Jive Software wants to be the backbone for all things collaborative in the enterprise, but it could run ultimately into tough competition from the likes of Microsoft, Oracle and IBM.
On Tuesday, Jive launched Social Business Software (SBS) 3.0, a suite it calls an enterprise class armada of collaborative apps (statement, Techmeme). Jive SBS 3.0, available by the end of the first quarter, is designed to focus on employee engagement, marketing and sales, customer support and innovation and foster collaboration internally and externally.
Jive SBS 3.0 will also add centralized views, analytics, detailed reports, video, social bookmarking and an enhanced user interface.
Dennis Howlett: Jive talking: Easy to underestimate effort required to get people engaged
Oliver Marks: All that Jive: Putting the 'social' into business software
Oliver Marks has a lot of detail on Jive SBS 3.0, which is roughly the company's rebranded Clearspace suite. Marks writes:
Jive’s proposition is that they are now increasingly competing against Microsoft and IBM, with the ‘pure play’ smaller vendors no longer able to compete against these larger players. Jive now calls itself the (Little) big company based on their claimed 70% year on year growth, 2,500+ customers and operations in five countries.
SBS 3.0 is essentially a suite of social business applications designed for Global 2000 enterprises based on extensive consultation with clients. It aims to allow people from inside and outside an enterprise to connect, communicate and collaborate, reducing the cost, time and risk required to produce business results by improving performance.
Here's the Jive stack (statement):
Indeed, Jive is taking enterprise 2.0 to a new level of maturity, but the company is a tweener. Jive has more resources than a startup and has the heft to penetrate enterprise accounts, but it doesn't have the sales armies enjoyed by IBM, Microsoft and Oracle. Jive has some runway in the collaboration space, but it will hit a ceiling.
Dennis Howlett sums up Jive's pickle well:
The question is whether it can carve its own path or gets caught between the jaws of the IBM/Microsoft vise. Sam Lawrence, Jive’s CMO is ready for those questions: “You can’t put whipped cream on pig manure and expect people to not notice the difference,’” he quips, referring to attempts at putting cute AJAX look and feel to what he believes are ‘old’ products. Even so, it begs the question: Is Jive creating a category to compete with the Big Boys like Microsoft, IBM, SAP and Oracle (MISO) or is it building out to flip?
Ultimately, Jive will face off with Oracle Social CRM, IBM/Lotus and Microsoft's Sharepoint environment and have to decide whether it's better to build or be bought. All three of those companies are entrenched in enterprises today. Marks adds that Jive's biggest challenge will be to wean people off email, which today is really the collaboration software in the enterprise.
Simply put, Jive has made its move, but it's unclear whether much of what is called enterprise 2.0 will be features in larger enterprise suite.
The end game: Jive is likely to be acquired by a larger fish after it makes some hay.