take a moment to highlight Premier Farnell, to showcase some of the great uses-cases of SBS. They are a multi-channel distributor of electronic components, who built a public community for electronic design engineers. With support from their supplier community and industry experts, the Element14 Community brings together all of the information electronic design engineers need to be successful -- from design conception to production. Instead of searching a variety of vendor websites, engineers can solicit design feedback and component suggestions from trusted peers in this community. And, when engineers are ready to make a purchase, they can do this seamlessly via element14 instead of an assortment of vendor sites.

 

Q3 won’t be restful either to say the least. Lots to do on the product front, lots of new customers going live and we’ll all be getting ready for JiveWorld. Hope to see you there!

As Jive's new CMO, I couldn't think of a better topic for my first blog post than to announce JiveWorld09, our inaugural community conference.

 

When I joined Jive, the team was assessing the potential of convening the Jive community for an in-person event. My initial reaction was excitement tinged with concern. After all, with travel budgets being slashed, 2009 appeared to be the year of the "non-conference".

 

But once I became a Jiver and delved more deeply into the company, I saw existing customers using Jive to push corporate performance to new limits, despite a brutal business climate. I also saw a jaw-dropping roster of new customers propelling our record growth and contributing valuable insights to the Social Business Software dialogue.

 

There's every reason to believe that Social Business Software is at a tipping point, which is why hosting this community conference this year makes absolute sense. It's our way of rewarding customers for their unwillingness to be complacent in the face of a precarious marketplace. The best way to thank you is to host a community conference designed to empower our customers to achieve even greater business outcomes.

 

That's why JiveWorld09 is anything but your run-of-the-mill conference. Sure, you'll hear from Jive, but only because we're focusing our presentations around arming you for success. But the main focus is on you and your fellow community members, who will share the stage with Jive equally if not moreso. Most important, JiveWorld09 is about creating and capitalizing on the energy that comes from being together with our customers. Learning, sharing, questioning, experimenting, discovering -- JiveWorld09 is where you'll do all of this and more -- together.

 

We recognize how much everyone is watching their budgets right now. We also recognize that you may need to "go the extra mile" for approval to attend. That's why we're pulling out all the stops to make participating not only worth it, but also affordable.

  • We selected a city (San Francisco) that's home to many Jive customers. It also features an abundance of low-cost air options with new carriers serving both San Francisco International Airport and Oakland International airport.
  • We selected an awesome property - the W Hotel San Francisco - and negotiated a great rate of only $195 a night.
  • The second day of the conference wraps up just after lunch, so those of you flying from the central or east coasts can travel home without incurring an additional hotel night.
  • We've also kept the conference fee low -- very low, we believe for the value you'll receive -- and are offering an unbelievable discount if you register by August 28.
  • Plus, if you're selected as either a speaker or an award winner, we'll waive the conference fee (hint hint, apply for either -- or both!).

 

We're looking at every aspect of the conference agenda to ensure you leave armed with the information you need to inject Social Business Software at a more strategic level into your business. The timing is perfect, especially as many companies are moving into the planning cycle for 2010 and updating strategic plans to to not only survive, but to thrive, in the years ahead. And we're confident you'll Thrive on Jive. To register now or learn more, visit the JiveWorld09 site.

 

I'd love your ideas on how to make our inaugural JiveWorld a tremendous success, and look forward to seeing you in San Francisco.

matt

Jive at Engineering Events

Posted by matt Jul 7, 2009

We've been participating in and sponsoring several great engineering events in both Portland and the Bay Area that I wanted to highlight:

 

Recent Events

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Portland JavaScript Admirers, June 24 -- a group of smart Javascript hackers that meets monthly to discuss cutting-edge Javascript techniques. We provided beer and pizza and look forward to participating in the future meetups.

 

Portland Cloud Camp, June 30 -- Portland's own iteration of the popular CloudCamp unconference series, which Jive sponsored. There were lots of great discussions and it's super relevant content for Jive given our expanding investment in cloud computing and specifically Amazon AWS. I also enjoyed attending the San Francisco CloudCamp on June 24.

 

Upcoming Events

 

CHIFOO, July 8 -- the Computer-Human Interaction Forum Of Oregon hosts monthly meetings at Jive's offices to discuss user experience, usability and interaction design.

 

Refresh Portland, July 23 -- a monthly event for designers interested in refreshing the creative, technical, and professional culture in the Portland area that's hosted at the Jive office.

 

 

We're adding more events to our calendar and are always interested in helping technical organizations in either Portland or the Bay Area with location space (or beer sponsorship!)

matt

Jive's Bay Area Office

Posted by matt Jun 18, 2009

jive_palo_alto.pngI'm pleased to report that Jive's Bay Area office is officially open! We're still getting unpacked and the office is definitely still un-finished (note the ugly cubes that were already there). But the Palo Alto location already feels like Jive and is going to be a great place to work. Some of the good and/or interesting highlights so far:

 

  • Explaining to people that there is in fact commercial space in the Town & Country center (and it's even nice)
  • Occasionally not being able to tell the difference between Paly High and Stanford students while at Pete's
  • The same snacks as the Portland office (including Red Bull and beer) -- definitely helps with the late-night coding sessions
  • The office "running club", which consists of me and Angela until we can hire more people that like running.

 

Why Palo Alto?

 

We're expanding our engineering team and looking for great people in the Bay (and Portland!). If you're passionate about social software and building incredible products for the world's biggest companies then we hope you'll reach out. You'll be joining the growing group in Palo Alto and the larger Jive team that's leading the social business software revolution. Please check out the job reqs for application information or drop me an email or DM.

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.

 


You may have seen my recent blog post on Jive's New York Times article (a lot of former schoolmates did apparently as I got deluged on Facebook about the tattoo). In addition to the tattoo, I also mentioned that we had "one of our biggest quarters ever and we have never been stronger." Now that the books are officially closed, let me expand on it:

 

  • We had our best sales quarter in the history of the company.
  • We were cash flow positive (for the second quarter in a row).
  • We signed up 70 new customers.
  • We expanded our Bay Area presence with a new office in Palo Alto.
  • Over 100% year-over-year revenue growth.

 

I don't want all my blogs to be "rah rah" regurgitated press releases, but I do want to share how thrilled I am with our team and with what we were able to accomplish. It was a Herculean effort to have our biggest product release ever with SBS and to add such a huge roster of great, forward-thinking clients, all in the context of the worst downturn we have seen.

 

No new tattoos for this quarter's results, but I'm all ears on ideas to celebrate future quarters.

 

Thanks for your continued support.

I spend a lot of time working on Jive's enterprise SaaS offerings. There's one question in particular we've invested quite a bit of engineering time in answering recently -- is it possible to leverage the cloud to build a scalable SaaS solution using a single tenant architecture? It's not so long ago that it felt embarrassing to say the words "Saas" and " single-tenant" in the same sentence. For years, it's been an industry mantra that it's  simply impossible to have a scalable Saas business without multi-tenancy. But recent technology advances have eroded the multi-tenant advantage. And especially for enterprise cloud collaboration, there are important reasons why single-tenancy can actually be a better solution. I don't intend to start a flame-war over which approach is ultimately better, but I offer the top reasons my single-tenant shame is passing:

 

  1. Cloud computing is changing the game. Cloud computing is anchored on virtuatlization and new levels of automation via api-based resource allocation. It's now possible to approach multi-tenant level cost efficiency with a single-tenant application. Although the cloud isn't ready for all Enterprise use-cases (due to security and compliance concerns), cloud computing is maturing very quickly.

  2. Data isolation. Most multi-tenant applications use a single database to store all customer data. That means application bugs can put your data at risk by making it visible to other companies in the same SaaS environment. We use a separate database for each customer in addition to all the advanced data security features baked into the product, which provides much better isolation for critical data.

  3. Migration. SaaS offers fast setup and a fantastic TCO. But current enterprise security and compliance polices around storing corporate data in the cloud can be too high of a hurdle to overcome as product usage expands from a single department to the whole organization. Because of our single-tenant architecture, we're able to offer the same product via SaaS or on-premise. Plus we make it really easy to move from one environment to the other. We believe it's the pragmatic approach, and the one best suited for enterprise.

  4. Customization. One of our key selling points for public-facing communities is the ability to closely match an existing site's look and feel. Most multi-tenant applications end up looking cookie-cutter with just a few color changes. Jive offers much deeper levels of flexibility.

 

In an upcoming blog entry, I'll share further details about how we're leveraging the cloud including how we're using XMPP.

There is no question that this is one of the toughest economic downturns in history. Luckily, Jive has been blessed with success and has been able to stay a step ahead of the recession. As we head into of the second quarter of 2009, we are riding in from one of our biggest quarters ever and we have never been stronger.

 

And it always helps to have press to help drive home that point. Today the New York Times published an article outlining how we got to this point. "Start-Up Gets Course in Survival " discusses the steps we've taken to stay healthy and competitive in this economy, with guidance from our funding partner Sequoia Capital:

 

The changes that Jive has made since the Sequoia meeting illustrate the ways in which young technology companies have trimmed costs and narrowed their focus in an effort to stay alive. “Jive is the poster child. They nailed it,” Jim Goetz, the Sequoia partner who is on Jive’s board, told The Times. In the quarter ended in March, Jive booked higher revenue than any quarter in its history, and it plans to start hiring again.

 

It's a great piece. My only complaint was that I wasn't a huge fan of the "near tears" line . "Sincere" would have been much better for my ego. Also, I don't think it captured the impact of our original leadership team and how critical they were to our success as a company. This company was built on the strength of some great individuals and while it's easy for a story to position it as "not scaling", the truth is a much richer tapestry. We went through a transition and in some cases it's better to bring different people with different backgrounds to help that transition. But I stand by our original team as a solid group of dedicated individuals -- it was a tough transition and we wouldn't be who we are without those folks.

Robert Brown

Jive Partners Rock!!!

Posted by Robert Brown Mar 31, 2009

Any successful software company doesn’t try to “take the hill” alone. Partnerships are critical to growing faster, smarter, and most importantly, delivering the best results for Jive’s customers. We have a ton of talented, creative, intelligent people, but our SBS leadership would not have been possible without our valued partners.

 

These partnerships can take on many shapes and forms, including:

 

  • Technology Partners who enable us to extend the capabilities of our product to provide the most feature rich offering on the market.
  • System Integrators who understand Jive’s product thoroughly and deliver successful projects.
  • Agencies and Strategic Consultants who provide Social Business Software guidance and complement our own Strategy Practice.
  • Jive Resellers who have relationships in markets and verticals that expand the reach of our own sales team.
  • OEM Partners who embed Jive within their products to provide their customers with more extensive offerings.
  • Government Experts and International Partners who help us navigate these growing market opportunities.
  • Our Customers, who we have always viewed as our partners,thatleverage their experience in their own domains, as well as their experience with Jive’s products, to create incredible solutions that can be shared with the market.

 

 

The best thing about our partners is their approach to servicing customers. I come from an old school consulting background early in my career and many times the approach there is to play defense when attacking a problem. Figuring a way not to fail vs. figuring out a way to do something legendary. One of the greatest things about Jive is working with people who have the desire to be legendary. Our partners share that approach.

 

 

I always tell customers and partners from the outset that no relationship is perfect all the time…just ask Mrs. Brown. It’s about being able to work together, to disagree and work through that disagreement, to realize it’s not about winning, but about winning together for mutual success, that really produces those legendary results.

 

 

There are too many partners worthy of recognition to single them out here by name -- I would be fearful of an oversight and thus not giving them their deserved credit. Going forward I will blog here about specific examples of our partners accomplishments and the success stories they have created. In the meantime, here is a list of recent news about our partnerships.

 

 

Suffice to say, we appreciate and value our partner ecosystem and look forward to growing those relationships and developing others.

 

Jive Partners truly rock!

The last few weeks have been pretty exciting for Jive.  We received a lot of very positive press and analyst coverage around our announcement of Jive SBS 3.0, including ZDNet, CNET, VentureBeat, Aberdeen Group, and many more.  There was also a tremendous amount of chatter in the Twittersphere.  Much of the Twitter chatter has been trying to make sense of how our historical products Clearspace & Clearspace Community fit into the Jive SBS 3.0 paradigm:

 

 

marketechture.png

 

 

The History of Clearspace & Clearspace Community

 

For those of you familiar with our products, Clearspace was launched in February 2007 as one of the first fully integrated social suites addressing the needs of employee communities.  Clearspace Community was launched in May of the same year and focused on Customer & Partner communities outside of the firewall.  Jive was the only company who recognized from the beginning that addressing the needs of social software for the enterprise had to include employees, customer, and partners.

 

 

Two years later we’ve had some tremendous success with these products and added well over 600 customers to our already substantial customer base with global brands usch as Intel, Nike, CNN iReport, United Business Media, SAP, and NetApp. We’ve seen strong uptake in almost every vertical including finance, manufacturing, retail, technology, government, education, and services.  The most interesting thing is that some of our earliest customers now have tens of communities, and over a quarter of them have more than 2 communities.  As you might imagine this has created the strong desire to unify the user experience across these communities, and subjects like federation and bridging have become very common place, but I will dive into that topic in a future blog.

 


The Foundation of Social Business Software

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If you took all of the product that we have sold to date, it would fit into the blue layer of the Jive SBS architecture pictured above.  Clearspace is now referred to as an Employee Marketplace.  And a Clearspace Community instance is called a Public Marketplace.  These Employee & Public Marketplaces are now collectively referred to as Jive Foundation.  Why?  Because they are the foundation on top of which we deliver our solution-focused Modules and Centers.  In order to purchase a Module or a Center you must have at least one foundational product in place.  This social layer is extremely important, provides a tremendous amount of value in its own right, and ultimately is what distinguishes Social Business Software from the more transaction and process oriented enterprise software that has become so familiar.  But, it is applying the power of social software to specific, understood challenges in the enterprise that provides hard ROI and clear value--this is where the introduction of the Centers truly changes the game.

 

 

But Wait! I’ve Got Questions!

 

 

 

You’re not alone.  As with any transformation there is a lot of change, and change can be confusing.  Here are the questions I’ve been getting most often over the last couple of weeks:

 

  • With the introduction of modules, are you removing functionality from the Foundation?

    Absolutely not.  An example would be the analytics dashboard related to basic user information and system information in the Admin Console of the Foundation products.  The addition of the powerful social analytics in our Analytics & Insight modules will complement these views and information, and not be redundant or conflict with them in any way.  Nothing is being removed from the Foundation or any of the products that our customers currently have in place.

 

  • With the addition of so many new offerings does that mean you are going to put the Foundation products into maintenance mode?

    Definitely not.  Jive has product management and engineering resource focused exclusively to the Foundation.  We intend to improve upon our leadership position in terms of social capabilities.  In fact, we intend to move more aggressively here than ever before.  Over the next several releases you will see us continue to unify the different modes of social communication into a single usable experience.  There will see dramatic improvements and innovation around social discovery, noise reduction, and actionability.  The Foundation will continue to be a critical part of our roadmap and strategy going forward.

  • Is Jive SBS just Clearspace with a new name?

    Hopefully the answer to this is now clear.  Clearspace is now an Employee Marketplace that is part of Jive Foundation, which is one layer of the Jive SBS architecture.  Modules and Centers are new offerings that are additional to the foundation products and dependent on at least one of the Marketplaces being in place.

  • I really like the Clearspace name and logo.  Why did they have to go?

    Before answering this, I will say that we love them too.  Spark, Forums, Clearspace, and Clearspace Community all had fantastic names & logos.  I’ve often joked that there are startups that would kill for names and branding as good as these products.  But, change is a natural part of growth and maturity, and worked very well for Jive at one time is no longer as good of a fit.

    For those of you in the enterprise software space, you know that it is very difficult to build and develop more than one brand.  When I go into our customers they collectively refer to our software as “Jive” no matter which products they are using.  (Even if it is our older Forums product.)  More importantly, these product brands were not helping our customers and prospects conceptualize the solution that Jive brings to market with our Social Business Software focus.  While there is a firm belief that this is the right decision for Jive and our customers, we’ll always have a nostalgic place in our hearts for the Clearspace name.

 

 

The Best is Still Ahead

 

We’re really excited about our new direction with Jive Social Business Software, and there is a lot more to talk about.  Dave started laying out some of what the Modules and Centers are going to mean to our customers in his blog post (http://www.jivesoftware.com/jivespace/blogs/jivetalks/2009/03/10/welcome-to-the-social-business-revolution--introducing-jive-sbs-30).  I hope to go a bit deeper in some follow-on posts.  Admittedly, it is early and the cynical may dismiss this move as pure marketing or hand waving.  But, I’m willing to predict that the skeptics will fall silent over time.  The module offerings were strongly pulled by our customers and will have an incredible amount of uptake.  Our solution focused Centers strategy was not created on a whiteboard, but from a deep assessment of the way our customers are actually using our products.  All we are doing is making their experience easier, cleaner, and more powerful by productizing and packaging our software in a way that provides clear solutions to large business problems.

Changes at Jive

Posted by Dave Hersh Mar 24, 2009

So far, 2009 has been the best year for Jive that I can remember. Our launch of Jive SBS 3.0 was hugely successful, the product has a huge and compelling set of features, and SBS as a category (http://www.jivesoftware.com/jivespace/blogs/jivetalks/2009/03/10/welcome-to-the-social-business-revolution--introducing-jive-sbs-30) is expanding faster than we imagined. Every member of the Jive team has pulled more than their weight the past few months and it's been a joy to work with such a solid team. It's also clear that we're on the other side of a big company transition -- what I like to think of as going from a ‘big small company’ to a ‘small big company’. It's exactly what we needed to go through as an organization, but with this transition comes change.  And one of the tougher transitions for me will be saying goodbye to our Chief Marketing Officer, Sam Lawrence, who is leaving Jive at the end of this month.

 

Sam is a great friend and a great marketer. He was an instrumental part of moving this company from a small technology vendor to the category leader - from the initial Clearspace direction to developing creative ways to evangelize this new space.

 

I am going to miss Sam - not just what he's done for Jive, but who he is. His sense of humor and loyalty are unmatched. He has helped in making Jive's first chapter memorable and enjoyable. I'll let Sam talk about what's next for him on his blog, but he'll rock it for sure.

 

In the meantime, Jive is actively refilling the CMO position and will make an announcement once it is filled.

I've spent a healthy portion of the last month on the road talking to analysts and press about our new release, and it's been one of the most thoroughly enjoyable times I've had as a CEO. Not only is the release packed full of amazing things to talk about, but it's also clear that our vision is closely aligned to that of the analysts and the press, and that this vision is playing out daily with our customers.

 

The Backdrop

 

 

 

Since we started Jive, we've watched as social computing has changed the lives of over a billion individuals. And we have pushed hard on bringing this revolution to the workplace. And in the last few years, we have seen first-hand how Social Business Software (SBS) can create a marketplace of ideas where people, projects and priorities come together to harness everybody's knowledge, ability and creativity to produce a new asset called social capital. And we have seen how it can create breakthrough returns in the process.

 

 

For our customers, SBS is the new enterprise category. The enterprise has been devoid of a new application category since CRM, and they see the advent of social software as the biggest change to happen to the enterprise in fifteen years. It's now spanning every major vertical and the visionary leaders are seeing the gains that can be made by opening up collaboration and focusing on the people. This is especially true in a downturn, where throwing more money at business process software is not going to lead to huge value increases -- you have to look to the areas where there is the most to gain, the white spaces in a company: the people.

 

Right now, it's too hard, takes too long and costs too much. People spend twenty hours a week managing emails or stuck in meetings. For the company that wants to show huge changes in the input/output equation, you have to think big. You have to think about changing the way you work. The smart companies are already doing it, and they're already seeing the results.

 

 

Introducing Jive SBS

 

 

marketechture.png

 

 

What's Important:

 

 

1. The Four Centers: The biggest change for the company as a whole is a complete reorganization of our go-to-market strategy around business value -- what we call the four "Centers". Having seen what works and what doesn't, we chose to align ourselves with the transformational business outcomes we know we can produce, and the full sales & services team / product / partnerships and vision to ensure we make our customers successful.

 

  • Employee Engagement: Allows employees to get their heads above their cubicles (metaphorically) to see that they are part of a much bigger network of people, and to use this network to dramatically improve their productivity by accessing the best ideas and resources across the entire organization.
  • Marketing & Sales: Creates awareness, builds leads and maintains a deep and meaningful conversation with customers, and allows sales and marketing organizations to share information, news and connections quickly and easily.
  • Innovation / R&D: Allows inovation teams to solicit and evaluate ideas and opportunities from customers, partners and employees and reduce time to market dramatically.
  • Support: Improves the quality and speed of support agent response by providing a turnkey way to access, monitor, archive and connect the appropriate internal or external expertise with the issue at hand.

 

 

2. Bridging: Early on we made a strategic decision that customers, partners and employees all needed to be part of SBS -- just focusing on customer communities or behind-the-firewall employee collaboration was a not a long term solution, and our customers (very vocally) backed this up. The power of SBS is that it leverages the collective power of a huge group of people. And in this era, the successful companies are ones that can facilitate that "big conversation" and produce the best decisions and outcomes, which requires including your customers and partners. In this release we our thrilled to have our first push at bridging the gap between different communities, allowing employees to see what customers are saying and to start building a deeper relationship with them.

 

 

3. Analytics and Insights: Measuring the success of SBS rollouts is critical. This latest release not only offers an incredibly rich analytics module with out of the box reports and a full data warehouse solution to drive the metrics that matter most to your business, but also a full Insights module that reports on the sentiment and engagement of your marketplace (and even other outside public communities). You can think of it like this: the Analytics module measures what people are doing, the Insights piece manages what they are thinking.

 

 

The Insights module is done through a partnership with Networked Insights and is a very powerful tool. You have to check out a demo if you have a chance.

 

 

4. Video: Essentially a YouTube for your SBS rollout, the video module allows all the main video formats to be quickly uploaded and available as a first class content type, with all the security, performance and scaling the enterprise needs.

 

5. Bookmarking: Track what's important through social filtering of content.

 

 

What about Clearspace?

 

 

 

Clearspace as a product is fully represented in the Foundation layer above. The core product and architecture has largely remained the same, but we have removed the name Clearspace. Ultimately it was creating brand confusion with the name Jive, and we had to make the call. As much as we loved the name, we had to move on to the next stage of our development as a product and a company.

 

 

Now Business is Social

 

 

We have put a ton of work into this release and we couldn't be more thrilled. SBS is growing up quickly, and it's proving to be what companies need in this time of uncertainty. Please join us for a live webcast with Nike, Cisco, and Forrester to see how SBSis changing the way work gets done in the enterprise.

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