In November, Jive Software acquired Bay Area cloud-based, collaborative task manager, Producteev, to boost its social business platform. Going forward, as Alex wrote at the time, Salesforce.com and Jive will increasingly butt heads as they compete for mindshare in the enterprise. With Producteev’s multi-platform task-management system, which allows users to create tasks from emails and collaborate around projects in teams, Jive acquired a service that was already beginning to compete with Asana and Salesforce.com’s Do.com.
Producteev has been quiet since the acquisition, but that changed today, with the announcement that the startup is launching a revamped version of its social task management platform. The biggest change, founder Ilan Abehassera tells us, is that the new Producteev targets larger companies (naturally, given its acquirer) and is entirely free. Yes, this means that companies of any size will be able to use Producteev for free — no strings attached.
The founder tells us that, in spite of the “By Jive” addendum to the company name, Producteev continues to operate as a startup and remains a standalone offering inside Jive’s product ecosystem. The team is still working on integrating the task management platform into Jive’s products, which it hopes to have completed by the end of the year. It’s not clear yet how pricing will change (if at all) once the integration is complete.
When asked “why free?” the founder said that he believes “tasks are the most basic, fundamental part of getting work done” and, as such, are “the way into the enterprise.” For that reason, and for ease-of-adoption sake, Abehassera takes the “fewer barriers, the better” approach, as going free offers Producteev users (and beyond) a more frictionless pipe into Jive.
The platform has been free to individuals up to this point, but this move is clearly something that the company has wanted to do for some time, and now that it’s under the Jive umbrella, it has the latitude to do so, especially with integration coming this year. As of now, there are no Jive products that I’m aware of that are available for free (forever), so the likelihood that its social collaboration module comes without a price? Not high.
The changes evident in the “revamped” Producteev are notable, and the team has been working on the new version of the platform for the last 11+ months. The result, the founder says, is that Producteev has pretty much been rebuilt from scratch. Firstly, that means Producteev added a lot of scalable tech on the backend to allow for new users coming over from Jive’s other products — with more to come once the products are integrated.
The new backend is also relevant considering that, since its inception, Producteev has really been focused on startups and small teams. But its newest iteration sees it re-tooled for larger companies and allows them to more effectively break up teams into smaller groups (and collaborate within those groups).
Jive is currently working on a new task-management module/dashboard to integrate into its enterprise social networking platform, and as of now, its collaboration and task-management capabilities leave plenty to be desired. Producteev’s new features help shore up that gap and fit into the new social (and social collaboration) image it’s trying to sell to its clients and compete with the likes of bigs like IBM (and Salesforce.com).
In addition, the new design, which includes its apps for the web, iPhone, Android and Mac, introduces the notion of “Networks,” allowing users to collaborate with their entire company — something that wasn’t possible in previous versions. Producteev has also added Dropbox integration so that users can quickly attach Dropbox files to tasks and activity feeds on projects, which enable users to see updates on projects in real time.
Users can also now assign tasks to multiple teammates, tag tasks for easier filtering later on, follow individual tasks and take advantage of one-click filtering.
All in all, Producteev is starting to look more like a quality, enterprise-grade social task-management system. Granted, it’s still not all the way there, as the platform isn’t something you’d use if you’re working on heavy-duty industrial design projects — completing the Bay Bridge in San Francisco, for example. But for most other uses, this is a welcome upgrade for Producteev. And now that it’s free, it wouldn’t be that surprising to see this take off in the same way Yammer did before Microsoft got a hold of it — at least until those integrations hit the pavement.