Checking out Jive Software


Last week we went to Amsterdam to meet up with the guys from Jive Software, an Enterprise Social Software platform which is a potential candidate for our Innovation platform.

Enterprise Social Software is a booming business and since we believe that collaboration is key to the success of future businesses we start by examining the possibilities (you can compare Enterprise Social Software as a kind of ‘Hyves’ or ‘FaceBook’ for corporations, so with much more security).

One of the first candidates is Jive Software, a company we met on the Web 2.0 conference in Berlin two weeks ago. Funny detail is that, although our badges were scanned by all vendors, Jive Software was the only company proactively contacting us for a meeting. Talking about ROI.

Anyway, on a rainy Tuesday we met Devan and Curtis in a coffeeshop (trust me, a real coffeeshop with coffee). We were looking for answers on the following questions:

  1. How does Jive Software compare to SAP, SharePoint or CRM?
  2. What is the business model of Jive Software?
  3. Do you have Best Practices?
  4. How can we set up a testing environment?
  5. What about security?

1. How does Jive Software compare to SAP, SharePoint or CRM?

ERP (such as SAP) which stands for Enterprise Resource Planning is basically a large scale -read: expensive- multifunctional tool which can be designed in such a way that it can handle all operational activities within a company (from sales to logistics to R&D). Jive Software is a collaboration tool and is specifically designed to do just that. SharePoint is close to Jive although the philosphy is completely different. SharePoint is designed around files and there is little to no link between the different communication platforms (for example, if you search in SharePoint in the wiki-part for ‘new media’ it will only search for ‘new media’ within the wiki; no results will show up for ‘new media’ when it is mentioned in blogs or other parts of SharePoint). Jive, on the other hand, will search within all available ‘Spaces’. A true advantage, in my view.

There are plug-ins available for SharePoint so that from within Jive you can also search in SharePoint. Also plug-ins for various CRM systems can be downloaded. To implement this, support from IT is necessary.

2. What is the business model of Jive Software?

Jive has two models: ClearSpace and ClearSpace Communities. The first is primarily focusing on the internal use of social media, whereas the latter more on the external use. Both have different business models and it is not easy to switch from one to the other.

For ClearSpace, payment is done on a cost per user per year basis.  Jive has a minimum number of users of 100. The business model for ClearSpace Community is based on CPU usage. Difficult term, but in principle it means the level of computer power: the more users use the platform, the more power it consumes from the server, the higher the costs. On average 1 CPU is sufficient for about 20,000 users (depending on the activity of these users).

3. Do you have Best Practice examples?

Some pharma initiatives using Jive Software are Eli Lilly, Cancer Research Institute and the European Organisation for Rare Diseases.

Devan showed us some examples of other companies using their software:

CNN iReport

CNET forums




Also he showed us a very interesting business case of Chordiant. They were looking for “community, collaboration and transparency”.

In most cases you don’t even recognize the look and feel of Jive anymore, since it is completely adapted to the house style of the customer. Small changes can be done ourselves, but large modifications need to be done by web specialists. In the Netherlands partners with Jive Software.

4. How can we set up a testing environment?

We can download the software and install it on one of our servers. However, this requires a firm amount of IT knowledge and resources. A second option is to let Jive create a fully functional platform for us. We can do whatever we want for 30 days. There are no costs involved.

5. What about security?

There are several layers of security, from normal access through username/password till the modification of read/write access on information level (i.e. a blogpost or wiki entry can only be read by a predefined set of people). After the demonstration we’ve are confident that on a security level Jive meets the requirements imposed to for example a pharma regulatory environment.

As a final thought we were advised to check out the blog of Chuck Hollis, VP of Technology at EMC. A bit shameless self-promotion, but in a setting like this it should be OK.

We went home with a good feeling about the company. They were professional and eager to answer all our questions. Jive Software certainly is a candidate for evaluation.

4 Responses to Checking out Jive Software

  1. Pingback: Learning. Creating. Sharing « Learning. Creating. Sharing

  2. Maxim Bail says:

    Your blog template is not correctly displayed in the window of my browser! Please fix! I really liked the article, I will read this blog always! I am very interested in software))) +1

  3. luis benitez says:

    So which company did you end up choosing for your Enterprise 2.0 solution and why ?

  4. digiredo says:

    @luis: We are currently working with Spigit ( since they have an innovation module built-in, in combination with some rudimentary social media tools (blog, wiki). It turned out that we still need to adapt many things but Spigit so far has been of good help to us.

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