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Jive Interactive Intranet

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Over the last several months, Aurea CEO Scott Brighton has taken to AureaWorks to share his vision of the long-term future of Jive. In five detailed posts (and hundreds of comments from the community!), Scott covered everything from the origins of enterprise social to its fatal flaw, the big picture of our new PeopleGraph technology and its individual use cases, the importance of public cloud, and the plan for on-premises users.

 

The summaries below provide a foundation and outline the drivers that helped establish our vision for Jive, the future of collaboration, and the valuable insights it can deliver to your organization. As we reflect back on 2019 and our progress, and begin our focus on 2020, we are pleased to have welcomed Alan Fletcher, our new Chief Product Officer to Aurea. Alan is a long-time veteran of product and engineering leadership and has already made a tremendous impact in beginning to accelerate and improve upon our vision. In the coming weeks he will continue this conversation by sharing his latest thinking on this topic.

 

Let’s review the main ideas in each of Scott Brighton’s “The Long-Term Future of Jive” blog posts.

 

Episode One

Primary takeaway: Traditional enterprise social networks failed because they focused on content instead of people. Jive plans to change that.

 

The details: In Scott’s first post, he backed up to 2008, when enterprise social networks took off. This was the year that a group of startups – Jive, Yammer, Chatter, Mzinga, Dekks, and others – emerged with the aspiration of taking the Web 2.0 social revolution into the enterprise. Over the next ten years, however, most of these products faded away while consumer social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn grew in size and influence.

 

Why? Scott posits that successful networks like Facebook focus on people vs. content. As such, in order to reinvent Jive as something both useful and meaningful, that’s what we’ll do too. Scott shares, “Our plan is to build the future of Jive around a technology we are building called PeopleGraph – an incredibly rich data structure and engine that will enable Jive to understand your company’s people relationships at an unprecedented level of sophistication. Not just better than what enterprise social networks can do, but also far beyond that which either Facebook or LinkedIn are capable of understanding.”

 

Episode Two

Primary takeaway: PeopleGraph, the technology that will power the new Jive, will transform enterprise collaboration by reimagining connections and

relationships between people.

 

The details: Part Two of the series goes deeper into the PeopleGraph vision. Scott reveals the five dimensions that PeopleGraph will bring to the table that

are not only new to Jive, but to social network technology in general:

    1. PeopleGraph will understand not just connections, but connection types.
    2. It will have a rich conception of individuals and be able to translate that understanding into an even deeper understanding of connections.
    3. PeopleGraph will understand different connection strengths (not all connections are created equal.)
    4. It will identify latent relationships of value, generally and contextually.
    5. PeopleGraph will present community leaders with unprecedented insight into the connection points and collaboration patterns within their organization.

 

All of these capabilities will be due to PeopleGraph’s cutting-edge graph technology powered by Amazon Neptune, and will reestablish people as the critical center of the enterprise social network.

 

 

Episode Three

Primary takeaway: PeopleGraph is designed to enable three key capabilities: Connection, Discovery, and Collaboration. The Discovery aspect will dramatically improve search and provide contextualized suggestions.

 

The details: Episode Three takes a deep dive into the first of PeopleGraph’s key capabilities:

Discovery. Scott begins by discussing how the new technology will transform Jive’s admittedly “adequate” search functionality. He explains: “PeopleGraph enables us to replicate most of the relevancy and intent advantages that Google has 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 blog also covers PeopleGraph’s “contextualized suggestions” capability. This is a brand new element of discovery that enables PeopleGraph to proactively suggest both content that may be relevant as well as people with whom it may be valuable to engage with around the content in question.

 

 

Episode Four

Primary takeaway: PeopleGraph will become the single richest source of people insight within the enterprise. This level of connection will be fundamental to the platform and game-changing to the business.

 

The details: Scott’s fourth posts picks up on the second core capability of PeopleGraph: Connection. He describes how PeopleGraph will power connection by ingesting and representing information about people from a vast array of applications where people either do their work or represent important information about themselves. It will also provide the ability to visualize and cultivate connections in an incredibly sophisticated way, including organizational connections, explicit connections, and implicit connections.

 

Scott wraps up his fourth blog by revisiting the idea of putting people at the center of the network. “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 to that which is the most relevant).”

 

Episode Five

Primary takeaway: Reinventing Jive means reexamining and optimizing its technical architecture and leveraging the power of the public cloud.

 

The details: The fifth post in the Long-Term Future of Jive series moves away from PeopleGraph to examine the broader reinvention of Jive. Scott covers how past and future technology decisions are deeply intertwined with the overall strategy for Jive. Specifically, he announces that “We are firmly divorcing ‘cloud’ and its technology stack from hosted / on-premise and its technology stack” - and then explains what that means for Jive customers. To elucidate, he goes into detail on the power of the public cloud operating system and how Jive’s cloud architecture will simplify a mess of complexity. On-premise customers aren’t forgotten. Scott offers both short- and long-term strategies for on-prem customers that ensure the best possible experience, create a highly supportable and stable state, and mitigate concerns about eventually moving to the cloud.

 

That’s our synopsis for now. Each post is well worth a read both for Scott’s original thoughts and the ensuing discussion in the comments - some blogs are already at 50+ comments from customers, partners, and Scott himself.  Let’s wrap it up with some final words from Aurea CEO Scott Brighton on the long-term future of Jive:

 

“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.”

Welcome to the sixth and final post in our 6 Strategies to Revitalize Your Community blog series. For our final topic, we’ll discuss what to do once you’ve used all these great strategies to relight the spark in your community: make sure everyone knows about it.

 

Success stories are key to communicating the value of engagement to your users, as a way to show appreciation, and your executives, to demonstrate why your community is so important. They help keep people who are already engaged active and bring non-engagers into the fold.

 

Many Jive customers are already curating success stories in some way. When we asked participants in our six strategies for revitalizing your community webinar if they collect and highlight success stories, almost three-quarters of respondents said “Yes” or “Sometimes”.

 

 

Step one: engage your advocates. Ask your advocate network to be on the lookout for success stories within the community and in real life. Maybe they’re chatting in the kitchen while getting coffee and someone mentions that they were able to find an answer in 15 minutes using Jive vs. waiting three days for a response from the help desk. Your advocate can post that nugget somewhere and ensure that it gets seen.

 

Success stories don’t have to be official PDFs or long blogs (although those are great too!) It can be a comment under a post that says “Wow, this was super easy to find!” or tagging someone who used the community in a particularly effective way. Once you build up a store of these, you can highlight them within the community and in your regular communications. Put them on the home page, put them in your newsletter, add them to your news streams.

 

This is one situation where I even recommend - gasp! - sending out an email that features some of your successes. Success stories can be a powerful way to convince less engaged employees that the community is worth their time. If people see that a colleague found an answer in five minutes instead of three hours, they will be more likely to engage themselves.

 

Finally, turn your success stories into “lessons learned”. Provide some tips and tricks or a tutorial that demonstrates how your users achieved such positive results. This is a good way to pull together some of the smaller bite-size stories into an overarching blog or document that feels actionable to your users.

 

And with that, I will officially conclude our Six Strategies blog series. Thanks for reading! It’s been a pleasure sharing my ideas and recommendations. Check out the webinar for more details on all six strategies or catch up on any earlier installments that you may have missed.

 

So far in our 6 Strategies to Revitalize Your Community blog series, we’ve covered optimizing for mobile, improving search, recruiting and maintaining an advocate network, and engaging your executives. Today we’ll dive into another challenge that I often hear from customers: creating a strong homepage experience for your employees.


 

Your homepage is like the front door to your community. It should be welcoming, easy to consume, and relevant to your users. Jive has some great - and frequently underutilized - features that can make your homepage a gateway for engagement.

 

I recommend using the news page as your home page. It’s very dynamic and can be easily personalized. It’s a good way to display both curated content and let users see what they want to see in their news feeds.

 

First thing’s first: review your push streams to see if they’re effective. How many do you have? It can be overwhelming to users if you’re using too many (like all 10!) Are they all refreshed often? Users will tune out if they learn that their news feeds are full of outdated information. Consider combining some into a broader category like “Company news” or “What’s new” to cut down on the number of streams and increase the amount of fresh content.

 

On the other hand, if you have a high volume of relevant content, it may make sense to separate one stream into several. One customer that I work with recently split out their main corporate news stream into different topics. They have one for culture, one for product news, and one for headline news, which showcases only the most important and official announcements and sits in the top-priority place to ensure that it gets seen.

 

You can also target your news streams using Active Directory or profile data. News streams can be targeted by location, department, or however else you can meaningfully segment your employees to make the content more relevant to them.

 

Custom news streams help cut down on noise as well. They enable employees to personalize their homepage with up to 10 streams that are custom only to them. Custom streams can have a combination of following tags, people, places, and content so employees can easily keep up with the topics they prefer.

 

If you want to get really fancy with it, you can use a more advanced technique to make it easy for employees to build their custom streams. Instead of asking employees to find relevant groups, follow them, and manually create a custom stream, you can use a profile field. Create a multi-select profile field that lists your topics or communities of practice so users can tick off the ones that they’re interested in. It essentially acts like an auto-subscription to those news streams. This is a great strategy to highlight when users first join the community or a good topic for a campaign to get existing users to select their favorite topics.

 

Once you’ve optimized your homepage with refined, targeted corporate news streams and enabled your employees to create custom streams, make sure people know about your new and improved experience. Use rewards to create a quest to get people to use the homepage. Run campaigns like “Make ‘Insert Community Name’ Your Own”, which you can hear more about in the six strategies for revitalizing your community webinar.

 

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

 

Sharing your successes

Welcome back to our 6 Strategies to Revitalize Your Community blog series. Today we’ll tackle a perennial favorite of community managers everywhere: how to get your executives engaged.

 

Getting leaders engaged is a very important aspect of keeping employees engaged in your community. In fact, in a survey we ran a few years ago of more than 400 Jive customers, senior leaders acting as role models was one of the top three success factors for community adoption. This makes sense: if executives aren’t supporting your space and using Jive, it’s hard to make a case that it’s valuable enough for employees to spend their time on.

 

Let’s see how engaged executives really are “in the wild” of current Jive communities. In our six strategies for revitalizing your community webinar, we asked attendees whether their execs were engaged. The results:

 

 

Not too bad. More than three-quarters of participants have at least some engagement from their leadership, which is a great place to start.

 

Getting leaders engaged doesn’t have to be a big process and, more importantly, doesn’t have to require much from the executives themselves. Start simply. Identify even one executive to whom you can clearly communicate the value and utility of the platform. That person can help motivate other members of the leadership team. One-on-one training or reverse mentoring works well. Most executives don’t like to sit in a room with a group of people for a training or watch a webinar, so a little hand-holding goes a long way to meeting your goals.

 

You can reach out to others in your community for help with engaging your leadership as well. Remember that awesome advocate network that you built? Ask those advocates for help, especially if they have existing relationships with execs. Executive assistants can be a huge asset too. Get them trained on Jive so they can work with their boss on the basics, like logging in and completing their profile, or assist them with writing and posting updates.

 

When you’re getting started, don’t ask for much: leaders can simply like, comment on, or share a post, thank someone, or post a status update if you use them. In the latter case, give them concrete ideas for things they can talk about; a conference they’re attending, whether they’re speaking and what about, what they’re up to on any given day. Between Facebook and LinkedIn, most people are used to liking things and posting updates, so this shouldn’t be much to ask - but it goes a long way in demonstrating engagement to your employees.

 

If you’d like to get your executives blogging, they often need a helping hand. You can suggest topics or even do the writing. The Ghost Blogging tool is an excellent way to write something on behalf of an executive and post it under their name. That way, the exec can hopefully still answer questions and respond to comments without someone doing it for them.

 

Best case scenario, of course, your leaders are doing their own writing, or at least their own posting. If you have a large leadership team and/or folks who are reticent to post every week or so, create a “Leadership Corner” where every member of the team contributes based on your schedule or content calendar. Let’s say you have eight leaders. If you spread it out between them, each executive would only need to post every two months - and again, you can help with topics and editing as need be.

 

Executives are notoriously competitive. Highlighting the success you achieve with one leader can be a powerful incentive to get the others to join in. For instance, you could create a special private Rewards quest just for leadership. I’ve also seen a customer take it public with a “Leader Leaderboard” so that everyone at the organization could see who was the most engaged and the most active. They report that climbing the leaderboard was incredibly motivating for the leaders to be more active in the community.

 

How else can executives get engaged? They can run a town hall meeting, ask-me-anything sessions, or idea jams within Jive. In a town hall, for example, you can have a place where people can ask questions between and during the meeting and where the questions are answered at the end. The recording of the town hall meeting can also live in that place once it’s complete.

 

With ask-me-anything sessions, a leader agrees to be online for a certain hour on a certain day and people can come to the group and ask their questions. Like it sounds, the leader agrees to answer, either by writing down their responses or in a live conversation. Idea jams can happen around any idea, but I like it when the exec is the one who pushes the idea out there and asks everyone else to contribute their feedback.

 

Hopefully these ideas will make it easier to engage your executives in your Jive community. For more ways to revitalize your community, check out the other posts in this six-part series:

 

 

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.

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