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Next up in our blog series on ways to revitalize your community: recruiting and maintaining strong community advocates. (Missed parts 1 and 2? Find out more about optimizing for mobile and improving search.)

 

Let’s start by defining a community advocate. An advocate is an evangelizer, a super user, and more - all in one. They are incredibly important to have in your community because they're the people who really love collaboration and community. You probably know the type. They’re the “gurus”, the first ones to learn a tool and the folks who really love to tell people how to use it. And they are the ones whom people naturally gravitate to in their peer group to ask questions about the new tool.

 

Some advocates will emerge naturally, which is great. It’s your job to encourage the naturals and to recruit more people to the team. One advocate can’t carry an entire community, but with an entire advocate network, you can enhance the quality of your community while gaining time back to do more big-picture community manager things, like managing a program and expanding your use cases.

 

How many Jive customers currently have an advocates network? We asked this question in our recent webinar, six strategies for revitalizing your community, and got the following response.

 

 

If you’re part of that 19%, awesome. If not, don’t despair - you’re not alone and it’s easy to get rolling.

 

How many advocates do you need?

 

We recommend one advocate for every 100 employees. That may sound like a lot, especially in a large organization, but it’s better to over-recruit than underestimate. Being a community advocate is an informal role, so people tend to move in and out of the ability to help depending on their other job responsibilities. It’s important to have a large group because you never know when you’ll need them.

 

Your advocate network should ideally be a diverse group as well as a relatively big one. They should come from all over your organization: all levels, roles, and locations. It's important to have people in every nook and cranny that you can think of. The more reach your advocates have, the more reach you have to get people trained, keep them engaged, and get the help that they need.

 

Recruiting advocates is especially important when you have locations in multiple countries. Local advocates understand the cultural norms in their locations, which makes them more effective at managing people in geo-specific communities.

 

What’s the best way to recruit advocates?

 

Start with the obvious enthusiasts. Find your advocates among the people you already see in the community who are helping others, posting and answering questions, wracking up a lot of points, etc. These folks are your low-hanging fruit.

 

To expand beyond the clear candidates, consider using rewards quests. For example, you can create a quest that has a few advanced tasks, then reach out to anyone who completes that quest and ask them if they'd like to be an advocate. One customer I worked with used that technique once a year to identify people. When someone completed the quest, they would send them a little mug and a little certificate and woo them into being an advocate that way. Another strategy is to make it a “gated society”. If you make it a bit more difficult to attain advocate status, with a particularly involved quest for instance, some employees become even more motivated to achieve that special designation.

 

Once people become advocates, how do we keep them in the role?

 

There are a variety of ways to show your appreciation for your community advocates.

  • Give them a little role badge that identifies them as an advocate, like how every Aurea employee has a little A in AureaWorks.
  • Ask them what tasks they’d like to perform to ensure they’re doing the things that they find fun and rewarding.
  • Run an advocate-of-the-month program with a small prize (desk swag!) or special recognition.
  • Come up with a fun name for your advocate network that works with your community. I work with one customer whose community is named The Bridge and their advocates are the “bridge builders”.


Advocates improve the community experience in several ways, from increasing engagement to boosting adoption to relieving community managers of doing All The Things. Recruiting and fostering an advocate network is a great way to revitalize your community by tapping into the resources you already have - and creating new ones. For more ways to revitalize your community, check out the other posts in this six-part series:

  • Recruiting advocates
  • Engaging leaders- coming soon
  • Personalizing your communities - coming soon
  • Sharing your successes- coming soon

In a recent blog post, I shared my top 5 strategies for boosting engagement with gamification, including different ways to leverage Jive Rewards for everything from onboarding to executive adoption. I’m a big proponent of gamification and talk about it often (see: this webinar), but in those conversations, I often hear that Jive customers have reservations.

 

Let’s look at some common concerns about gamification and how to address them.

 

Concern #1: My employees will spend all day gaming and not get any work done.

 

It is important to balance the ways that employees earn points or badges. We need to avoid rewarding only activities that are done by the user - this CAN make "gaming" rampant. Instead, the ways to earn badges and points need to be a combination of user activities and reaction to those activities by others. For example, a "mission" might include activities like creating a document or discussion, but it should also contain activities like "another user liked the document" or "another user commented on your discussion". This makes it so that the activities the user is doing are valued by others in the organization instead of just randomly "following" every person in the community to get points.

 

Concern #2: Gamification is too in-your-face for my organization.

 

Sometimes customers feel like gamification isn’t the right fit for their company culture. But one of the things I like about Jive Rewards is that it allows employees to be as engaged in the "competition" as they want to be. If they like earning badges, they have easy access to see what is available and where they are in the leaderboard. If it’s not a priority for them, it can run entirely in the background and they can ignore it. This “opt-in” system prevents the Rewards system from being too “in your face” while enabling it to gain momentum through the folks who choose to engage with it.

 

Concern #3: Leadership and/or the employees in my organization don’t care about earning points or badges.

 

Everyone likes to be recognized for a job well done. Even if your employees don’t care about any other elements of Rewards, no one can say that they didn’t like it when they received a badge from a colleague. Over and over, customers tell me that they find that members of their leadership team are competitive with each other - and using gamification as a way to encourage some friendly points-earning among them (with a leadership leaderboard to publicize it) can set a good example for other employees. And again, if someone truly doesn’t care, they can ignore it.

 

Concern #4: I can’t measure the impact of a gamification program.

 

Measuring the success of any initiative is a difficult proposition - and one that many community management teams try to avoid altogether. It can be next-to-impossible to discern if what you are doing with gamification is a contributing factor in changing the way employees work and in increasing employee satisfaction. But never fear, using a combination of quantitative and qualitative data (from both within Jive and external resources), you should be able to put together a convincing story about the success of your initiative.

 

Jive Rewards has a comprehensive set of reports that allows you to see the completion levels for quests and missions, including which activities are getting completed most often. You can also check individual player activities. This data can be downloaded into csv files for further analysis.

 

For example, you could compare the number of new joiner onboarding quests completed (and review the people who completed it) to the number of people who joined the company in a certain time period. This can give you an idea of how successful your onboarding program is in getting new employees engaged in your community.

 

While earning points and badges may sound silly to your executives and/or employees (or even you!), it is definitely worth a shot. Customers are often surprised by how effective a gamification system can be. With a few guard rails in place, a few leaders on board, and a few reports in your back pocket, a Rewards program can take off quickly and return meaningful, measurable results.

 

To learn more about incorporating game theory into Jive communities, watch my recent webinar: 5 Gamification Strategies to Energize Your Community.

 

 

People are collaborative and communicative by nature.  But while we understand the importance of company-wide collaboration and how it can impact an organization, creating the desired corporate culture or driving behavior change is no simple task. 

 

Enter gamification: a strategy that can naturally drive collaboration within the company-sanctioned tool and empower employees to help and challenge one another.

 

For those not familiar with gamification, it is the application of game design elements and game principles in non-game contexts. Think of it as a set of activities and processes used to solve organizational problems by applying the characteristics of game elements.  To learn more about game theory and how gamification appears in nearly every aspect of our daily lives, check out our recent blogs, 5 Ways to Boost Engagement with Gamification and Gamification in the Wild: Rockstar Examples from Jive Customers.

 

Introducing the new Jive Rewards module

 

The Jive Rewards and recognition module leverages gamification techniques to influence user behavior and drive greater employee engagement and involvement within the organization.  You can use these gamification capabilities to:

  • Promote and reward desired actions and behaviors
  • Support community adoption efforts
  • Accelerate employee onboarding
  • Help establish member reputation and elevate community experts
  • Reward users with increased reputation for desired contributions
  • Leverage competition to increase engagement


The Jive Rewards module includes a variety of tools to accomplish these objectives, including several new features added since Jive migrated to AWS. Better yet, the module is now available for all Jive Cloud customers at no additional cost.  Learn more about how to use Jive Rewards to boost engagement in our webinar, Gaming the System: 5 Gamification Strategies to Energize Your Community

 

Jive Rewards programs in action
What do Jive Rewards gamification-based programs look like in action? With Jive Rewards, your users will be able to:

  • Earn points for performing activities driven by the community manager
  • Complete quests and missions to earn badges
  • View their position on the community leaderboard, advance through different levels, and challenge other employees to make faster progress up the leaderboard
  • Advance on organization strategic initiatives such as employee assistance, working-out-loud and more
  • Recognize each other’s work, help others celebrate, or just make their peers’ day through peer recognition
  • View points, levels, badges and more on desktop and mobile
  • Get rewarded for activities performed outside the community

 

All of these user capabilities are fully driven and managed by the community manager. With Jive Rewards, community managers can:

  • Define strategy and missions that encourage specific behavior
  • Define mission level criteria
  • Boost engagement by creating quests
  • Target quests to a specific group of people
  • Define the rewards per event and a daily limit for event points per user
  • Create and support advocate groups
  • Customize badges for the community
  • Analyse the effectiveness of the gamification tools with dedicated reports and analytics



What’s new in Jive Rewards?
In the last year we’ve dramatically improved the Jive Rewards module. The newly released features are mainly focused on quest configuration as the engine for driving community engagement.  Your community managers can now set up quests with more advanced configurations, empowering them to direct the community according to the company's culture.  Additionally, admins now have more control around the way users gain points. Jive Rewards now supports the ability to limit the points users can gain for a specific action, credit/debit points for multiple users, and view the user's activity log.  New and updated features include:


Advanced Quest Configurations The new Jive Rewards module offers more options than ever to create and execute meaningful quests. Admins can now:

  • Link quests to each other, so that when a user completes the first quest, they can see a new targeted quest that’s now available.
  • Filter quests by Permission Groups and Social Places
  • Create quests that must be completed in a certain order
  • Build quests with multiple events as components, like "Your content was liked 5 times" or "Create 5 documents"
  • Configure repeatable quests, so a single user can complete a quest a set number of times in a 24 hour period
  • Limit the number of times a quest can be given
  • Add the OR operator to events

 

 

Event Count Limitation

 

Admins can now limit the times a user is able to get points for an event, choosing a reasonable amount

in the community should perform a specific action and get points it. For instance, if the event "Follow a place" is set to 5, a user will get credit only for the first 5 actions within 24 hours. (Configuring a limitation will not prevent the user from doing the action, it will only affect the points given for performing the action.) of time that users

 

 

 

User Activity Log

The admin can see a detailed activity log for every user, including the actions performed and the points that were credited or debited.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Customised Strategies And Missions

Within the existing out-of-the-box strategies, the admin can now rename a strategy and change its description. Admins can also create new missions in addition to the out-of-the-box missions.

 

 

Customized Badge Name

In the new Jive Rewards, it’s easy to customize and translate your badge names to support your community’s naming convention and company strategy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Downloadable reports

Community managers and admins can now access additional reports within Jive Rewards to gain a deeper and wider view of their community.  New reports include:

  • Quest event details: Track completion of a specific quest event to identify when tasks are too easy or difficult for users to accomplish.
  • Mission levels: Monitor mission-level achievements across the community.
  • User badges: Analyze the distribution of user-given badges between community members.
  • Points and levels : Identify overall top participants and those moving up the leaderboard quickly.

 

 

 

And more…

That’s not all. In addition to the capabilities above, Jive Rewards now allows you to credit and debit points for multiple users, use inbox notifications for promoted quests, and run bulk updates on user status, including the ability to sync user statuses with Jive, change statuses in bulk, and export users to a CSV file.

 

 

 

 

Ready to learn more?

We’re excited about the new capabilities within the Jive Rewards module and want to empower the Jive community to use them as effectively as possible. Check out the following resources for more information, then register to join our upcoming webinar, Gaming the System: 5 Gamification Strategies to Energize Your Community.

 

I’ve been talking about gamification a lot lately, as I prepared for our webinar, Gaming the System: 5 Gamification Strategies to Energize Your Community . In today’s blog, let’s leave the theoretical strategies behind and look at how several Jive customers have successfully implemented gamification programs at their organizations.

Scientist community geeks out on level and quest names

 

Making your gamification program match the brand, purpose and tone of your community is essential. Is it okay for employees to be a little wacky sometimes, for instance, or do you want folks to stay more buttoned up? This should be reflected in the names of your point levels. Create names for your levels that are relevant to your industry or organization and on-brand with the “vibe” of your community.

 

One customer in the science field, for instance, connected their program to their brand by naming all their levels and quests things that relate to the field of physics.

 

Global travel company uses over 80 quests to support adoption of corporate objectives

 

CWT, a digital travel management company, has done extensive work to create quests that are targeted at any level of employee, from new employees to seasoned veterans. They also have quests that train their Traveler Experience teams on promotions that are going on with the airlines they work with. Many of these quests are only active for a certain period of time. Quests can be pushed  into the Jive inbox to call attention to them, which works especially well for time-bound activities and contests.

 

 

Belgian telecom creates excitement and engagement for their intranet launch

 

When a Belgian telecom launched their Jive intranet in 2017, they went for a "big bang" approach, rolling out to 28K employees in 3 languages. How did they do it?

  • Every day for the first week of launch, there was a new quest to complete. Each quest had one activity to complete to get the badge.
  • The next day there was a different one. Employees could also complete the ones from the days before.
  • If the employee completed all 5 quests, they got an additional badge at the end of the week.
  • All the quests expired at the end of the week, creating a sense of urgency.
  • They used an HTML tile on the home page to create a pop-up that announced the new quest each day, as well as "promoting" each quest so that it would appear in the Jive inbox (and in email if the preferences were set that way.)

Global media company uses peer-to-peer badges for charitable giving campaign

Informa, one of the world’s leading B2B event organizers, uses peer-to-peer badging in a unique way that brings a corporate charitable giving program into Jive. Once a year, their Hub is used to first advertize the campaign and nominate the charities that will be targeted for donations. Once the charities are selected, a user profile is set up for each charity. A special badge is created for the program. Employees can award points to the charity of their choice by awarding the charity profile the badge and give away their points. The proportion of points awarded to each charity is converted to GBP and donated to the charity - and the results published in the Hub. Informa reports that this program has many positive benefits:

  • Enables employees to actively mirror company values
  • Creates a "one Informa" culture
  • Grows a culture of appreciation and sense of belonging
  • Empowers all employees to reward positive behavior
  • Increases community engagement and participation by boosting awareness of opportunities

 

 

You can learn more about Informa’s innovative engagement strategies as Steven Rigby joined me in our gamification webinar.

 

In conclusion: Let them play games!

 

Gamification has seeped into our daily lives to such an extent that we expect to be rewarded for doing things others want us to do. With this in mind, accept the inevitable and create a great gamification strategy for your community.  Your users will enjoy it and your organization will thank you.

 

To learn more about incorporating game theory into Jive communities, watch the webinar here.

 

In our recent blog, Three Ways to Elevate Your Jive Experience with Extension Pack, we mentioned that we built the Jive Extension Pack with three primary objectives in mind:

 

  1. Elevate the community experience
  2. Simplify workflows and processes within Jive
  3. Create essential connections.

 

The Three Ways blog covered the first point. Today, we’ll look at how the Jive Extension Pack can make your admins’ and users’ lives easier.  There are a variety of extensions within the library that serve this purpose.

 

Let’s start with the Ghost Publish plug-in and Delegate Access add-on. These extensions do precisely what they sound like: allow users to blog or post in someone else’s name. This is particularly useful for executive communications and collaboration between and amongst communications teams. The permission-based plug-in streamlines workflows and prevents delays in communication by allowing community members to post on behalf of others when they’re not available.  Let's look at a few of the new capabilities added to this extension.

 

Ghost Comment

This feature enables the global enable or disable of the Ghost Comment functionality across all places in Jive.  You can use the "Disabled" option so that Ghost Comment can be enabled on a per place basis.  That allows you to keep the ghost commenting functionality restricted to a narrower set of people who need to use it.

 

Ghost Relationships

When enabled, users (Editors) will ONLY be able to publish/comment on behalf of other users (Authors) if there is a relationship between them. The list of Ghost Relationships is also maintained on the main configuration page.

 

 

 

Ghost Publish

This feature enables the global enable or disable of the Ghost Publish functionality across all places in Jive.  You can use the "Disabled" option so that Ghost Publish can be enabled on a per place basis.  That allows you to keep the ghost publishing functionality restricted to a narrower set of people who need to use it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another example is the Enhanced Editor plug-in, a.k.a. EditPro. A favorite of Corp Comms teams, the EditPro plug-in makes it easy to create feature-rich content and news stories. Its enhanced functionality, like an image gallery and tap navigation, make publishing in Jive similar to more complex content management systems. That means your community members can build beautiful, engaging content with more features and less of a learning curve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

These plug-ins are just a few of the ways to make it easier to collaborate and communicate effectively within Jive. You can explore more plug-ins and add-ons in the  the Jive Extension Pack Space.

 

Ready to take Jive to the next level?  Contact your account executive to learn how Jive Extension Pack can help you achieve your business objectives more quickly and easily.

To learn more about incorporating game theory into Jive communities, watch the webinar.

 

When we were kids, our lives revolved around playing games. Many were just for the fun of it, but others had ulterior motives; our parents knew that making things fun could get us to do things we might not necessarily want to do (think airplane spoons bringing mushy peas into our mouths!) Then we grew up, and for the most part, stopped playing games.  Or did we?

 

Playing Around: Gamification in Our Every-Day Lives

 

We are trained from a young age that if we do something good, we get rewarded. As children we earn boy or girl scout badges, as adults we rack up frequent flyer points and coffee loyalty cards. We might not even notice that we are being manipulated to do these things: the reward we receive makes it worth it to change our behavior.

 

These rewards can be intrinsic, as in these cases:

 

Piano keys were painted on the stairs to encourage people to use them instead of the escalator. While the reward is "better fitness," people took the stairs because the piano keys made it more fun to do this.
And for the guys: Hitting the fly makes you feel like you have great aim, but what it accomplishes is less mess around the urinal.

 

Rewards can also be extrinsic:

 

These Swedish street signs rewarded drivers who stayed under the speed limit with a thumbs up. Speeders were given the usual tickets, but drivers who came in under the speed limit were entered into a lottery - with prizes paid for out of the speeder fines.

 

It’s clear that we “play games” every day and that many businesses and organizations understand how to use games to motivate behavior. But what about in our day-to-day jobs? Is it acceptable to play games at work?

 

My answer: Yes, and we already do! Performance review and bonus programs reward us for doing our jobs well. A challenge with these, however, is that they tend to only happen once or twice a year. A continuous supply of small rewards for doing the things that teach us to work differently in support of our company's objectives is an effective (and sneaky) way to effect change within the organization.

 

Which brings us to Jive Rewards. A gamification program using Jive Rewards can provide substantial benefits to your community and your organization. Wondering how to get started? Try these five strategies.

 

 

5 Ways to Boost Engagement

1. Use Jive to onboard new employees into the company and into the community.

2. Create a tiered set of quests to encourage newbies and gurus to engage.

3. Target specific groups of people with quests designed to get them more involved.

4. Give employees a way to recognize, congratulate, and reward colleagues in a public place.

5. Reward activities from outside the community with badges in the community.

 

1. Use Jive to onboard new employees into the company and into the community.

 

Using Jive as an onboarding and resource hub for new employees serves two goals. First, it reduces confusion over where to go to do what thing. It also teaches new employees that Jive is an integral part of the corporate toolset while helping them learn the platform.

 

You can create multiple "onboarding quests" to reward new joiners for different activities. One could be specifically for learning to use Jive, while another could award a badge for completing a checklist of items both in and out of Jive. You can even target the quests for different audiences (departments, locations) based on profile fields to have different new employees do different things.

 

Some of the elements in the quests should teach employees to perform activities that promote corporate goals. It can be as simple as completing a task to learn about the company's mission statement, or it can be a series of activities that promote the use of Jive to find and mark answers as helpful.  If you're not quite ready to use Jive as an employee onboarding hub, you can still use quests to award badges for completing certain tasks.

2. Create a tiered set of quests to encourage newbies and gurus to engage (and recruit advocates at the same time).

 

To keep all employees engaged, make it easy for newbies to earn badges and move up in levels quickly so they gain confidence, then make tasks increasingly harder as employees gain experience. You can also create quests that are designed to help identify potential advocates. By the same token, you can tier the levels so they are harder and harder to move up into over time and therefore more exclusive and prestigious.

 

    Example quests for employee engagement:

    • Learning the basics: A set of tasks oriented toward learning to use the community and onboarding new employees into the organization (can include links to external platforms, etc.)
    • More advanced tasks: Repeatable missions with more advanced activities that lead users into developing the skills that support your organizational goals ("working out loud", providing peer-to-peer support, etc.)
    • Quests that are targeted toward a specific initiative or goal

    Consider rewarding top earners with both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards:

    • "Contributor of the month" tile on the home page
    • Role badges that appear next to the person's name in the community (like the little “A” next to every Aurean in AureaWorks)
    • Free ticket to a conference or event (think Aurea Experience)
    • Physical goods (desk swag that highlights that this person is a rockstar in the community)

 

3. Target specific groups of people with quests designed to get them more involved.

 

An excellent example of a target group is leaders. Their support of and engagement in the community is instrumental to keeping employees engaged, but often their engagement is not readily apparent. Use the competitive spirit of the leadership team to encourage them to participate in activities in the community and showcase their participation with a Leadership Leaderboard.

 

Another option is to create quests that target specific locations and departments with activities that are relevant to their roles - even down to viewing certain documents or videos or posting in specific places. Quests can also be created in different languages and targeted based on a language profile field. Users outside of these audiences won't get confused because they won't even see that they exist.

 

4. Give employees a way to recognize, congratulate, and reward their colleagues in a public place.

 

Using peer-to-peer badging allows colleagues and peers to thank, congratulate and reward other employees within the community. Anyone who is following the badgee sees that the badge was awarded in their streams and can like and comment. These badges can be awarded as a standalone item or as part of an @mention. Employees can even give away some of their points for a job well done!

 

The badges themselves can be customized to fit your needs; for example, you can create six varieties of "well done" using imagery with words. Make them mirror your corporate objectives so that employees can be directly matched with the goal that they supported.

 

5. Reward activities from outside the community with badges in the community.

 

Use badges as an additional way to recognize employees, especially when they are in multiple locations and may never see this recognition any other way. These activities can be integrated into quests using the custom event, including allowing employees to manually complete the event within the featured quest tile. Clicking an external link can trigger the event completion as well. Quest badges can be awarded manually from the Rewards console. You can even automatically award badges for external activities from other platforms using APIs.

 

What’s the net-net? That you can - and should - play games at work. Implementing these strategies and more can boost engagement and involvement while enabling your employees to have fun and foster some healthy competition. Let the games begin!

 

To learn more about incorporating game theory into Jive communities, watch the webinar with Senior Strategy Consultant Michelle Gantt

 

When we created Jive Extension Packs, we had three main objectives in mind. We wanted to make it easier for Jive customers to:

 

  • Elevate the community experience.

     Extension Packs make it simple to create visually appealing places, distribute content, and help your overall community look and feel more interesting.

  • Simplify administrative workflows and processes within Jive.

     Community Managers play an essential role in a healthy community. Extension Packs make sure that their workflows can be as streamlined as possible.

  • Create essential connections.

     With Extension Packs, it’s easier to implement Jive as your work hub and integrate it into legacy systems like SharePoint.

 

Each of these elements deserves its own discussion. Today, let’s start with how Extension Packs help you elevate the Jive experience.

 

As we mentioned in our overview of Jive Extension Packs, an “extension” can be an add-on, plug-in, or integration designed to personalize your solution. Extension Packs come in packages of five extensions per year and include the extensions’ configuration, deployment, maintenance, support, upgrades, and future enhancements. Even better: Tiles are freebies. Every tile in the Extension Library is included at no extra cost and does not count against your yearly extension count.

 

If enhancing your community is your top priority, you’re in luck: a large number of extensions are intended to improve and elevate your community’s experience.

 

For example, the Dynamic Use-Based Navigation Extension transforms the standard main navigation in Jive, which is the same for every user, into a configurable dynamic solution that displays navigation items based on the user who’s actually viewing it. Community managers can set up different navigations based on employees in different regions, like the U.S. vs. the U.K., or options that display different quick links for employees working in marketing vs. IT. This creates a truly dynamic, user-centric view for every employee who visits the community.

 

 

 

 

 

Wide+Tile+(Panel).png

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another example is the Hero Carousel Tile Extension. This tile (which remember, doesn’t count towards your yearly extension limit!) features a rotating set of configurable slides and a variety of styles to choose from. You can drag and drop to reorder slides and easily configure carousel behavior, like time delay. That makes it easy to present current, relevant content that adds value to your users.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With Jive Extension Packs, you can also access Forms & Surveys 2.0. Forms & Surveys is an add-on that provides highly flexible surveys that can be embedded everywhere: text, image, or tile.  The add-on includes configurable welcome and thank you pages, private forms based on user or user permission groups, and multi-submission options. The drag-and-drop form builder uses multiple fields, like text box, radio box, dropdown, rating, date, and upload file to build surveys, and you can easily post results. Survey results are stored in the app and can be downloaded as CSV, Excel, and JSON.

 

 

 

These examples are just three of the ways that Jive Extension Packs let you create a community that delivers on its promise to foster communication and collaboration at your organization.

 

Jive Extension Packs are now available for every Jive customer. Download the brochure for more details or contact your account executive to learn more.

Ready to get the functionality you need to meet your goals while reducing costs, minimizing risk, and improving quality?

 

We’re excited to introduce Jive Extension Pack, an always-growing collection of extensions that allow you to maximize your investment, increase the speed of innovation, and drive a tailored experience with solutions to your unique business needs. 

 

Every organization has individual requirements and objectives, from increasing engagement to driving alignment with your employees. But enhancing your platform can become time-consuming and expensive. Ad-hoc service requests quickly add up, while custom deployed features can make upgrades a nightmare.

 

 

 

Jive Extension Pack solve these challenges by offering a wide selection of fully supported add-ons, plug-ins, integrations, services and tiles designed to personalize and optimize your solution. From sparking interaction to designing and moderating content, they make it easy to extend the value of Jive.

 

When you purchase a Jive Extension Pack, you gain access to the resources and technology you need to make Jive your own – easily and cost-effectively.

 

    • Jive Extensions - Achieve your strategic and tactical objectives with powerful solutions and services built to extend the Jive platform based on customer feedback and business needs.
    • Extension Innovation Community - Collaborate with fellow customers, the Aurea team, and external experts on the consideration, prioritization, and growth of roadmap items.
    • Dedicated Extension Team - Rely on a dedicated Aurea team responsible for the development of extensions on a quarterly basis, including successful delivery of all included solutions and services.
    • Ongoing Support - Never go it alone with an on-demand team of support engineers ready to help with maintenance, upgrades and more.

 

Jive Extension Pack is now available for every Jive customer. Download the brochure for more details or contact your account executive to learn more.

 

   

Welcome back to our blog series on revitalizing your community. In our first post, we tackled how to optimize Jive for mobile. Today, we’ll discuss one of the most common questions that we hear from community managers: how to improve search.

 

What to do when search “doesn’t work”

 

Raise your hand if you’ve ever heard your employees complain that they can’t find anything in the community. This can be frustrating for the employees themselves - the community is supposed to make work easier, not more cumbersome! - and for the community managers who work hard to make their community useful and meaningful. But while it’s easy to blame the tool when search “doesn’t work,” it’s typically the processes that are getting in the way.

 

While search challenges are rarely the tool’s “fault,” it definitely helps to know how to use the tool most effectively. Check out our recent document on how search works for a deep dive into Jive’s search functionality.

 

When we discussed these six strategies for revitalizing your community in our recent webinar, we asked attendees how often they review their community for outdated content and places. The answers were split pretty evenly between folks who review it often, sporadically, and not at all.

 

 

Why does it matter? Because keeping your content and places current is the most important thing you can do to improve search results. Content adds up over time; more “stuff” is created by virtue of use and activity or the evolution of your brand or products or organization or whatever. But wrangling that content can’t be crowd-sourced. Your internal community needs to be a trusted source of corporate information and that doesn’t happen on its own.

 

So how does it happen?

 

  1. Define responsibilities. Content curation should be the responsibility of the content owners and subject matter experts. The job of the community manager is to make sure that content owners are reviewing and updating their content consistently. Once your processes are in place, make sure that SMEs know the rules and understand that keeping content current is their responsibility.
  2. Set your rules. Before you can start freshening up your community, you need to decide how you define “fresh”. When is a piece of content or a place dead? This will vary for different organizations. Some customers call it a year without activity; for others, it’s three months. I think six months is a good average and a safe rule of thumb.
  3. Conduct a content inventory. Once you’ve decided on a cut-off date, it’s time to recruit content and place owners to go through all of their places and content to discover what’s still relevant. While a content inventory can be onerous if it's never been done - or not done for awhile - using Jive’s features can help. Within your places, for instance, you can filter by the oldest activity and quickly see when the last activity occurred.
  4. Start with places. If you haven’t done this in a while, you may find pages and pages of groups that haven’t been touched in some time. It can be helpful to start with the ones that are pretty obviously dead. If they haven’t been used in years and/or the owner is no longer with the company, it’s probably safe to delete them (although if you can track down the owner, asking before deleting is always a good idea.) For places with low activity, work with the owner to decide on next steps. Does the owner need help revitalizing it, can it be retired, is it still relevant? Ask your community owners to actually look at their content within the places before deciding, then determine if it should be updated, archived, marked outdated, or deleted.
  5. Inspect your content. Once you’ve decided what places to keep, it’s time to move on to the content within the places. This is a task for the owner or SMEs . As community manager, you probably don’t know what should stay and what can go. Unfortunately, getting owners/SMEs to go through their content can be tough. This puts you in a hard position: you want to clean up the community content in order to improve search results, but you can’t clean it up without the SME’s assistance.   A solution: archiving. If there is content that you can’t delete but you suspect is nolonger active or relevant, move it to an unlisted or secret group that you create as a holding zone. In this way, the content is still accessible if anyone needs it but it won’t continue to gum up your search results.
  1. Motivate your owners. While the archive hack helps, it’s still important to get community owners and SMEs to go through their content. You can try to motivate them by explaining how a clean community is a happy, active community and how it will benefit their colleagues and team members. You can also draw a hard line and threaten to delete their content if they don’t claim it by a certain date. This tends to work better, but make sure that you have support from a leader to get employees to comply or be okay with the consequences.
  2. Implement a content naming and tagging strategy. Congrats! You’ve cleaned up your community. Now it’s important to keep it that way. One of the best ways to organize and optimize places and content is through consistent naming and tagging. For example, say you have offices in 20 countries, which means that you probably have 20 HR spaces and 20 holiday schedules posted in your community. If they're all named "holiday schedule 2019", users will find 20 versions in their search results - not just the one for their country. That's not very helpful. A content-naming and tagging strategy should be consistent and include things like country, language, department, even a date or a sub-department - things that help people who are searching to really find the content that they want. Tag content with keywords that are not found in the title or content area. You can also bulk tag content by going to the bulk content management area at the bottom left of the content tab to make this process go more quickly.
  3. Mark content appropriately. Marking content “Official” moves it higher in the search results than other versions with a similar name or topic. By the same token, marking something “Outdated” moves content lower in the search results. This is a great option for content that isn’t the most up-to-date but still needs to remain accessible. This can also be done using the bulk content management function.
  4. Promote search results. Now that you’ve got a shiny, spruced up community, you can use some more advanced search features to further optimize users’ search. Promoted search results, for instance, work like a google ad. The community manager can designate specific content that will be pinned to the top of the search results when a user types in a particular set of keywords. This can be a good strategy for things like policies or other documents that you want to make sure people find when they’re searching.


Here’s the best part: once you implement the steps above the first time, the next time it won't be so bad - as long as you go through this process consistently. The key to a well-oiled search machine is current, organized content. So clean it up and then keep it up, and hopefully those “I can’t find anything!” remarks will be history.

 

For more ways to revitalize your community, check out the other posts in this six-part series:

  • Optimizing for mobile
  • Improving search
  • Recruiting advocates - coming soon
  • Engaging leaders- coming soon
  • Personalizing your communities - coming soon
  • Sharing your successes- coming soon

Whether your Jive community has been around for six months or six years, whether it’s never been more active or is stuck in a slump, there are always ways to improve your users’ experience. That’s why we focused a recent webinar on new ideas for revitalizing your community - and why those ideas are now the basis of this 6-part blog series.

 

In today’s post, we’ll start with how to optimize your Jive community for mobile. As we all know, modern employees are constantly on the move. From traveling for work to working from home, more and more communication and collaboration happens away from the office every day. That means that a strong mobile experience is critical to the success of your community.

 

Optimizing your community for mobile starts by looking at its architecture. In our webinar, we asked participants whether they were using widgets or tiles for the majority of their places, because the answer can have a major impact on your mobile experience. Here’s what our attendees reported:

 

 

This is good news for the majority of folks on the webinar that day. Using tiles instead of widgets is one of the easiest ways to improve Jive’s mobile experience.

 

Switching from widgets to tiles

 

While Jive widgets work great on desktop, they’re not ideal for viewing and interacting with content on mobile devices. Widgets don’t show up on the narrow browser view of a phone or tablet or in the Jive Daily app. That means it’s a good idea to move your widget overview pages to tiles, even though the prospect can seem daunting.

 

There are a few ways to make the widget-to-tile transition seem less burdensome. You can start with your most motivated place-owners and/or those who have the greatest need or interest in mobile engagement. Work closely with them to create a new, tile-based standard layout, then replicate that template with other places and other teams. Once the holdouts see the impact of the switch, they’ll be excited to make the change themselves.

 

If you’re on the cloud, you can keep your widget overview page up and running while you configure your new tile pages. A great option for that configuration is to use the news page as your home page. Many of the tiles available on the news page are comparable to the widgets you may have been using on your home page, and the news page will automatically show up on users’ mobile browsers and in the Jive Daily app, where news is the main landing page. In other words, you can keep your widget overview page alive for desktop purposes while creating a similar (but far superior) mobile version using the tile-based news page.

 

This strategy does involve maintaining two separate pages, but we’ve heard from some customers that it’s worth it to have experiences that they feel are best optimized for desktop and mobile respectively. You can also, of course, keep the widget home page live while you’re building your new tile-based page(s), then shut down the widget page.

 

You’ve switched to tiles: Now what?

 

Once you’ve made the transition from widgets to tiles, there are a few things you can do to further optimize the mobile experience.

  • Plan your landing pages carefully. Mobile users will always see the top left-hand tile first on their page. People don’t like to scroll forever, so it’s important to arrange your tiles in order of relevance to your users with the most important content in the top-left area of your desktop landing page.
  • Take advantage of tiles. One of the benefits of tile pages is that you can have up to five tile landing pages on any place, which create better navigational elements then just being able to have an overview page and maybe an activity page.
  • Test, test, and test again. It’s critical to make sure that all of your pages are working for all of your devices. Especially if you have a mobile-first strategy at your organization, test each page from each place on every device used by your workforce, both on mobile browser and in the Jive Daily app if applicable. Not all tiles are currently supported in Jive Daily, so it’s extra important that the tiles you choose work well and create a positive experience in the app.
  • Promote your fabulous new mobile experience. You’ve put in the work to update your mobile experience - now it’s time to spread the word. You can use any or all of the campaign functionality in Jive, of course, or get creative with it. For example, if you have a large group of users in one location, you could set up a fun photobooth to get people to take a picture to use as their avatar. Training on the Jive Daily app is always a good idea, too, so people feel comfortable using the new interface.


That’s a wrap on mobile. Let us know if you have any questions or ideas in the comments section, and don’t forget to check back for the rest of the series on revitalizing your Jive community:

  1. Optimizing for mobile
  2. Improving search
  3. Recruiting advocates
  4. Engaging leaders
  5. Personalizing your communities
  6. Sharing your successes

This is the fifth in a series of blog posts that will focus on answering the question “what is the long-term future of Jive?”

 

In today’s post, I’m going to take a break from the focus of the last few in this series.

 

Over the first four posts, I focused on PeopleGraph – the new core technology we’re building that is the future “engine” of Jive. I’ve also talked about two of our four innovation themes - Discovery and Connection - that describe the focus for the things we’re building on top of PeopleGraph. The other two innovation themes, Collaboration and Organizational Insights, will be the focus of the final two posts in this series (yes, I’m intending to actually wrap this up).

 

The Broader Reinvention of Jive

For customers, what we are doing with PeopleGraph is the most visible part of Jive’s reinvention, which is why it has been the exclusive focus of these blog posts. However, of equal importance are some of the fundamental technology choices and changes we are making under the hood – changes that are foundational to making new technologies like PeopleGraph work. In this blog post, I’m going to talk a bit about these changes, and what they mean for customers in both the short-term and longer-term.

 

Perhaps the most important long-term product decision we’ve made involves the different technology deployment mechanisms Jive currently supports – on-premise, hosted, and cloud – and all of the configuration and customization variations associated with each of those. So, as we roll through some of the core technology decisions, I’ll also clarify how those technology decisions are deeply intertwined with our overall strategy and the impacts they create for customers using each of these different deployment models.

 

Freedom from Compromise

One of the significant constraints that Jive had self-imposed was the intention to keep Jive cloud, Jive hosted, and Jive on-premise roughly in synch and at feature parity. They weren’t fully successful with this of course – there are numerous feature variations among the different deployment models – but nevertheless the soft imposition of this constraint created two important product implications:

 

  • Jive would attempt to use the same technologies across cloud, hosted, and on-premise
  • Where possible, Jive would make available cloud services to hosted and on-premise customers

 

On the surface, both of these seem like customer-centric decisions. But there is a mammoth cost to this approach. Each time Jive wanted to advance one of the products – for example, making a significant change to the search service for cloud customers – it had to take into account a vast array of dependencies (in this case, for example, the fact that any change would impact a number of hosted and on-premise customers, each of whom are likely running different versions with different customizations). And these dependencies created two meaningful impacts: first, they materially slowed innovation, as the new code had to be compatible with an endless array of customer scenarios, deployment models, and technology stacks. And second, they compromised the kinds of innovations that could be considered in the first place (the “lowest common denominator” effect of limiting innovations to those compatible with each and every customer case).

 

If we are to move Jive forward at the pace we aspire to, we have to eliminate the kinds of dependencies and compromises that slow things down, create problems with quality, and lead to bad long-term technology decisions. And so, while we build out the new engine of Jive with PeopleGraph – and all the killer related functionality – we have made one other important decision. We are firmly divorcing “cloud” and its technology stack from hosted / on-premise and its technology stack. Let me share a bit more about why we’re doing this, and what it will mean to you.

 

The Power of the Public Cloud Operating System

Most often, when people hear the term “public cloud,” they think of hosting services that are provided at broad scale and priced on a consumption basis, assuming these services are fundamentally similar to a traditional hosting provider like Rackspace. But this reflects a dated understanding of what the public cloud is today and where it’s going … and the tremendous value it can unlock.

 

By all accounts, public cloud providers (and, specifically, AWS) resemble not so much hosting providers as operating systems. They provide a large and growing array of application related services that the software built on them can access, just like an operating system like Windows did as it grew in functionality throughout the 1990s and 2000s.

 

Consider the following graphic that illustrates the AWS services menu growth. It doesn’t take a genius to understand that this is an important technology trend, that the changes we will see in the next five years are likely to dwarf what we’ve seen in the previous five, and that companies that make the decision to go “all in” on this key trend will reap tremendous competitive advantages.

 


 

As a specific example of the kinds of advantages the “cloud operating system” provides, we are currently building a new video service for Jive. Unlike the legacy video service it is replacing, this new service will leverage an array of native AWS video capabilities, including transcription, sentiment analysis, facial recognition, and more. Were we to build all of these capabilities from scratch, or attempt to stitch them together from multiple providers, it would take a significant amount of time and result in a solution of considerable complexity.

 

However, because we are able to leverage a host of native AWS services, we can rapidly develop new features that are remarkably rich but also quite simple. And, those features will continue to advance as both the “cloud operating system” continues on its exponential innovation trajectory and we work to find new ways to leverage it. If we do this right and eliminate blocking dependencies, the pace of innovation will be dizzying.

 

The tradeoff, of course, is that by using native AWS services we are building innovations that won’t work in an on-premise world. And we are at peace with this tradeoff; attempting to harmonize the (literally) thousands of different customer configurations, customizations, and deployment models into a single path forward that still meets the needs of each customer grinds software companies to a halt. If you ever wonder why mature software companies stop innovating – look no further than this phenomenon. It’s not that they have suddenly lost the ability or desire to be innovative. It’s that, unlike startups that have few if any existing customers to worry about, they compromise their future by creating too many dependencies on their past.

 

But it goes far beyond enabling the pace of innovation. It also contributes to simplification, and simplification in turn makes it easier to ensure high quality while innovating. I can provide a very clear example of this by looking at the Jive cloud architecture and where we are taking things.

 

Simplifying A Mess of Complexity

Jive made the decision to migrate to AWS before Aurea bought the company. This was a good decision and one we wholeheartedly endorsed. Unfortunately, what became increasingly clear in the months that followed is that the Jive cloud architecture was both extraordinarily over-engineered and included dozens of unnecessary and complicating compromises to decouple Jive from AWS. The implication of these decisions was that the Jive code base became larger, extraordinarily complex, and inherently fragile (you can get a sense of this complexity in the “marketecture” illustration of the old Jive cloud architecture below). Some of you that endured transition pains during your AWS migration may have experienced first-hand the impact of this complexity. Complexity breeds fragility.

So, in addition to building new capabilities such as revamped search, the new video service described earlier, and all of our PeopleGraph centered innovation on AWS services, we are also rewriting and simplifying large swaths of the Jive cloud codebase to do the same. This won’t necessarily yield increased functionality, but it will result in a substantially simpler, more manageable, and higher quality code base that is vastly more resilient and suited to the pace of innovation we aspire to. We’ve been hard at work on this re-architecture, and we consider it of equal importance to all the work we’re doing with PeopleGraph.

 

We are embracing a future for Jive cloud that will be simultaneously rich in innovation but also remarkably simple under the hood … all made possible by unencumbering it from legacy dependencies.

 

 

 

So, to put a bow around all of this, for cloud customers we have really been focused on three big product initiatives. The first is the overall migration to AWS – a huge effort that has involved multiple releases in order to move and stabilize hundreds of customers as they migrate to the new environment and architecture. Thankfully, this work is nearly complete. This is the jumping off point for everything we are doing, and was a critical, if time-consuming, first step.

 

The second is the re-architecture to native AWS services I’ve talked through in this post, and that effort is well underway and customers will begin to see the benefits once the migration work is finally complete in the months to come. We will roll this out in a step-wise, iterative fashion, changing and simplifying the plane while flying it. These changes are what will enable us to actually take full advantage of the power of AWS to deliver rapid innovation to customers.

 

The third of course is the new PeopleGraph-based innovation that we are building on this new architecture. We have completed much of the work on the core PeopleGraph engine and are now working on the first sets of new application features that will be built on top of it. We’ll be sharing those first sets of innovations in the months ahead and I’ll have more details on the first things we’ll be shipping in a future blog post on our “Insights” innovation theme.

Hold on A Minute Here … I’m On-Premise!

Roughly a third of Jive’s customers are on-premise. And, as I’ve described, all of the innovation pace and potential that our “leverage the native AWS operating system” technology strategy unlocks for cloud is not applicable for on-premise. So, what does this mean for those customers (or our hosted customers, who are typically just on-premise customers using AWS as a “dumb” data center)?

 

Before I describe our strategy let me be clear – we are 100% committed to our on-premise and hosted customers. We have no intention to end-of-life any product, nor any intention to “force” customers to the cloud. And, it’s important to understand, this position is unusual. According to a January 2019 Gartner research report entitled On-Premise Collaboration Options Are Dwindling, “By 2023, less than 20% of businesses will be substantially provisioned with on-premise collaboration and communication capabilities.” In the broader world, on-premise collaboration solutions are an endangered species. Not with Jive.

 

That said, we intend to make changes designed to create at least some of the same kinds of simplifications and legacy dependency eliminations as we’re doing for Jive cloud. To that end, here are a set of things specific to on-premise and hosted customers we’re working on right now:

 

  • Today, we have customers running 22 different versions of Jive HOP that include over a thousand plug-ins and customizations. We want to get as many customers as possible onto a single version so that our product development effort is singularly focused and not enervated through division.
  • To do this, we are building multiple, automated upgrade scripts that will enable a simple, low cost, and low risk upgrade paths from each of the 22 different versions deployed in the field so that customers running mostly stock versions of the software can easily upgrade to the latest version.
  • For customers using one or more plug-ins and customizations, we are also determining which of these have sufficiently broad utility such that they can be productized as add-ons to the latest version (and in cloud). The goal here is to ensure that for the most common customizations, customers can move from custom code to supported product code, and from on-premise to cloud.

 

The end result of all of this work is to get as many customers as possible to the latest version so that we are in a highly supportable, stable state and are then ready for forward movement.

 

So once we have all HOP customers on the most stable jumping-off point, then what?

 

The number one and preferred option for customers looking for the fastest pace of innovation and the most exciting roadmap and direction – all of the things we’ve been talking about in this blog series – will be to consider an eventual migration to the cloud version. While this won’t be the right answer for all customers, we believe over the long-run it will be the answer for most.

 

There are generally three reasons why Jive customers remain on-premise or in a hosted environment:

  • Unique security, compliance, or other corporate policies that formally preclude consideration of public cloud related applications. In our experience, this is becoming an increasingly small minority of customers. It is rare to find a Global 2000 company that has not embraced cloud technology somewhere in their business. Nevertheless, it does still exist, particularly in government and certain highly regulated industries.
  • Highly customized deployments that make migration to a standard cloud instance expensive or involves significant functional tradeoffs. This is real. Many customers have heavily customized Jive – themselves, with partners, and with Jive professional services. Our research into this issue suggests that there are thousands of Jive plug-ins and customizations, some of which are intrusive and amount to hacks of the source code.
  • Good old-fashioned inertia. Or, to be more diplomatic, a cloud value proposition that is not sufficiently compelling to warrant the cost – financial, political, technical – of change.

 

Let’s talk about these in inverse order.

 

For customers in the last two situations for which there is really no policy barrier to cloud adoption, we believe it just comes down to us creating enough compelling value in the Jive cloud product to warrant the pain of change. And that is a good way to think about our intention. We are going to create so much innovation over the next three years in the newly re-architected cloud version of Jive based on PeopleGraph that we believe you will race to adopt it. This is not “forcing” customers, it’s enticing them. It’s on us to deliver a product that is so awesome it overcomes the forces of inertia.

 

For the small subset of very large customers that have customized Jive to such an extent that it has nearly become a different solution - supporting unique use cases that will not be replicated in our cloud offering - there are two possible options.

 

The first option is that the value proposition of the cloud offering ultimately becomes so compelling that it overwhelms the utility and value being delivered by the customized on-premise deployment (this is our hope)! This may take 6 months or two years, but as we continue to innovate the cloud version will get better and better, enticing more and more hosted and on-premise customers to adopt it.

 

The second option, appropriate for a small subset of highly customized hosted or on-premise customers – may be to begin treating the Jive deployment as what it is – a bespoke, home grown solution with Jive at its core. For these customers, the right solution may be to call a spade a spade and work with the customers to support it as such – certifying the customizations and building a unique, tailored roadmap that is focused on the customer’s core use case and business value thesis. And certifying the customizations is important – this basically turns unsupported, bespoke code into testable code that we “certify” and support through the upgrade process. It provides highly customized and configured installations with the same level of quality assurance we aspire to deliver for stock software. Note this path is really only appropriate for large customers with the resources to support what amounts to a single customer product, but our Gold Concierge Program is this scenario, and for a small group of customers who have effectively turned Jive into something else it may be the appropriate approach.

 

This leaves the last group – those with unique security or compliance policies that preclude a public cloud deployment. For these customers, our intention is to create a new product (we are provisionally referring to as Jive HOP Enterprise Edition) that will focus on and cater to the unique business requirements of this niche market. We have, in fact, already branched the code base to begin initial planning work, but we don’t intend to ship a first version of this product until 2020. Like the cloud product, the technology decisions will be unencumbered by the past (thus the branching of the code), and the product will have unique features (such as a completely revamped content archiving and features related to risk analysis and compliance among their employees) that are hyper relevant to this market segment and will not be available in the cloud version (primarily because they are features that are not valued by the vast majority of customers). We’re very early in the planning for this product, as most of our focus through the remainder of 2019 will anchor on the cloud product. That said, Jive HOP Enterprise is coming. It will be the first completely new on-premise collaboration product in nearly a decade.

 

Bringing It All Together

I’ve thrown a lot of things out in this blog post, so let me summarize what I believe to be the most important take-aways for customers:

 

  1. We believe the public cloud operating system is the single most important technology trend of the last decade (vastly more important than “big data”, “blockchain”, or a host of other tactical technologies that get infinitely more coverage in the technology media).
  2. We are building the future architecture of Jive on native AWS technology – breaking with the constraints of the past and opening a future of high quality, stability, and rapid, meaningful innovation.
  3. We remain 100% committed to our on-premise and hosted customers and have no intention to end-of-life hosted or on-premise versions for the foreseeable future. We will be taking steps in get all of these customers to the latest version to increase stability and quality and maximize functionality.
  4. We intend to launch, likely in 2020, a new Jive HOP Enterprise Edition that will focus on the business requirements of customers with unique security and compliance considerations (governments and highly regulated industries).

 

We expect over the next three years to bring a pace of innovation that, as Jive customers, you haven’t seen in five years or more. We are keenly aware that you’ve been thirsty for innovation for several years. We also recognize that taking the “two steps back” decisions since acquisition have exacerbated that. But all these decisions have been taken in the interest of creating forward momentum. While it was simply not possible to do so where Jive was, we will be uniquely positioned to do so based on where we are going today.

 

We are beyond excited about the future, we look forward to rewarding your patience and we are grateful for your continued confidence.

Get ready to enhance the value of your Jive community. Jive Urgent Notifications is powerful feature lets you broadcast real-time alerts via high-visibility channels such as text and voice – immediately notifying anyone or everyone in your community when critical business situations arise and time is of the essence. It’s easy to configure and easy to use.  Watch the two minute overview, then install and configure.  It's that easy.

 

 

 

Fun fact: we built Jive Urgent Notifications using AlertFind, one of the many products available to Jive customers in the Aurea Product Library. By leveraging AlertFind’s codebase, Aurea engineers were able to relatively easily deliver a value-add feature for Jive. That’s the promise of Aurea Unlimited at work.

 

 

Installation and Configuration

You install the Urgent Notifications feature just like any other Jive add-on. Watch the How To video - step by step instructions on how to install and configure

 

When installation completes, you’ll be taken to the settings page. Please allow up to a minute for the installation to complete in the background before configuring, then click the “Configure Now” link at the bottom of the window.  You can always return to this page at any time if you need to change the settings.

 

There are just four fields to configure:

  • email
  • mobile phone
  • home phone
  • question

 

The purpose here is to specify which Jive user profile fields will be used when routing the notifications to recipients and if there should be a yes/no question.

 

For example, the user profiles in your Jive community may have several fields for mobile phone numbers. In the configuration screen, you can choose which of these phone numbers will be used when sending mobile text notifications.

 

You can also choose which email address to use for email notifications, and you can choose a landline home phone number for text-to-speech notifications. The mobile phone number field is required; the other two fields are optional.  If a user doesn’t have the necessary contact information in their profile, they won’t get an Urgent Notification. For example, if they don’t have an email listed, they won’t get an email notification. For that reason, you may want to implement rules for your organization to ensure that users fill in the necessary profile fields and keep them current.

 

The other thing you’ll need to specify is who in your organization gets to send Urgent Notifications. You’ll probably want to limit this capability to designated individuals such as team and department leaders. You don’t want people spamming their colleagues with unnecessary notifications.  You can do this in your Admin Console, by adding users to a group called Urgent Notification Senders. All users you add to the group are whitelisted, enabling them to send Urgent Notifications to public groups or or any private groups that they’re members of.

 

Now that you’ve configured it, you and other authorized users can send Urgent Notifications whenever the need arises.

 

Let’s explore how the feature works, using a concrete example.

 

Imagine you’re the head of corporate marketing for your company. You’re planning a big news conference in two weeks to announce a company merger. But you suddenly learn that rumors of the deal have started circulating on social media. You’ve got no time to waste. You have to immediately alert your communications team and get them ready to answer questions from the press. Conventional communications are just too slow. You need Jive Urgent Notifications.

 

The feature works at the Group level, enabling you to send notifications to all the members of any group in your Jive community. If you want to reach a specific population of users such as the members of a department or everyone who works at a certain location, just choose a private group corresponding to that audience. If there isn’t already a group that matches your target audience, you can create one. And if you want to reach everyone in your community, choose a public group--since public groups include all community members.


In this example, you’ll be sending to the Corporate Marketing group. Just go to that group in Jive and choose “Urgent Notification” from the Action menu.  Write a brief header describing the subject, then write the body of the message. The body will be sent as a text message to recipients’ mobile phones. It’s also used as the body of the email notification and the content of the text-to-speech message sent to landline phones--if you’ve opted to use either of those channels. You can also include one or more links if you’d like to refer recipients to documents or other resources for further guidance. In this example, you link to a Q&A document that will help your team respond to questions about the merger.  If  the "disable question" is not checked in the configuration, you can also add a yes or no question for recipients to answer. This is useful in emergency situations when you need an immediate response.

 

When your message is ready, click Send Notification. You’ll be asked to confirm and shown how many people you’re sending to. If you’re sure you want to send, click Confirm.

 

Once the notification is sent,  your corporate marketing team will immediately receive the message as an SMS text on their mobile phones. They can respond to the yes/no question directly from their phone. If you’ve selected email in the configuration process, they’ll also get an email, and can answer the question by sending a reply. If users haven’t received the mobile text within 5 minutes, and you’ve also selected the home phone option, they’ll get a voice message on their landline. They’ll be instructed to answer the question by pressing a specified key on their phone.

 

Whenever you send an Urgent Notification, Jive also creates an alert document containing the content of your message. The document is automatically posted in the selected group, giving your team a place to gather, ask questions and discuss the situation. A link to the alert document is included in mobile text notifications and email notifications.

 

Team members can also click the link to your Talking Points doc, where they can get detailed instructions on how to speak publicly about the merger.

 

In urgent situations, it’s not enough just to send notifications. You need to verify who’s received them and how they’ve responded. You can do that by going  to the Urgent Notifications tab in the recipient group. You’ll see a table with aggregate statistics on recipients and response rates. You can also download a CSV file that breaks down the results by individual user. If you see that any users haven’t received the message or haven’t responded, you can reach out to them again.

 

In minutes, you’ve rallied your communications team and are working together in Jive to coordinate a response.

 

You can use this same approach in any time-critical situation, rapidly notifying users and directing them to Jive for further guidance and collaboration.

 

Install Urgent Notifications now and help your company move faster, minimize disruptions and respond to pressing situations at the speed of business. Jive Urgent Notifications--when every second counts.

 

For more information, refer to the User documentation: Jive for Urgent Notifications  and the How To video - step by step instructions on how to install and configure

This is the fourth in a series of blog posts that will focus on answering the question "what is the long-term future of Jive?"

 

In this blog post, I'll continue exploring the future of Jive - a future based on a core technology we call PeopleGraph.

 

For those of you who joined us in Munich or New Orleans for Aurea Experience '18, I want to thank you for your time and your feedback, both on the tactical issues we're wrestling through and the future direction we're building toward.  Broadly speaking, I'd summarize that feedback in two camps. On the tactical front: "You are making progress but nowhere near fast enough - we still have too many issues." And on the future direction: "This sounds great - we want to see you deliver."  Fair enough, and I agree on both counts.

 

This series is focused on the latter part, helping to shed light on what we're working on as we look to reinvent Jive for the next decade of category leadership.  As a refresher, our core thesis is that enterprise collaboration has not delivered on its original promise principally because there has been too much focus on content creation (more and more tools for people to create more and more content) and too little focus on people (relationships, connections, expertise/skills, and the content they create and consume).

 

The result is "digital crowding," an explosion in enterprise content that has crowded out meaningful, purposeful, and valuable collaboration and knowledge sharing.  What's more troubling is that this situation is only going to get worse.  We are in an era of exploding content creation tools (estimates suggest that as much as 90% of all web content has been created in just the last two years).  Add in increasing organizational complexity - globalization, virtualization, and the emergence of the "gig economy" work force - and it's not hard to see how collaboration tools built for chatter (thank you, Salesforce, for naming your product after the problem) are ill suited for this organizationally complex and distractingly noisy collaboration landscape of the future.

 

In prior posts in this series I mentioned the three core capabilities that PeopleGraph is designed to enable: Connection, Discovery, and Collaboration (there is also a fourth- "Insights" - but as that is Community Manager focused as opposed to user-focused we will handle that in a separate series).  In the last post, we talked about Discovery and how PeopleGraph will enable an unprecedented level of people and knowledge discovery through its ability to richly understand people, their relationships, the content they create and consume and the work they do.  In this post, I'm going to focus on Connection.

 

Enabling Connection with PeopleGraph:  The Richest Representation of Your Organization

 

Connection is going to be a new concept in Jive, so before I dive into some of the specific capabilities it will offer, it's worth spending a few moments coming back to PeopleGraph and one of its important design principles.  This will, I hope, help clarify why we believe the new value offered by Connection is so fundamental - and so significant.

 

I've described PeopleGraph as the future core engine of Jive.  And that is true, but the fact of the matter is it has been designed and implemented to be much more than that.  Our ambition for what PeopleGraph can do is not limited by the current bounds of Jive.  The design mandate of PeopleGraph is to be the single richest source of people insight about an organization that exists within the enterprise.  As such, it is being architected to ingest and represent information about people from a vast array of applications where people either do their work (e.g., Google Docs) or represent important information about themselves (e.g., LinkedIn).

 

PeopleGraph has been designed to pull insights and information from myriad sources including Office 365, Google, email, calendar, and LinkedIn (where, ironically, the organization can now 'take back' employee data that LinkedIn is in effect using to help pilfer organizational talent).  Future sources will also include Box, Salesforce, HR systems, and (of course) Jive itself.  In total, the depth of insight PeopleGraph will have about people and their relationships will be deeper than any other source in the enterprise.

 

Given this depth of insight, having the ability for users to inspect, navigate and enhance PeopleGraph's perspective is important.  This is the purpose of Connection - enabling full exploration and exposure of the deep people insights that PeopleGraph contains. And what will this mean for people and teams?  Newer, broader and more meaningful organizational connections that create heretofore untapped opportunity for valuable collaboration.

 

Visualizing and Cultivating Connections

 

One powerful aspect of what Connection will provide is the ability to visualize your connections, much like LinkedIn or other public social networks enable you to see all of your different connections.  Like LinkedIn, users will be able to see the basis of their connection with other people in the organization that they may not have a formal relationship with (LinkedIn's notion of second and third degree connections).  But that's really where the similarities end.

 

Recall that there are three core types of connections that PeopleGraph recognizes: organizational relationships, explicit relationships, and implicit relationships.  Connection will enable you to visualize and navigate all three.

 

Organizational Connections

 

Organizational connections will be visible in the standard organizational chart, enabling users to jump from the org chart to an individual within it or jump from the individual to their place within the org chart.  Like Google Earth, users will be able to visualize the org chart at different levels of granularity and at different distances, "surfing" in a way that enables an effortless search and browse experience.  There have been organizational chart navigation experiences before, but never one quite like this.

 

 

Explicit Connections

 

One level beyond the organization chart are explicit relationships: the network people build within the company.  This enables people to reflect each user's networks - the people with whom they have established formal connections in the classic social network definition.  PeopleGraph will use its understanding of these connections to improve personalization, but also to more intelligently help people expand their networks in valuable ways.

 

The visualization of these explicit relationships will be more sophisticated than the simple lists that are de riguer for networks like LinkedIn or Facebook.  Relationships can be grouped, filtered, or sorted across numerous dimensions, including geography, function, title/level, tenure, skills, experience, expertise, and relationship strength, among others.  One's network is no longer just a list of people, it is a work asset that can be inspected, analyzed, and ultimately leveraged to get work done.

 

 

Implicit Connections

 

One of the more interesting elements of PeopleGraph is its ability to reflect and understand attributes and relationships that aren't captured by the org chart or reflected in an individual's personally curated network.  The inspection of this network is among the most valuable elements of PeopleGraph, as the ability to leverage this understanding is key to how the future Jive eliminates digital crowding and will lead a reinvention of the enterprise collaboration space.

 

While we've yet to fully design the UI representation of these capabilities - most of the focus of the last several months has been on the core PeopleGraph data structure and inspection algorithms - we can share a general sense of our thinking on how users might "surf" the organization outside the more traditional context of the organizational chart.

 

We expect to create a search and browse-based experience that closely mirrors the shopping experience: items (people) on the right that can be filtered and sorted by various criteria.  The best shopping sites act like divining rods on steroids, narrowing hundreds of thousands of SKUs to the few of relevance extraordinarily quickly.  We aspire to do the same with people.

 

Let's illustrate the use case with a specific example.  Assume a user is working on a project to launch a new consumer product in Poland.  The user, in this example, is leading the distribution strategy on behalf of your company.  She's been asked to put together her team for this important initiative.

 

In the future, she will go to Jive, and - rather than surf the organization chart - she will surf the PeopleGraph.

 

First, she selects people that speak Polish.  Then, she sub-selects people who have credible expertise in retail distribution (she could also select for people who claim expertise in retail distribution, but in this case she's using PeopleGraph's ability to discern validated expertise based on their validated work contributions).  She then sorts the resulting list of people by "relationship relevance," or people whom PeopleGraph discerns have the strongest connection to her (she might decide to do the opposite and find people with whom she has little connection, but in this case she is prioritizing relationship affinity as a predictor of team chemistry).

 

Satisfied she has the right person, she looks to turn this "implicit" connection into an "explicit" connection by requesting the latter in a manner that is familiar to most users of social networks.  She then invites this person to a traditional Jive group collaboration session that enables to new invitee to quickly get up to speed on all the content and conversations on the project.

 

 

In effect, what PeopleGraph will enable is "shopping for people," providing users the ability to identify resources in the organization with whom they can build relationships and strengthen their network and knowledge base.

 

We view this capability as the single most powerful and important source of value from PeopleGraph.  And it is important to understand that this is fundamentally different from a Jive profile search.

 

PeopleGraph builds its rich understanding of people from all the major sources of people knowledge within the organization - a scope of knowledge that goes well beyond Jive.  When a user is searching for a person that has a particular expertise, PeopleGraph will not identify people that have that expertise by a "dumb" profile search.  Rather, PeopleGraph will have assessed this expertise based on that person's content, contributions, and work across a rich variety of data sources (the aforementioned Office 365, Google, LinkedIn, email, calendar, and others).  This is real, demonstrated expertise and content and not a function of who spends more time building their profile.

 

Transforming Enterprise Collaboration

 

Honestly - and humbly - we believe this is going to transform organizations and work at the same level that Jive did originally back in the first decade of this millennium.  Jive invented enterprise collaboration - and it changed everything.  We are now committed to reinventing it.  Organizational complexity and an explosion of content have reduced the effectiveness of existing collaboration solutions; digital crowding has become a plague on the entire space.  So while every other collaboration solution focuses on helping people create yet more content, Jive will be focused on creating the richest and most complete representation of people in your organization.  That representation will make everything about collaboration more powerful.  Jive will simultaneously become broader (by enabling connections between people that would have never connected before) and more focused (by narrowing content presentation that that which is the most relevant).

 

I have been intentionally vague in describing when these capabilities will start to see the light of day.  So let me make two commitments here:  first, you will see PeopleGraph-related deliveries before the end of 2019.  And second, the initial set of those capabilities will center around this innovation theme of Connection, in part because the inspection and cultivation of the PeopleGraph relationships are at the core of the new Jive and everything else we will do.  The first deliveries will be basic - we need to start with the basics - but will start to give you an immediate sense of where this is all going and how the future I've been describing in these blog posts will be made possible.

 

Thanks for taking the time to read these thoughts, and as always I look forward to your comments and feedback.

See the release notes for full detail. 

This is the third in a series of blog posts that will focus on answering the question “what is the long-term future of Jive?”

 

In this blog post, I’m going to start digging a bit deeper into the use case impacts of PeopleGraph.  As a quick refresher, PeopleGraph is the technology on which we are betting the future of Jive.  We began working on this roughly six months after acquisition, and in the last post in this series I provided a bit more detail on what PeopleGraph is and why we believe it is both important and transformative.

 

The key capabilities that PeopleGraph is designed to enable – Connection, Discovery, and Collaboration – are the topics of this and my next two blog posts.  As a finale, I’ll also be describing the powerful new “organizational insights” that Community Managers will be able to glean when our new reporting dashboard begins inquiring and inspecting PeopleGraph.

 

For this post, I’ll focus on Discovery.  Where possible, I’ll try to give guidance for things that are explicitly “on the roadmap” vs. those that are concepts still in the investigation phase.

 

The Most Basic Facet of Discovery:  Search

 

Search has always been a key feature of Jive and of most enterprise social networking, content management, and interactive intranet solutions.  Irrespective of how they use Jive, I have yet to talk to customers that have not cited search as a critical capability – and an area where they would like to see significant innovation and product improvement.

 

Search in Jive today is adequate – better than most of the competitive offerings, but  materially weaker than the consumer equivalents that are the basis for how most users will judge enterprise software today (comparing it to Google, for example).  This can generate a great deal of user frustration, and inadequate search in a content-rich enterprise portal can be one of the earliest and most important signals of the “digital crowding” problem I addressed in earlier posts.

 

Search in the enterprise is uniquely hard – which is why Google abandoned its search appliance and why search within Google docs is so much worse than Google web search.  Techniques that are so successful on the internet, such as Google’s PageRank, are significantly less effective in the enterprise because the things those algorithms depend on, such as backlinks, don’t exist in the enterprise content context.

 

This is where PeopleGraph comes in.  PeopleGraph enables us to replicate, in many ways, most of the relevancy and intent advantages that Google’s PageRank and successor algorithms have applied so successfully to the web.  At its core, PeopleGraph is a series of links; this is precisely why the same principles that Google uses to make decisions regarding user intent and search result relevancy can be applied by Jive search using PeopleGraph.  Jive will make decisions using the volume and strength of various connections between people and the content associated with those people.

 

The advantages of this go beyond just intent and relevancy.  Much as Google cannot manage the content of the Internet, the new PeopleGraph powered Jive search will not depend on a content managed enterprise ecosystem.  In theory, as the enterprise evolves and PeopleGraph reflects that evolution, the links and strengths of links between people and the content they are associated with will change.  Those changes will alter search results, such that “old” content becomes less relevant as the links to it weaken both in number and in strength.

 

Let’s dig into a specific example.  In this scenario, let’s assume that Jan is looking for information on Amazon Web Services, and specifically the Amazon Web Services migration plan.  If you were to run such a search in Jive today, you might type “Amazon Web Services migration plan” yielding (in our own Aurea51 instance) the following results:

 

 

 

Two problems are immediately apparent.  First, people routinely refer to “Amazon Web Services” as “AWS,” and because Jive search does not understand that these are the same thing, those entries are all missing from the search results.  This is a problem of intent – the old Jive search has no understanding of your intent here.

 

The second problem is that the old Jive search (and most enterprise search) will bias to older documents precisely because they are old.  The newer content with the most relevant information on the migration schedule is lower on the list.

 

With PeopleGraph powered search things will be different.  Let’s take a look at the results of the same search when run on PeopleGraph.

 

 

You’ll notice a few things almost immediately.  First, the bulk of the results reference “AWS” – Jive search now understands this to be the same as “Amazon Web Services” and, it turns out, most people refer to it that way.  This “intent” engine will also help with common situations such as name misspellings or common words that can be spelled differently (i.e. organization vs. organisation). With PeopleGraph, intent can be inferred.

 

Second, you’ll notice that the nature of the results are different with a significant emphasis on more recent content.  This is almost certainly because the link strength to this content is very strong, despite its recency, because of the people who created it or are consuming it.  Jive search can understand the strength and breadth of these links as a good indication that this is a substantive, definitive document.

 

Finally, you’ll notice the search now even includes people, despite the fact that we are searching for what is obviously not a person.  PeopleGraph enables Jive search to identify experts on the particular topic – in this specific case the person who is [TS4] accountable for the AWS migration plan.  The searcher can use this additional information to go “right to the source” – either directly or by starting a group that includes that person.  This is obviously a use case that makes little sense in the internet context but can be extraordinarily powerful for the enterprise.

 

Passive Discovery:  Contextualized Suggestions

 

A completely new element of discovery that PeopleGraph will enable is something we are calling “contextualized suggestions.”  The general concept is not terribly different from how consumer browsing or shopping applications provide suggestions for other content or products that you may be interested in based on the content (or product) you are currently engaging with.  The difference here, though, is that in addition to recommending content, PeopleGraph will suggest people in context whom it would be valuable to engage with around the content in question.

 

Let’s look at an illustration on how this will work.  In the example below, you will see that the individual user is involved in a group discussion on a document about a supply chain proposal written in the programming language Python that is  for a French speaking customer called Roederer. In this example leveraging PeopleGraph, you will notice now that the document being viewed is now making several “suggestions” – both people suggestions and content suggestions.

 

The people suggestions are folks within the organization that PeopleGraph has identified as experts on the discussion topic in question.  The content suggestions, similarly, are related documents whose content might inform the discussion.

 

In this example, let’s assume that Marcia (the user) is interested in possibly involving some of the identified experts to further inform the discussion.  She clicks on Jimmy to understand who he is and the nature of his inferred expertise.

 

 

We notice that Jimmy is among the highest rated resources in the company on python, and furthermore he has created several pieces of content that are highly related to the document being discussed in the group.  Marcia can invite him to participate in the group, and Jive can immediately provide the context as part of the invitation.

 



A Long-Term Future of PeopleGraph-Powered Discovery

 

Better search and contextual suggestions are straightforward applications of PeopleGraph for discovery, and ones we expect to deliver early in our roadmap once PeopleGraph is deployed.  Over time, though, one can imagine additional possibilities.

 

PeopleGraph is being architected as a service external to Jive, and will include a robust API (integration) layer to make it easy to connect with Jive and other critical data sources – HR systems, Active Directory, Office 365, Slack, Box, Salesforce, etc.  Every source that PeopleGraph connects to will enrich PeopleGraph’s understanding of the organization.  This means that, long-term, PeopleGraph can understand:

 

  • The content associated with Slack or other transient messaging applications, enabling that to inform search as well as PeopleGraph’s understanding of organizational relationships
  • Connections to people outside the walls of the enterprise, such as customer relationships as mastered in Salesforce and how those relationship strengths manifest themselves in the company context (how strong is our company’s relationship with Apple, and what are the specific relationships we have and who has them?)
  • Content associations for documents stored outside of Jive, ultimately enabling search to find people or content that is not exclusively informed by what is resident within the walls of Jive

 

We believe PeopleGraph will drive a profound change in people and content discovery – initially within Jive but over time, increasingly drawing from the ecosystem that surrounds it.  Over the weeks and months ahead, we will be releasing demo videos of the prototypes in action to give you a real sense of how this will work and the progress we are making on it.

 

As always, I invite your feedback and questions.  Thanks for taking the time to engage in this discussion with us.

 


 





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