Jive Workstyle Apps-Disruption of Mobile Collaboration Space
By Jim Lundy
The Jive Workstyle apps announcement denotes a growing trend of ever-increasing mobile collaboration apps.
These apps are coming from startups as we witness the subsequent reaction of counter apps from traditional collaboration providers. Jive Software announced three new Workstyle apps: Jive Daily, Jive Chime, and Jive People.
Jive Daily will be available February 18th on iOS and Google Play app stores and is a communications tool for sharing information in an activity stream or feed metaphor throughout the enterprise. Essentially, this is a newsfeed to all levels of the organization that will support conversations. The feed can be customized to support users’ workstyles. Think of a Facebook newsfeed to get an idea of what this is. It will cost $2 per user per month.
Jive Chime is a mobile messaging app and comes at a time where new mobile messaging and collaboration apps such as Biba, Cotap, HipChat, Glip, and Slack are gaining attention. In reaction to these new apps, we are seeing traditional UCC providers such as Cisco and Unify release their own mobile collaboration apps, Project Squared and Circuit, respectively. Users can sign up with their work email to access Jive Chime. It’s a freemium model where enterprises can upgrade at $2 per user per month for administration controls and directory synchronization.
Jive People is a corporate directory and will be used in conjunction with the other workstyle apps for profiles and identity to find colleagues and experts. Mind you, these new apps will be separate from the traditional Jive social platform. Specific pricing for Jive People has not been announced. Each of the apps can be purchased standalone but will be integrated to work together and managed by the same admin console.
The Growth of Mobile Collaboration
With all emerging markets like mobile collaboration in this case, there is always a reaction from incumbent players to stem the tide and show their own innovation. Unify was among the first to launch its Circuit offering mixing social and real-time capabilities. Cisco then launched Project Squared as a beta release. The focus was on a new and improved user experience with mobile and user-centric design philosophies.
They all marry social capabilities with real-time, supporting persistent group chat around topics and projects. It reminds me of IRC chat rooms and the subsequent early enterprise persistent group chat offerings. I’ve always thought those early persistent group chat products to be the precursor to social networking tools. They were in essence social before the social wave.
Jive Reacts to Changing User Collaboration Requirements
Jive, following in the steps of Unify and Cisco, is reimagining support for how people collaborate and interact. The workforce is mobile and requires real-time access to people and information at the speed of need. As an enterprise social networking pioneer, Jive is seeing the mobile collaboration landscape grow and merging social with other capabilities. A few years ago, Jive acquired Meetings.io and Producteev when it realized it needed real-time capabilities and support for business tasks. It now realizes its need for a new approach to enterprise collaboration that is first mobile and centered around how people actually work.
I do like the notion of supporting people’s workstyles with targeted apps. Users are increasingly demanding communication, collaboration, and social capabilities from anywhere and on any device of their choice. People’s consumer lives have impacted how they work. This a strong recognition by Jive of the need to design apps for user experiences. This is the major task for all software companies. Application design has to be about creating better digital experiences.
Challenges and Opportunities
Jive will face some challenges here. One challenge is in bringing about a new suite of offerings that differ from its core platform. For example, the profiles and identities from Chime and People will be different from the core Jive platform. This will need to be fixed. Jive will need to federate identities somehow to support existing users who want to utilize the workstyle suite of apps. I understand Jive is going after a new set of customers and these apps aren’t meant to compete with its core platform. However, it will exacerbate the issue of siloed applications that don’t integrate with current applications or infrastructure. New customers who will be a primary target for Workstyle Apps will need guidance around integration with other applications as well.
Enterprise social software has not seen the adoption that all the hype initially promised. One of the reasons is that a lot of enterprise social networking tools failed to come down into the flow of how people actually work. They stayed above flow and didn’t integrate into work processes. Having lighter applications that are mobile-enabled have the potential to better integrate with specific business applications to support defined business outcomes. This will require Jive to focus on building out its ecosystem of partners for its Workstyle apps. A primary target will be business buyers in lines of business who need to collaboration enable business processes with access on any device.
Business leaders are currently concerned about employee engagement and its significant impact on customer experience. Technology decisions are now evaluated around how it will improve employee engagement and create better digital experiences for customers. Jive’s messaging around these new products has to consistently center around the intersection of engagement, customer experience and business outcomes.