Jive’s WorkHub: Why a Social Collaboration Platform Is Different from an App

T. Banting

T. Banting

Summary Bullets:

  • Jive’s WorkHub branding aligns well with the vendor’s strategy to allow businesses to connect, communicate and collaborate based on their unique needs and personal workstyle.
  • There needs to be a distinction drawn in the market between the pervasive and integrative nature of social collaboration platforms and lightweight enterprise team applications such as Slack.

Recently, Jive announced its WorkHub branding alongside new packaged solutions (Jive for Healthcare Collaboration, Jive for Employee Engagement and Jive for Customer Engagement) designed for vertical markets and use cases. Jive Software was, I believe, one of the first vendors to introduce us to the concept of hubs and the social intranet being central to collaboration within an organization. A successful social collaboration platform supports all areas of the business and all employees; however, Jive Software’s focus on new line-of-business segments (e.g., HR and marketing) is likely to cut through some of the broader and more historical concerns associated with adoption (e.g., behavioral change, cultural fit and changes to working practices) and clearly aims to provide specific solutions to broken business processes. Consequently, this is likely to accelerate Jive’s marketplace momentum and (once an initial use-case is secured) establish a beachhead for wider employee adoption.

The more departmental and project team nature of lightweight collaboration applications such as Slack relies more upon a bottom-up approach from users frustrated with common business tools such as e-mail, instant messaging and conference calls. While these social, collaborative and mobile (SoCoMo) services are earning their place as extremely useful business tools, integration with other applications and services is key in providing a foundation for top-down, bottom-up, and horizontal collaboration across a business.

Furthermore, collaboration is enhanced when contributors are able to choose the tools and applications with which they are familiar through integration. Consequently, by honoring an individual’s preferences for how they chose to work, it is less likely to disrupt workflow and the productivity of an employee. Through its WorkHub brand, Jive Software is refocusing market attention towards the integrative, customizable, and socially pervasive capabilities of an enterprise platform as opposed to the more departmental and project-oriented nature of SoCoMo apps. Indeed, social collaboration platforms have the potential for radically improving the whole organization’s ability to search, discover and promote content, knowledge and information beyond that of smaller teams.

Clearly, vendors, analysts and industry pundits need to help draw out this distinction in the rapidly evolving and changing collaboration market!

About Tim Banting
As Principal Analyst within the Business Technology and Software group, tracks and assesses the rapidly evolving communications and collaboration marketplace. His areas of coverage include collaboration platforms, unified communications, video collaboration and social analytics

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