Tag: Jive

Getting your data in and out of the enterprise: Jive joins Data Portability Project

Jive SoftwareMuch has been said about you as a user being able to use your data more intelligently—making your data portable—among Web 2.0 properties and social networks. But what about all of that data you’re creating—and own—on the corporate side of the firewall? How do we make that type of data portable?

Well, Portland-based Jive Software may be well on the path to answering that question with today’s announcement that Jive has joined the Data Portability Project.

“The benefits of data portability are not confined to consumer social networks,” said Matt Tucker, CTO, Jive. “Corporate users maintain profiles behind the firewall as well as in external communities and third party platforms, and the ability to simply and securely migrate that information as necessary will be a boon to the IT organizations of tomorrow.”

I hear you. “Data port-uh-what?” Let’s step back.

What is Data Portability?

According to the Data Portability Project, “Data Portability is the option to use your personal data between trusted applications and vendors.”

Heretofore, those “applications and vendors” have dealt with data that resided in the public space with companies like Digg, Drupal, Facebook, Flickr (and by association Yahoo!), Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Netvibes, Plaxo, Six Apart, Corvallis-based Strands, and Twitter.

Porting the data relies on standardized and publicly accessible means of transferring that data from service to service, which enables one service to “listen” to another service or “scrape” the data from an existing profile.

To accomplish this, a number of open standards, formats, microformats, and protocols have been established. These include APML, FOAF, hCard, OAuth, OpenID, OPML, RDF, RSS, SIOC, the XHTML Friends Network (XFN), XRI, and XDI.

Okay, I can feel your eyes rolling back in your head. Enough alphabet soup.

What’s the big deal about Jive, a corporate-side technology, joining a group of the cool kids on the social networking scene?

So what?

In my opinion, Jive’s decision to become the first corporate-side technology company to adopt this standard is momentous and game changing.

Why? Because it shakes the very foundation of what businesses think they own.

Today, most any of you on the corporate side of the firewall have signed some form of agreement. It could be a “noncompete” or simply a contract for employment. If you’re an exempt employee, it’s generally pretty strict in terms of what the company owns.

And generally, most companies will take the opportunity to cast a wide net over your work—claiming the company owns the intellectual property for anything you create while you’re employed by the company.

Anything.

That means your IM, your email, your time on Facebook, your tweets, your voice mail, your iTunes playlist… All corporate property.

Seems a bit at odds with the way things are going, doesn’t it?

And as more and more of the “Web 2.0-esque” technologies find their way behind the corporate firewall, it’s going to seem even more and more wrong.

Even today, we’re beginning to see glimmers of the data we’re generating in public beginning to mesh with the type of data we’re generating at work. (LinkedIn anyone?)

The burgeoning workforce who lives and breathes in this brave new world will expect that the data they create is data they own and can move. And this is at direct odds with what the old school corporation thinks that the business should own.

It’s not going to be a pretty battle. But with this announcement, Jive is taking a step in the right direction—siding with the future instead of the past.

So what will enterprise data portability entail?

Honestly, it’s going to take a little while to figure that out. But Jive has started the ball rolling.

Jive’s latest high-profile hire, Gia Lyons, a former IBMer, understands the depth of this undertaking:

Think about all the bits and pieces of your worklife, strewn about all those different systems: HR systems, skills databases, LDAP directories, employee whitepages, LinkedIn, etc. Wouldn’t it be great if you could manage all that personal data from a single spot? It can live where it lives – I would call it data transparency, though, not data portability. This can already be accomplished by using data mapping tools in market today, but it takes some serious customization muscles to pull off, not to mention many lunches and cocktails to woo the czars in charge of all of those internal systems so they play nice.

And Jive CMO Sam Lawrence has grand plans for where this enterprise data portability might have the chance to go:

In the meantime, we’re interested in working with the Data Portability group to help contribute to these standards as well as new ones as well. Hopefully, the organization is now at a point in its evolution to proceed with formal and elected leadership, a standards body, voting process and the rest of the stuff that makes organizations successful.

Again, a vast project with which to grapple, but one whose time has potentially come.

It will be interesting to see where this one goes, and to see watch Portland’s role blossom—as the de facto hub of open source and as a growing proponent of open standards—in this new way of thinking about who owns what.

Jive Software unveils expansion plans

Jive SoftwareApparently Portland-based Jive Software has got the “moving into new digs” bug.

I mean, we all know that they’re moving into new offices in Portland, this summer, but now they’ve revealed that they’re planning to move into offices in Silicon Valley, London, and Zurich.

Why all the new offices? Well, there’s a few more heads in the good ol’ headcount it seems. Like more than four times as many. And with all those heads attached to bodies, they need somewhere to sit and work.

This marks a huge step forward for what was—heretofore—a very successful Portland startup. Now that Jive is stepping onto the international stage, it will be very interesting to see what this means for the local scene—and the attention Portland gets.

Stay tuned.

Is Jive CMO Sam Lawrence the next Robert Scoble?

Portland-based Jive Software has been all over the blog world as of late with their release of Clearspace 2.0. But that’s not the only place they’re turning heads.

Jive’s Chief Marketing Officer, Sam Lawrence, has rapidly become a social-media phenom on Twitter and on his blog, Go Big Always (which coincidentally uses the same Justin-Kistner designed WordPress theme that adorns Silicon Florist).

Now, Portland’s Marshall Kirkpatrick is hinting that Lawrence may be the next Robert Scoble, given how readily his social media presence jumps to mind:

When we asked for examples of people doing this kind of work well on Twitter, the first name that flooded our replies inbox was Jive Software’s Sam Lawrence.

For those of you unfamiliar with Scoble, Kirkpatrick provides a short and sweet primer:

Robert Scoble blazed a big trail by blogging and producing video as a technical evangelist for Microsoft from 2003 through 2006. No longer at Microsoft, Scoble now produces media for media’s sake at FastCompany.tv. Others have followed his lead, knowingly or not, and job titles like “social media evangelist” are no longer nearly as rare as they used to be.

As for me, I’ve seen the power of Sam’s influence in a variety of media. And it continues to grow on a daily—if not hourly—basis. His bursting on to the social-media scene has been nothing short of explosive. And I continue to be impressed with his growing influence and impact.

That’s good for Jive. But it’s also good for us here in the Silicon Forest.

We could be witnessing the emergence of another true A-Lister, right here in our own backyard. And that, gentle reader, could be huge for the Portland startup scene.

Will Openfire Enterprise going Open Source be good news for Jive Jabber/XMPP work?

And the hits just keep on coming from Portland-based Jive Software. As if their “new Clearspace plus a new site plus acquiring Jotlet” announcement wasn’t enough, they’ve also decided to announce that Openfire Enterprise is now truly becoming an open-source product.

What’s Openfire Enterprise?

Openfire Enterprise addresses the Enterprise Instant Messaging (EIM) market by adding rich reporting, archiving, and control features on top of Openfire.

Okay, so what’s the whole “open source” move mean?

Well, it means a couple of things.

First—and most importantly for open-source advocates—it means that some of Jive’s Jabber/XMPP work has been officially extricated from quasi-proprietary muck which may have prevented more widespread adoption and development. At least, that’s what Jive (and I) hope:

One of our hopes with this move is that the last possible objection to deploying XMPP-based instant messaging at every organization in the world is now removed. Now, everyone will have access to an open standards solution that satisfies all the needs of IT departments… for free. We think that’s great news for the community and getting our technology deployed even more widely is good for Jive Software as well.

Second—and most importantly for Jive as a company—it means that Jive is taking a decided step toward focusing on its Clearspace product by giving the open-source community control of Openfire Enterprise. While Jive will still be looking to drive revenue with Openfire Enterprise by integrating it into Clearspace, they won’t be juggling the two products in terms of managing the overall development.

Maybe it’s just me, but from an entrepreneurial, open-source, geeky frame of mind this announcement is by far the most exciting news coming out of Jive, today.

I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes.

(Hat tip Dawn Foster)

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.

Silicon Forest claims two of the largest Web 2.0 investments in 2007

Earlier this week, I tried to shoot a hole in news that the “Web 2.0 sky is falling” by highlighting that Web 2.0 investments may be down in the Silicon Valley and Texas—but Web 2.0 venture amounts are up practically everywhere else, including the Silicon Forest.

Today, TechCrunch continued to take a look at the slowing:

In 2007, the median deal size was $5 million, up 22 percent. And the median pre-money valuation was $10 million, up 66 percent (from $6 million in 2006). Both deal size and valuation for Web 2.0 companies remained below the average VC deal across all industries ($7.6 million and $16 million, respectively)

But again, there’s a silver lining to this Silicon-Valley cloud. For us, at least.

Take a look at where the top investments landed. Lo and behold, there are two Silicon Forest companies on the list. Corvallis-based MyStrands appears on the list twice with nearly $50 million combined investment, and Portland-based Jive Software appears courtesy of their $15 million round, last year.

This is the kind of news that begins to put Portland and the entire Silicon Forest on the map. It’s news that, hopefully, makes the venture capital community take notice. And maybe, just maybe, the type of news that motivates those investors to take a second look at the Rose City technology scene.

I can’t wait to see what 2008 holds for our local companies. But the bar has been set. And I hope to see more than two of our companies on the list, next year.

(Hat tip Jeff the Great)

Jive Software nearly doubles customer base in 2007

I knew Portland-based Jive Software was hot. I knew they were award winning. And I knew that they had taken an unassailable lead in the “Most Want Ads in the Portland Area” race.

But, even with all of this purported knowledge of mine, it’s always nice to have some numbers to back me up.

Today, Jive released some of those numbers for FY2007. And they’re impressive, to say the least:

  • Nearly 800 new customers
  • 325% increase in annual sales
  • 15% of the Fortune 500 use a Jive product

Jive attributes its continued success to businesses’ growing need for “a better way to work,” highlighting that the collaborative nature of Jive’s products makes them a compelling platform for improving communications with a “proven, people-centric approach to collaboration.”

For more information on Jive’s numbers, read the press release. For more information on the company, visit Jive.

(Hat tip Northwest Innovation)

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