Sometimes, opposites attract. This would be one of those times.
News coming out of Jive Software this morning is like some freakish beauty and the beast episode of The Dating Game. Portland-based Jive—known for its Social Business Software that opens the power of social features to business communications—has begun a tempestuous relationship with Microsoft SharePoint—the classically unwieldy “Intranet” solution.
Introducing Jive Social Business Software SharePoint Connector.
Why would footloose and fancy free Jive have any interest in being tied down by a curmudgeonly SharePoint installation?
SharePoint’s strengths are in complex workflows, document storage, and records management. But a steep learning curve and social limitations coupled with a technology structure that’s not native Web 2.0 constrains both SharePoint adoption and conversations that matter. That’s why Jive’s social networking, collaboration capabilities and highly intuitive interface are highly complementary to SharePoint’s content infrastructure.
Leena Rao over at TechCrunch sees Jive’s move as taking a page from the Facebook playbook:
Modeled to offer Facebook-like features to enterprises, Jive combines computing with social collaboration. Its suite of applications help businesses collaborate on a variety of tasks, including holding discussions, sharing documents, blogging, running polls, and social networking features and more.[HTML1]
The SharePoint Connector lets users unite content and activities originating inside either Jive or SharePoint into a single stream with unified access, search results, activity streams, and document storage. So Jive customers can search, browse, and link to SharePoint repositories and content from wherever they happen to be working in Jive, including groups, discussion threads, documents, and blogs.
Now granted, I’m a little biased, but this sounds like the best thing to happen to SharePoint in a long, long time. Maybe ever.
In fact, if I were still being forced to work with SharePoint, I would be on the phone to Jive today, asking about this. Because at first blush, the Jive connector seems to deliver something that SharePoint has overpromised and underdelivered for as long as I’ve used the product: an easier way to find the documents for which you’re looking.
But I’m lucky enough to have reached escape velocity from SharePoint long ago. So maybe my deeply scarred psyche is just overcompensating.
Either way, if you’re using SharePoint, I’d argue that this new Jive offering is worth reviewing.
For more information, see Jive SBS SharePoint Connector.