Clearspace, Jive Software's 'social productivity' collaboration software, hits version 2.5 today. This latest release builds on a solid foundation, and has many new features and enhancements, as the above video illustrates.
2.5 marks some significant upgrades - there has been some major tweaks under the hood to enable a claimed 200% speed increase. This is important for an increasingly complex and sophisticated product which connects people and projects. Using ClearSpace as an organizational core requires some serious memory and horsepower as user numbers increase, and product responsiveness is an important component of the user experience.
Jive cites Intel, Nike and VMWare as examples of major brands utilizing Clearspace, and they are also representative of how Jive keep their ears close to the ground in identifying the needs of their customers. The Clearspace team are very proactive in this area, conducting over 700 conversations with “C,” mid-level and individual contributor level users to identify what was - and what wasn’t - working in earlier releases.
Clearspace was launched in 2006 by Jive, who have historically had an excellent track record with their forums product.
The level of maturity demonstrated by Clearspace 2.5 includes connectivity with Salesforce.com and ERP systems: this new iteration has 200 new features.
Some feature highlights include contextual conversations from Clearspace appearing within Salesforce.com for added perspective; the ability to control Clearspace from email; A powerful new people directory with the ability to organize groups; Twitter style micro blogging; improved visual reskinning functionality with access to well defined stylesheets, and for the non coder color picker and logo replacement; global word and phrase replacement that allows industry/company specific global renaming - so all instances of 'blog' could be renamed 'diary' for example. These many new features are mapped out in detail on the Jive website.
Clearspace comes in two flavors. 'Clearspace' is intended as an internal collaboration environment, while 'Clearspace Community' is intended as an outward facing online community platform. Jive have done a good job in providing a user community in an instance of 'Clearspace Community' called 'Clearstep'. This is a product showroom but more importantly an example of the power providing a product community enables; if you're interested in Clearspace, joining this community will enable other users and Jivers to answer your questions while you are using the product in the powerful way it was designed for: to share information and provide a network. It is this kind of interactivity and responsiveness to their customer base which has been a signature of the Jive approach.
This is a very solid release and keeps Clearspace very much at the front of the pack.