August 18th, 2008

Clearspace 2.5: Jive raises the bar


Jive SoftwarePortland-based Jive Software—which VentureBeat dubs “one of the more successful startups offering collaborative software to large corporations”—has announced the latest release of its Clearspace product, Clearspace 2.5.

It’s a release that marks a decided step forward for one of the darlings of the Portland startup community.

In my opinion, it’s always a smart move to “let people work where they’re comfortable” while providing tools that extract and share data with the enterprise as a whole. Clearspace 2.5 does this in spades, ensuring that Clearspace has a more deeply integrated position among a number of traditional enterprise communications tools.

Just as important, the release marks a decided move from Clearspace as a tangential and “nice to have” social media service to the role of aggregator and “nerve center” for all communications within the enterprise. A role which Jive’s CMO, Sam Lawrence, describes as moving from a presence in the organization to full-fledged “ubiquity.”

But what exactly does that mean? Well, let’s let Jive tell it:


Clearspace Community 2.5 from Jive Software on Vimeo.

According to VentureBeat, these seemingly straightforward improvements are all the more powerful in combination:

None of the features are all that innovative on their own, but collectively they mark a smart move forward. For one thing, users can now participate in discussions, check updates and more via text message or email, so Clearspace becomes more accessible and useful outside the office. In addition, Clearspace now integrates with customer relationship manage (CRM) service Salesforce.com, so a Salesforce customer account page can show relevant activity and information from within Clearspace. Finally, it’s now much easier to enable Clearspace-managed customer comments on any webpage by just adding a few lines of code.

And well-known social media proponent Chris Brogan sees the new Clearspace features as a way to weave social media into the workings of the enterprise:

We have to stop thinking of social software as an island. It’s going to be part of the fabric, and that requires integration points, connectivity to the way people create business processes, and flexible enough to fit within an organization’s existing business styles. I saw lots of that in Jive’s latest release, and Sam talked about the company’s further efforts in that department for future visions.

I know the Jive team—quiet as they have been—has been very much “heads down” working on this release. And, as a testament to that focus, they’ve released some very impressive features. What’s more, those features definitely embed Jive’s products more deeply into the enterprise environment.

Hopefully—for Jive’s sake and for Portland’s sake—we’ll see some forward thinking organizations jump at the chance to have this kind of social media interactivity behind the corporate walls, informing the actions of the employees. I’d like to think it could happen. And I hope it happens sooner rather than later.

For more on the features of Clearspace 2.5, see Sam Lawrence’s post on Go Big Always. For more on the company and its products, visit Jive Software.

[Update] Oopie. Apparently I beat Jive to the punch on posting on their own product. Here’s the official Jive post on the Clearspace 2.5 release.

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