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    Wall Street Journal: "It's not Facebook for the Enterprise, Stupid"

      Jive Software: ‘It’s Not Facebook For The Enterprise, Stupid’ (FASTech)

      The Wall Street Journal

      By Tomio Geron

      November 3, 2010, 2:53 PM ET



      Jive Software is known for bringing popular consumer-friendly collaboration tools    into enterprises. But that doesn’t mean the company is just selling   ways  for people to fritter away time at work.


      Jive,   which in July raised a $30 million funding round from Kleiner Perkins  Caufield & Byers and Sequoia Capital, is trying to make it easier for people to get their work done, said Tony Zingale, chief  executive   of Jive, speaking at the VentureWire Fastech conference Wednesday.


      The   company is providing collaboration tools, but it’s focusing on  doing   them by solving enterprise problems such as scalability, security, offering behind the firewall as well as in the cloud. This gives enterprises confidence that they can put their data and information into their systems, Zingale said.


      “That’s boring stuff to do,” Zingale said. “The cool new innovative social media companies don’t want to do it.”


      While   Jive is doing some of the “boring stuff,” it’s also  incorporating the   basic elements created by consumer social  Internet companies like   Facebook and Twitter. And it’s building a third-party platform for other developers to run applications on Jive’s  platform for things  like  translation, file sharing, and multimedia  presentations.


      The   trick is convincing chief information officers that Jive’s  technology   offers more than what’s found on Facebook, and that they should pay  for  it.


      “I   hate to say it, but ‘It’s not Facebook for the enterprise, stupid,’”   Zingale said. “That’s a great social tool. But it’s not about  connecting 200 of your friends together, and checking out their photos and videos and talking about what you had for dinner last night. It’s about getting your work done.


      “If   you simply walk in [to a company] and say, ‘Look at my profile,  look   at my activity screen, look at my micro-blogging tool or my cool   videos  I can display on YouTube.’ - that doesn’t work. But if you walk   in and  say, ‘Would you like your salesforce to be 25% more effective   while  prosecuting opportunities by collaborating with the community?’  -   absolutely, people will respond to that.”


      By   applying this technology to existing business processes, and  offering   productivity enhancements and revenue generation, Jive can  avoid the   fate of other start-ups that have failed to take  social-networking   tools to the enterprise because they went with the  free-to-use  consumer  Internet business model, he said. The Palo,  Calif.-based  company has  more than 3,000 clients including Charles  Schwab Corp.,  Intel Corp., Nike Inc. and VMWare Inc., and more than 15  million users  of its  software.


      “Free doesn’t work,” Zingale said. “I’m not in the business of free.”


      Asked about the prospect of Facebook eventually moving into the  enterprise,   Zingale said while he admires what Facebook has done for  consumers he   does not see that company moving into the enterprise.


      “I   don’t see it,” Zingale said. “I wouldn’t accept the security,   privacy,  and all that (enterprise) data being at Facebook. Every one  of  Jive’s  3,000 customers would have a serious problem with that.”