Jive-n collaboration tool gets more social on mobile devices

Jive rolls out a social intranet to add community to employee collaboration on mobile devices.

Disdain for the company intranet is nothing new. So, in an effort to make the often-ignored corporate asset more useful, Jive Software is taking a different approach, with an interactive intranet tailored for mobile devices.

The collaboration software company has integrated three applications into a single product similar to Facebook and LinkedIn. The integrated software, called Jive-n, includes Chime, a messaging application; Circle, an employee directory; and Daily, a news feed tailored to the customer's industry.

Introduced last week, Jive-n lets employees use their mobile devices to look up co-workers' profiles and send instant messages. The mobile-first, Jive collaboration product reflects how many employees are doing more on a smartphone or tablet and less on a PC.

"If we want to put the employee at the center, mobility is a central need in a worker's life today," said Ryan Vanderzanden, senior director of design and user interface at Jive, based in Palo Alto, Calif. "It's something we had to go do."

Jive collaboration a different approach

Jive is differentiating itself from rivals Slack Technologies Inc. and Microsoft Yammer by delivering lightweight, mobile-centric apps for ad hoc and contextual collaboration, said Irwin Lazar, analyst for Nemertes Research, based in Mokena, Ill.

"It's a different approach from the UC vendors who are typically trying to build everything into a single app client," he said. "This [Jive's] approach will probably resonate with the mobile-first users."

Minnesota Timberwolves using Jive

Bob Stanke, senior director of digital media for the Minnesota Timberwolves, convinced his employer six months ago to switch to Jive-n from a 4-year-old version of Microsoft SharePoint.

"We wanted to create a central resource where sharing could happen more efficiently and effectively," he said of the NBA team, which has about 160 employees.

Before Jive collaboration products were deployed, people seldom used the intranet, Stanke said. "It's where you would go to download your health insurance form and you'd never go back."

Now, about 70% of employees using Jive-n are repeat visitors, Stanke said. Many of those users subscribe to email notifications to stay in touch with co-workers.

"We structured it [the intranet] in a way that makes information easy to find," he said. "That wasn't a possibility with the former tools."

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