by Juan Carlos Perez

Jive Software Faces Slew of Competitors in Field it Pioneered

May 31, 20123 mins
IT StrategySocial Networking Apps

The pioneer in enterprise social networking is in a fast-growing market that has attracted competitors big and small.

  • Company: Jive Software
  • Headquarters: Palo Alto, Calif.
  • Employees: 430
  • 2011 Revenue: $77.3 million
  • CEO: Tony Zingale
  • What They Do: Jive makes enterprise social networking software, which lets end users collaborate using features and functionality adapted for work from social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Jive also offers features for gamification–adding rewards to encourage user engagement–and brainstorming.

The Pitch

Jive Software is a pioneer of enterprise social networking software, which adapts consumer social media functions for use in the workplace. For IT departments, Jive offers management and security features, such as enterprise directory integration, single sign-on and usage policies.

In addition to the usual Facebook-like features, Jive’s Engage software lets organizations monitor external social media sites or create public online communities where they can interact with partners and customers. More recently, Jive has built versions of Engage tailored for specific functions, such as a social intranet or customer service.

Although the market has gotten crowded, Jive has a solid track record. “We have massive customers with tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of employees around the world who have been using our software for years,” says Tim Zonca, Jive’s director of product marketing. For example, Alcatel-Lucent has more than 50,000 users on Jive.

The Catch

Demand for enterprise social networking software is expected to balloon in the coming years, with the market expanding at a compound annual growth rate of 61 percent through 2016, according to Forrester Research. Thus, competition is fierce, and not limited to niche, pure-play vendors like Socialtext, NewsGator, Yammer and Telligent. Large collaboration vendors like Microsoft, IBM Lotus, and Cisco are adding social capabilities to their collaboration stacks. And companies like SAP and are building native social functionality into their enterprise business applications.

Another challenge is poor implementation and ineffective use of the software by customers, which leads to low engagement and underuse, according to a recent report by Altimeter Group.

Rob Koplowitz, a Forrester analyst, says that the next great accelerator of adoption of social networks will be integration with critical business processes and their underlying systems. “The social software vendor that wins the battle for the broadest partner ecosystem will have the advantage in the market,” he says.

The Score

Intercontinental Exchange, which operates regulated exchanges for global commodity trading, has used Jive’s product since the end of 2007. That’s when, due to an acquisition spree, the company found itself with a lot of new employees in locations around the world.

“We needed to figure out a way to better collaborate with all those new employees and get to know them,” says CTO Edwin Marcial. The company also wanted to make its stale intranet more dynamic and engaging.

Today, about 1,000 employees have profiles on Jive, and about 400 are active, daily users. “There’s a lot of activity going on there,” Marcial says.

Jive is used as the company intranet, where each department has a customized workspace. There are blogs, videos, wikis and documents.

“It has become for us the central repository of all our documentation and communication and collaboration. Everything that is shared in the company is put there,” Marcial says.

The company has also used Jive’s APIs to link it up with third-party software and systems built in-house. Plus, there’s a Jive network for collaborating with external partners and customers.