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Jive-Google integration deepens

A deeper Jive-Google integration will let users work simultaneously on documents within the Jive environment.

Jive Software announced deeper integration with Google Apps, as the business collaboration software maker embraces a strategy of cooperation and competition with rivals to expand its footprint in the market.

At its JiveWorld14 user conference in Las Vegas, Jive introduced Wednesday an integration application, called a connector, for Google Docs. The Jive-Google integrator complements similar technology Jive has for Gmail and Google Drive.

Jive also said it plans to release next month an update to its cloud-based collaboration platform, JiveX. The company sells an on-premises version of its business-focused collaboration platform, as well.

The Google Docs connector, available in beta, lets users work simultaneously on the same document and sync comments within Jive or via Google Drive. In addition, a Google Doc can be created within Jive.

Last month, Jive introduced its first integration with Microsoft Office 365. The connector for Outlook Online inserts Jive content and conversations into Outlook email threads for easy reference.

In addition, email content from Outlook can be integrated into discussions in Jive.

Jive sets new design for Apple mobile app

The company also unveiled a new design for its Apple iOS mobile app. The new version supports customer single sign-on implementations and better handling of long comment threads.

Improvements in the upcoming JiveX release include badges for members of a community to provide visual cues as to their roles, such as administrator, moderator or expert.

The upgrade also introduces "most helpful" ratings for replies to questions and new analytics and reports that managers can use to demonstrate the value of their communities.

Jive, along with Microsoft, was listed in the "leaders" quadrant of Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Social Software in the Workplace, released in September.

Google was listed in the "visionaries" quadrant, which means it has popularized a number of important innovations but has yet to win enough enterprise contracts to establish credibility with executives, according to Gartner.

Jive customers typically choose its products for their ease of use and wide range of functionality, the Gartner report said. The company has a close technical and sales partnership with Cisco, which has integrated Jive technology into its communications products.

Yet the report also stated that customers believe the vendor "could improve its responsiveness and flexibility during pricing negotiations and its customer service after deployment." In addition, Jive's on-premises software lags behind the cloud-based version in search and analytics.

Jive has increased revenue and maintained its cash reserve since going public in 2011, but remains unprofitable. To demonstrate long-term viability, the company will have to eventually establish a "credible path to profitability," Gartner said.

Within the social software for business market, Microsoft is in the strongest position, due to the "very high" interest and adoption of Office 365 and related products, Gartner said. "It would take disruptive events or serious missteps for Microsoft to lose its leadership position in this market."

Next Steps

How Jive stacks up against Microsoft Yammer

Why Cisco chose Jive over WebEx Social

Recent improvements in JiveX

Dig Deeper on Collaborative Applications

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Is Jive on the right track in moving closer to Google?