Last week, Jive Software‘s Oudi Antebi came by the house to show off the company’s new platform. I don’t usually have people stop by for briefings but he was insistent, so I agreed. I had to meet this guy willing to come out to my house even if I was taking double shots of Nyquil.
Oudi joined Jive when the company bought his startup, OffiSync, in 2011. In his words, all was going well in the post-startup life. More time with the kids, a job with nowhere near the pressures that come with a startup. Then CEO Tony Zingale called and said he wanted Oudi to take over product management for the company. And so here arrived Oudi at my front door, back in it, deep in the product, wanting to show me how Jive had returned to its roots.
What Oudi showed me has its roots as a blog platform with the immediate feedback that comes with social networks. Here’s a look at what it offers and why it has value, but also some sticking issues that give room for alternative services such as Moxie Software.
The new Jive has enough in-line features to make it a service that is a viable alternative to email. Its microblogging platform shows all the impact metrics such as viewers and sentiment analysis. Send an update and you get immediate feedback.
An update can include images, tables, bullet points and the rich-text features found in a standard email service. But as it is an activity stream, it looks a lot richer, cascading down the page in a river of news style. Questions that get answered can be marked and tasks can be assigned. I’d like to see it offer the social knowledge engine that Moxie now offers to make the collaboration deeper and more contextual.
Outside the discussion is a new context engine that connects anyone using the Jive platform to the web page or third-party service you may be using. Pull up a profile on LinkedIn, click the tab and it extracts all the conversations that are associated with the profile. The tab reveals a window that shows the conversations that people are having about that particular blog post or whatever it might be.
Jive added 25 templates to provide a deeper purpose to groups. They allow users to create groups, such as a deal room, campaign planning, vendor collaboration, etc. The group can be marked according to different levels of permission such as public, private or “secret.”
In a deal room, for example, a customer can receive live data from Salesforce. “You never have to go to Salesforce,” Oudi said. “You can use Chatter right there.”
Jive’s update has the right touches, including baseball-card-style employee profiles. And people can customize their activity streams in a manner similar to Google Circles.
Oudi says Jive is seeking to move away from standard lightweight activity streams and instead help people get their work done.