Tag: Clearspace

Jive: Goodbye Clearspace, Hello Social Business Software

Jive SoftwarePortland-based Jive Software has been relatively quiet as of late. And that generally leads me to assume that they’re working on something new, but I didn’t really have much to go on as to what that might be.

Today, it all became much less clear. (Pun intended.)

Jive has announced that—for their newest release—they have abandoned the distinct Clearspace products in favor of launching a suite of tools entitled “Social Business Software.” And I’m sure it’s no accident that it just happens to be “version 3.0.”

Jive CEO Dave Hersh describes this new offering as the first new application category in business since CRM:

For our customers, SBS is the new enterprise category. The enterprise has been devoid of a new application category since CRM, and they see the advent of social software as the biggest change to happen to the enterprise in fifteen years. It’s now spanning every major vertical and the visionary leaders are seeing the gains that can be made by opening up collaboration and focusing on the people. This is especially true in a downturn, where throwing more money at business process software is not going to lead to huge value increases — you have to look to the areas where there is the most to gain, the white spaces in a company: the people.

Few companies have had the foresight of Jive to understand that—due to both external and internal forces—corporations would be dragged kicking and screaming into becoming much more social beings. This gives them an edge on insight, but they still have several goliath competitors with whom they compete, namely Microsoft and IBM.

Now, Jive is hoping to deliver the platform that helps enable this growing corporate predilection toward more social business management.

Jive marketechture

How is the market reacting to the news?

While there hasn’t been much from the enterprise-focused pubs yet, the tech blogs have taken a gander at Jive’s Social Business Software. Here’s what they had to say:

Jive’s Social Business Software makes collaboration easier (VentureBeat)

“With the downturn, you might assume that Jive was part of a fad that has passed…. But after talking to Chief Marketing Officer Lawrence, it sounds like that would be a mistake—Jive added 200 customers last year, bringing its total to more than 2,500, and many of those newer customers are paying for more expensive tools, so its revenue actually grew 70 percent. In fact, Lawrence says Jive is hiring. And a recent report from Forrester identified Jive and Telligent as the leaders in the ‘community platforms’ market.”

Jive Launches All-In-One Social Enterprise Software (TechCrunchIT)

“Modeled to offer Facebook-like features to enterprises, the software combines computing with social collaboration. The Clearspace app helps businesses hold collaborate on a variety of tasks, including holding discussions, sharing documents, blogging, running polls, and social networking features and more. The Clearspace Community app provides a platform that allows businesses to communicate effectively with customers and the broader community.”

Jive Rolls Out New Product, Takes on Microsoft and IBM in Social Business Software (xconomy)

“‘Enterprise software has been a boring category for 20 years, and Jive is here to change that,’ says Sam Lawrence, Jive’s chief marketing officer.

“You’d expect to hear something like that from an experienced marketer like Lawrence. Yet in this case, he is talking about a bold strategic move by a small company that has its sights set on becoming something like Facebook for the office, putting it on a competitive collision course with Microsoft, IBM, and a slew of startups that aim to help employees get better at collaborating. Jive has evolved to this point from its founding in 2001, before the days of social networking. Its early forays into social software involved online forums and instant messaging, and were focused on support— things like getting customers to help each other rather than call a company with time-consuming questions.”

Jive Updates Enterprise Social Networking (eWeek)

“IBM’s Lotus Connections, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other players are approaching enterprise social-networking, but Jive Software wants to take some market-share of its own with its Social Business Software (SBS) platform. Jive claims that its software’s collaboration and profile features could make it ‘Facebook for the enterprise.'”

Jive Goes Bigger (Than Ever) (ITSinsider)

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“I’m not sure you can announce your leadership in a category, but that’s what Jive has done with the announcement of its Social Business Software application suite—Jive SBS 3.0. The product does bring a deliberate focus to the logical organizational interests of a social enterprise– namely, Employee Engagement, Marketing & Sales, Customer Support, and Innovation. With that segmentation, along with an overhaul of its Jive Clearspace 2.5 released last summer, the software has been reborn—perhaps in the original image of its founders, according to Sam Lawrence, Chief Marketing Officer. With this new release, Jive is stridently targeting IBM and Microsoft customers with what could prove to be a superior solution.”

New Jive Offering: Clearspace becomes ‘SBS (ZDNet)

“From origins as a forums and instant messenger vendor, Jive launched ‘Clearspace‘, a single application with wikis, blog, discussions, instant messaging, rss, email integration and files into spaces organized by topic in 2006. This in turn morphed into internal (’Clearspace’) and external (’Clearspace Community’) focused versions.

Jive have now taken the industry segment phrase to rename Clearspace ‘Social Business Software’ (SBS), and are making a play as an enterprise class, company wide backbone for all facets of business collaboration.”

Jive unveils new social media business tools (Silicon Forest/The Oregonian)

“The concept is fascinating — Jive’s software uses a social networking interface to draw in and connect a company’s employees with one another, and with customers. At first blush it looks like Facebook, a format Jive hopes will help engage companies’ younger employees….

“Dave and the folks who started Jive, Bill Lynch and Matt Tucker, had lots of other thoughtful things to say about Jive’s outlook and Portland’s startup scene. I’ll have more on that, and more from them, in an upcoming article.”

What’s next?

Jive will be rolling out the new Social Business Software suite next week—but existing customer already have access. It will be interesting to see what kind of reception this latest iteration of Jive’s tools receives. Here’s hoping they get a positive response from both current customers and those potential customers waiting in the wings.

For more information on the latest release, visit Jive Social Business Software.

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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:

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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.

Jive Clearspace 2.0 is named “2.0” for a reason

Big news day for Portland-based Jive Software. They just announced the release of Clearspace 2.0, the release of whole-new, rebuilt-from-the-ground-up Web site, and the acquisition of Jotlet, a calendaring and scheduling tool that will be built into future versions of Clearspace.

I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview of Clearspace 2.0 and its new feature set on Friday. And I must admit, it’s an impressive step forward for the product and the company as they continue to assert their position in the realm of “enterprise collaboration.”

For more information on the release, I’d recommend reading Sam Lawrence’s overview of the new Clearspace features.

And, as I’m probably not the best person to comment on the comparative feature/functionality of the tool in regards to the market at large, I would highly recommend Marshall Kirkpatrick’s ReadWriteWeb write-up on the Clearspace 2.0. I noticed that Anthony Ha at VentureBeat took a liking to the new Clearspace project management features. And, for additional insight, TechCrunch’s Mark Hendrickson has covered the Jive news.

That should give you plenty of insight from folks much wiser than I. So, let’s get to that upon which I do feel comfortable commenting….

Honestly, what I found most interesting about my conversation with Jive and the demonstrations of their new feature set were the types comparisons I kept making. And they weren’t the kind of comparisons you’d think that I would be making while watching the demonstration of a piece of enterprise collaboration software.

“The front page reminds me a lot of Netvibes.”

“That river of information is a lot like FriendFeed or Facebook.”

“That works a lot like 37 signals’ Basecamp.”

“Oh, like Google Docs or Writeboard?”

Fact of the matter is that, throughout the demo, I threw out so many “that’s kinda like…” or “that reminds me of…” references to other Web 2.0 products that it suddenly became excruciatingly obvious to me why Clearspace 2.0 is version, well, 2.0. Because Jive has worked to incorporate the types of features and functionality that echo some of today’s most popular Web 2.0 tools.

Now, I know a number of you are starting to heave a big “So what?” sigh, but bear with me. Because there is something important happening here.

Those of us who live and breathe this Web 2.0 stuff or who are lucky enough to work in small thoughtful organizations that leverage these types of tools are in the vast minority. I’d argue that 99.9% of the population has no idea that this stuff exists.

What’s more, if you’re in a larger organization and successfully running something like Basecamp within your department? You’re a complete anomaly. Smart. But anomalous nonetheless.

Large organizations have things Microsoft SharePoint—or worse. They don’t tend to have access to collaborative tools like this. And that’s what makes this such an interesting release to me.

Marshall touches on this, as well, albeit more eloquently:

[T]hose of us who take things like startpages, News Feeds and Jabber seriously outside the enterprise get some solid validation from Jive and its customers.

I couldn’t have said it better myself. (That’s why I just quoted him.)

It will be interesting to see how Jive’s target market—the Fortune 500 companies who deploy this type of solution to thousands of users—respond to the type of functionality that we—as users of Web 2.0 tools for business—have come to expect.

And it will be even more interesting to see how the Web 2.0 crowd responds to this kind of validation.

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