New enterprise social network push
no problem for veteran player Jive

December 10, 2009 | Robert Scoble

The enterprise software industry was shaken recently by a Salesforce announcement that it was going to include a component in its customer relationship management software that functions in ways similar to Twitter and Facebook.

The announcement came the same day Microsoft officially confirmed on a development blog that a similar effort called Outlook Social Connector would be included in Microsoft Office 2010 Beta.

The news from the two high-profile players signaled that all enterprise software likely will become social with features that work like those on Facebook and Twitter, letting users have social network information about customers and colleagues at their fingertips.

But there are a raft of so-called pure-play players such as Jive Software that already specialize in a social media collaboration applications for the enterprise.

So we headed to Jive Software’s new offices in Palo Alto, Calif, to get their point of view of what’s going on now that Salesforce and Microsoft have announced social versions of their services.

Dave Hersh, Jive chief executive officer, says business is seeing a major change in how it operates because of the way social media is moving into corporate offices.

“What Jive believes is that there is becoming a social layer within the enterprise, a way to connect customers, partners and employees into one integrated conversation,” he explains in this building43 interview.

The additional competition is “wonderful,” says Hersh, because “. . . it’s really fueling the wave this space represents.”

The new competition, however, is not a serious threat to Jive because of the basic differences in software design between such companies as Salesforce and Jive, he concludes.

Jive focuses exclusively on Web-based collaboration software for business intended to increase exchange of information between teams of people and increase productivity, according to the Jive Web site.

“Adding a set of social features on top of an existing stack is good and great,” he says, adding that he thinks that bolt-on approach falls short.

“It’s great that they’re thinking about these concepts and making their applications more social,” says Hersh, “but the idea of social software has to be much broader than that and much more integrated into the entire business ecosystem.”

According to Jive’s CrunchBase business profile, the company’s other competitors include NewsGator, PBworks, Atlassian, Socialtext, CubeTree, spigit as well as Socialtext.

Links relevant to this video include:

Jive Software —

CrunchBase company profile —

Salesforce —

Microsoft Outlook Social Connector —

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