But Jive doesn't want to replace email for the function it was originally designed for -- one to one communication. Instead, Jive wants to make its platform so attractive for group collaboration, that users will naturally be drawn to post items in Jive instead of sending massive group emails or hitting "reply all" on an important discussion string.
As Jive's product head Oudi Antebi explains, "We're not anti-email. Our goal is that people over time will see Jive as better, and revert to it naturally....Unless it has the right functionality to use this instead of email, forcing them to use it is not going to work."
To this end, Antebi has spent the last seven months working on some major new features that Jive is rolling out today as part of its latest quarterly update.
Helping employees figure out what to use Jive for
Jive has a similar look and feel to other Facebook-for-the-enterprise contenders, such as Yammer (now part of Microsoft) and Salesforce Chatter, with a news feed and various ways to post and respond to messages.
But customers said they needed help getting people on board with the product -- users were often daunted with the blank screen, and weren't sure what exactly they could do with it.
To help with this onboarding, the spring update will feature a set of 25 pre-built templates called Purposeful Places for specific kinds of tasks -- there's a Deal Room template for closing a sale, a Campaign Room template for working on marketing materials, and so on. On the right side, each template has a set of modules known as Tiles, which contain links to information such as documents or information stored in other systems like Salesforce, and the news feed can also integrate with other sources such as Chatter. (Jive supports some of these integrations, such as with Box and Salesforce, but more often companies will have to build connectors to outside systems; the company hopes to have about 20 integration partners by the end of this year).
Users can also create their own templates and share them for future usage.
The Deal Room, one of 25 Purposeful Places -- templates for Jive discussions geared toward specific purposes.
Jive also wants to encourage users to start discussions in the system by posting blog entries. To make blogging more appealing -- and to show bloggers what kind of impact they're having on the rest of the company -- Jive is adding a module with various kinds of analytics. After posting a blog, the author can see how many people read it, drill down to find out exactly who read it, and even send private messages to individuals to "remind" them that they should really read a particular post.
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