JiveWorld 2013: The Future of Collaboration Ain’t What It Used To Be
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Author: Jim Lundy
Issue: Who are the collaboration providers and how will they evolve?
Summary: Jive Software unveiled its vision for unified social collaboration at the JiveWorld Conference in Las Vegas, with integration as a key theme. Collaboration managers should investigate.
Event: From October 22-24, Jive Software held its annual JiveWorld conference in Las Vegas. There were several product-related announcements for the Jive Fall release, including mobility, cloud and identity.
For all of us in the technology industry, the fall is a season filled with conferences from California to Florida. We just came back from the JiveWorld Conference in Las Vegas, and among the many events and announcements, I was impressed with the Jive team and their customers.
Jive has been a mainstay social collaboration provider for some time, but the power of the individual user is changing this market. BYOD and consumerization are key drivers here. The change has made “cloud” and “mobile” key themes of any tech talk, and they were very popular at JiveWorld.
Jive has added peer endorsement features such as the Jive Social Directory, which allows users to find and recommend experts. JiveX is a cloud-based customer community. Jive’s vision is clearly to be an enterprise portal or social intranet.
Integration was another popular theme as Jive showed how its acquisitions, Producteev, meetings.io, Resonata and StreamOnce fit into its product. This brings real-time collaboration, business process and workflow, community analytics and update streams together in a social platform.
Jive demonstrated integration with other platforms and business applications from Box, Google and Microsoft. It also announced a partnership with Okta that will tie individual profiles to identity. Aragon has predicted that the key to building collaborative ecosystems will be solving the identity and policy problem. Identity and policy must be globally interoperable, or true collaboration can’t happen.
The Future Of Collaboration
Indeed, the future of social collaboration will not be one vendor muscling its way to be king of the mountain, but rather a collaborative ecosystem where every vendor’s success depends on openness and integration.
It is becoming increasingly clear that looking at individual technologies piecemeal runs counter to how people actually work. Throughout a workday we move from asynchronous to synchronous modalities in a seamless flow that is determined by what we are trying to accomplish. A social collaboration platform that ignores that flow is an effort in futility that users will not adopt.
In 2013, collaboration vendors are rethinking the piecemeal approach and trying to become more people-centric and focus on the user experience. Key examples include Citrix with Podio, Jive Software, Oracle and Unify (formerly Siemens Enterprise Communications).
This vision of collaboration makes individual modalities almost invisible and focuses instead on providing access to information and a variety of ways to communicate in a minimum number of steps on a “single pane of glass.” It can resemble a portal, an intranet, or anything that lets users build communities of internal and external constituents and work together with them, however they want to on whatever device they are using.
Challenges And Opportunities
This week, Jive showed that single pane of glass. Its next big challenge will be demonstrating to enterprises what that is and what problems it will solve. Jive can do that by focusing on use cases that bring social collaboration to the work people care about doing.
Jive integrates with Microsoft products such as SharePoint, Outlook and Office; it also needs to show that it can federate with the broadest possible range of other social collaboration and UCC platforms. Enterprises have made major investments in collaboration infrastructure, and any technology they use has to integrate with it. Presence federation is key since Jive has its own presence engine. While Jive showed the importance of tying the personal profile to identity with its Okta partnership, it has to make that identity consistent across applications and with internal and external collaboration relationships.
- Jive customers who are thinking about upgrades should wait and evaluate the new release.
- Enterprise collaboration planners should get satisfactory information about the level of integration and federation possible between the Jive offering and other platforms.
- Enterprises should base social collaboration decisions on business use cases and on the necessary level of integration with existing infrastructure.
The social collaboration market has a high degree of technology convergence. Products have to function in synergy and address the way users actually work. Siloed approaches to both internal and external collaboration are dated. Vendors that do not have a vision for a unified social collaboration paradigm will be challenged to remain relevant.