#JiveWorld 17: notes from the keynote

Jive Software is an enterprise collaboration specialist with a focus on what it calls ‘powering human connection’ through the use of its software platform.

Is it really a platform?

It’s always difficult to justify vendors positioning themselves as platform providers when, ostensibly and effectively, they really exist as a provider of one core software product. But, of course, when that product can be ‘programmed to’ with extensions and other application function streams, then it becomes a platform – and this is what Jive is.

Newly acquired at the corporate funding level, the firm has this May staged its Vegas-located convention, exhibition and developer hackathon.

So to the keynote…

Keynote speaker Dacher Keltner is a human emotions specialist who has a theory for what he calls the ‘prosocial nervous system’.

Keltner spent a period discussing how we humans connect via systems of physical touch through our skin (pats on the back, handshakes, fist-bumps etc.) and suggested that our approach to building collaboration software should reflect that direct connectivity.

It is perhaps slightly unusual to start what is essentially a technical conference off with an inspirational speaker who spent the majority of his stage time talking about human stress, emotions and the mechanics of our own ‘vegus nerve‘, but Jive quite clearly presented the event this way round in an attempt to convince us that its technology really is all about people. Actually, we didn’t doubt that… but we get the point.

So to the Jive platform…

Jive explains that its cloud-based technology is now focused on a) universal identity b) enterprise-wide search and c) so-called ‘workgraph intelligence’. What could all that mean then?

Company CEO Elisa Steele took the stage to deliver the normal ‘we love our customers’ type of intros. Steele quickly addressed the acquisition and brought Aurea software CEO Scott Brighton up on stage.

Explaining how his organisation has worked to acquire a number of software firms in recent times, Brighton spoke about his first impressions of working with Jive.

Authentic accountability

“Our goal as a company is to define a difference between plain old customer satisfaction (where software has no bugs and simply works quite effectively)… and the ‘higher bar’ of customer success where we can help drive business and bring a more authentic accountability into the way software is deployed,” said Brighton.

With the explosion of single-purpose apps, siloed messaging platforms and a myriad of office tool solutions, Jive claims that employees [in many industries and different work environments] are often left overwhelmed and unproductive.

As an answer then, Jive’s talks about how its software attempts to provide a collaboration hub that connects people, systems, content and networks inside and outside of organisations.

“Today’s most competitive companies don’t work based off of org charts. They dynamically form teams around projects that expand across departments, companies and ecosystems. If you factor in all of the people, systems, IT infrastructures and security compliance requirements that are involved in business collaboration, these environments have become more complex and fragmented than ever before,” said CEO Steele.

Volume, volume everywhere

It’s a question of volume.

Information volume, data volume, app volume, workflow volume, customer volume and the volume of devices used (from IoT sensors & lasers through to desktop PCs and our obviously enormous array of mobile devices) and how all these things create this mass of voluminous complex volume… and how difficult that is to manage for most companies.

The answer from Jive is a set of software tools and functions with specific tasks.

A key element of this is what the firm calls universal identity. Jive has promised that later this year, Jive’s software will support a single identity, enabling users to interact with content and colleagues across their employee, partner and customer communities.

Jive’s new architecture will also use metadata to power an ‘entitlements-based universal search’ so that users can get access to information and take what is collaborative action on content without leaving Jive’s user experience.

What we used to calls teams [in a given company], we can now call so-called ‘communities of interest’ which could also welcome users from other companies. This is where collaboration software is going.

CWDN will now dig deeper into wider Jive platform functionality updates and extensions.