Jive To Add Business Value To Social Platform - InformationWeek

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Jive To Add Business Value To Social Platform

Jive's spring update will add a host of new features to help enterprises use social tools to further business agenda.

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New features in Jive Software's spring release are designed for companies looking to use social technology beyond "social for social's sake."

The BrainYard recently spoke with Christopher Morace, Jive's chief strategy officer, about some of the things on the company's 2013 roadmap. Everything Jive is planning, said Morace, is based on "conversation after conversation with executives who said they're not looking for social; they're looking for business value -- how can they accomplish what's on their business agenda more effectively than they do today?"

In short, said Morace, companies aren't using social because they think they are supposed to or because it's the hot new technology -- something organizations may have been guilty of in the initial excitement (and resulting pressures) surrounding the use of social in business environments. Instead, they are looking to use technology that will help employees more effectively do their jobs and drive business value. If that technology includes social, so be it.

[ You say you want a social revolution? Read Social Enterprise 2013: Opportunities And Obstacles. ]

New features Jive will be launching in its spring release include:

-- Purposeful Places: Purposeful Places are "conversations with a business point," said Morace. The Purposeful Places feature enables organizations using Jive to connect important team members to each other, as well as to the information they need to accomplish specific tasks, through instant and customizable workplaces.

-- Structured Outcomes: Organizations using social business technology often have trouble articulating its value beyond "it increases discussion." But a discussion without an end is a probably a discussion without real business value. Jive's Structured Outcomes feature is designed to turn that talk into specific business tasks. "One of the challenges of social to date, I think, is that conversations can go on indefinitely," said Morace. "We introduced things inside the Jive platform that help you say, 'You know what? This is a decision now.' ... By actually taking these threads to termination points, we can visualize for the business how this is actually helping to get work accomplished, driving decisions and driving productivity, within the enterprise. It's a subtle shift, but it provides tremendous business value."

-- Impact Metrics: In the spring release, Jive will also be including new metrics that help users gauge the value of what they are bringing to the organization, including discussions and shared content. "We find, whether it's an executive or a front-line manager, when you're on there, creating content and sharing things that you believe people will find valuable, it's enormously difficult to understand the impact it all has on the organization. Out of the box, we can help users of Jive understand what portions of the organization they are impacting, whether they are influencing decisions, whether one piece of content or thought leadership had a bigger impact than another ... We think this is really going to change the way companies use these platforms, and also really help drive business value."

-- Mobile: The Jive spring release will include several mobile features, including Jive Presents, an iPad app geared for salespeople and others out in the field. According to Morace, Jive Presents provides users with all of the latest collateral, combined with the ability to have questions automatically pushed to the people who are closest to that content.

Jive's spring release is expected to launch in the second quarter.

Follow Deb Donston-Miller on Twitter at @debdonston.

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