Jive News Blog

2 Posts authored by: Christopher Morace

When it comes to new technologies, potential and excitement is often accompanied by skepticism. That’s a normal response and frankly a good thing. So when we say social enterprise platforms offer tremendous business value — that these platforms radically change how work gets done every day —we understand it raises questions.  These questions lead to answers that must be supported by data and quantification.


So, let’s start with some numbers. It’s now estimated that social technology can provide a 20%-25% improvement in productivity in the enterprise — that adds up to between $900 billion and $1.3 trillion annual value.  

 

These findings came from McKinsey & Co., which last year issued the most comprehensive report on social business and the social economy previously available. The report reveals that today, employees waste 28 hours a week sorting through email, searching for information and sitting in meetings.

 

To validate all of this even further, we asked the top global business consulting firm to investigate what companies really want from a social platform and quantify how much business value they’re getting using Jive.  

 

It turns out the findings surpassed, even our wildest expectations. Those companies using the Jive platform reported 15% increased worker productivity and 2-4% increase in topline revenue. This is because these businesses were able to:

 

  • reduce time looking for information and expertise within in the company by 34%
  • reduce meetings by 16%
  • reduce email load by 21%

 

And that’s just scratching the surface. Employee engagement is higher when implementations are focused on specific use cases that solve real business problems for sales teams, marketing teams, customer service solutions and/or the corporate intranet. Companies doing this see better strategic alignment and up to a 24% drop in employee turnover.

 

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Ultimately, business value is not an amorphous concept. It can and should be measured and quantified regularly in terms of go-to-market capabilities and time to market, sales cycles, employee engagement, and revenue growth. 


Given the challenges in today's highly competitive business climate--a dispersed, global workforce, changing demographics, the high priority placed on real-time communication and collobation--social business platforms like Jive are game changers.


And the proof is in the productivity.

At the SharePoint conference last week, Microsoft announced a change in Yammer’s pricing model from four tiers to two – one free version and one fee-based for their more advanced version.

 

As many members of the media pointed out, (http://allthingsd.com/20121112/microsoft-talks-about-its-plans-for-yammer-socialize-everything/), Yammer’s previous business model - giving it away and then hoping to eventually get a check from the CIO – was largely unsustainable for a stand alone business.

 

I'd actually take it a step further and say that it is representative of a misinformed trend coming out of Silicon Valley startups today based on a misunderstanding of the "consumerization of the enterprise" concept. It seems that many start-ups think that literally taking consumer solutions and applying them whole cloth to the enterprise is a great idea. Yammer, for example, has historically been quite fond of calling themselves "Facebook for the enterprise".  I think this trend represents a lack of understanding of the enterprise working reality. 

 

In an enterprise sale of a collaboration platform, the buyer and user are not the same.   And the employees that use it need to get value in the context of their business, which is quite different than in the context of their personal lives even if the technology platform is similar - imagine having the equivalent of 50,000 ‘friends’ in a large company. And those people who pay for it in a business, the CIOs of the world, want to know that teams of people are doing more than adopting a technology, but actually achieving business results by using it.  

 

Although Microsoft will still offer a free version of Yammer, this pricing change represents an important inflection point in the market and, I believe, a good first step back towards conversations about the real value of social platforms. Since inception, we at Jive have had a consistent point of view on “free” in the enterprise. We believe that in business, people pay for what they value – and while you can remove the risk for a business executive by allowing him/her to evaluate a solution before purchase - freemium is not a model that makes sense for any business platform that will enable an entire organization in the long term. If your offering clearly solves a problem for a team, a department, or a company then you will have no trouble convincing an executive to pay for it. And adoption and usage are not the same as delivering real productivity that contributes to the top line. You simply can’t force a consumer model based on personal usage patterns, eyeballs and advertising into the enterprise context.  We consistently hear from our customers - the Fortune 500 CIOs- that they have and will continue to only invest in collaboration platforms that deliver real productivity gains that directly improve the top line and lower the bottom.

 

I welcome your thoughts and comments on this topic…

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