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Jive for Outlook® is here

Posted by ariel.cohen Sep 29, 2011

I'm extremely happy  to announce that Jive for Outlook® is now generally available!  With this game-changing product we are continuing our mission of driving the new way to business.


Jive for outlook® is the biggest result of our OffiSync acquisition (read more about it here: Jive Acquires OffiSync. Brings a Complete Social Experience to Your Microsoft Desktop) enabling us to accelerate the time to market with such a revolutionary solution.


No other company or products have ever come close to delivering such a deep and broad integration with Outlook®. The level of complexity to reach such results required us to go above and beyond the standard level of integration.

Jive for Outlook® transforms the way information workers use email and engage with one another. We make it possible to actually use Outlook® to boost productivity.


Email remains the most common collaboration solution in the enterprise, yet we all know it's a very unproductive one. Employees spend too much time sifting through old and new threads looking for the information needed and trying to keep up with the email overload. And while email is a communication tool between people, PEOPLE don't get the priority they deserve. Jive for Outlook® changes that by putting people at the center of every communication, adding context and social profiles that improves the way people manage their communications, making the process more productive and social. Additionally we help people find the right communication whether it is trapped in their inbox or available in Jive by using our new Super Search (and super fast) technology, that looks  across Outlook® and their Jive communities to find the information and experts they need to get their jobs done faster. All from one quick search.


Collaborate better, faster. With Jive for Outlook® we give customers a way to replace “reply all” and “group emails” with the new way to work – up-to-date discussions. Now, users can easily create Jive discussions from Outlook® directly. Plus, they can post updates, send direct messages and consume all Jive content (yeah, that means blogs, document updates, company newsletters, threaded discussions, you name it) in an innovative threaded way without leaving the comfort of Outlook®. Why does that matter? It means that Outlook users can finally easily get critical information and knowledge out of their inboxes and in front of the people that need to see it.


If you want to learn more about Jive for Outlook® Try it. If you aren't using it already, start now – you'll love it. For more info go to our community plugins page: <<Enter Link>>>


To read more about this product, click here or watch a demo below.



And finally, but importantly, I want to acknowledge the incredible work with our alpha and beta customers which really helped us to make a great product.


Thank you!

Ariel and the Jive for Outlook team. 

In my travels through the Social Business universe, I'm regularly struck by how often I hear software companies talking about social as if it were an entirely different software animal -- a visitor from Planet Facebook, if you will. You know, that place where we all live in the stream and random people we have met throughout our lives drop in and out of our social living rooms with bulletins on their lives.


Since I work at Jive, I’m clearly biased. But here’s an from Geoffrey Moore, author of Crossing the Chasm. Enterprise IT has been locked for the past 20 years in an era of “Systems of Record.” Databases, CRM systems, and accounting software are all designed to capture transactions for posterity.


But Social Business, like social media is a friendlier software buddy, a critter that is more interested in context than transactions. Context is simply not in the vocabulary of legacy enterprise software, and because of this you’ll find that social data doesn’t easily fit into the structured format of the records we’ve maintained for the last couple decades.


Yet, context will define the next generation of enterprise IT -- a generation focused more on “Systems of Engagement” that are geared towards capturing context and the many other squishy, fuzzy parts of interactions between companies and customers and within companies themselves. And these are the parts of a relationship that comprise the truly valuable knowledge that can make the difference on a sales call or in a new product launch.


Systems of Record would tell you that your friend from high school now works at company XYX, lives in St. Louis, and likes chocolate. A System of Record will give you the address, title, and a few extra details about a customer.


But a System of Engagement would let you recall exactly how this friend reacted to the box of white chocolate you sent last year (they prefer dark but white is good because their husband/wife likes dark and eats it all), how many weeks they went on vacation, and what articles in the New York Times intrigue them.


In the same vein, a System of Engagement will let you look back at how a customer interacted during the sales process, whether they wanted a white paper or a video, how long it took them to make their decision, and who else they had to consult in their company, and whether they felt comfortable discussing technical details or needed a more technical team member. Both systems will co-exist forever -- the capture of a transaction record is essential for accounting processes and running a business.


But Planet Facebook and the insistent incursion of ways to capture, manage and search through past engagements inform smart decisions based on contextual information that Systems of Record aren’t good at providing.


What do you think? Will bringing more context into the enterprise and adding “Systems of Engagement” drive a new revolution in Enterprise IT?

As Jive's social media manager, I'm always experimenting with new and cool technologies. Although geeky, it's not uncommon for me to spend my weekend debating the best new mobile app or the validity of the Words with Friends dictionary. However, my true passion lies when I get to take interesting social tools and apply them to the enterprise.  That's why I was super excited when I discovered CrowdFactory, a Jive Apps Partner. This sweet app makes it easy to create social offers and contests; embed social elements into traditional ads, videos, landing pages; empower brand advocates; build a social database; and track ROI!


Within 10 minutes, I was able to setup an Facebook campaign that rewards Jive brand advocates like you!


Here's how it works:

Step 1: Visit Jive's Facebook Page

Step 2: Like Us, if you haven't already

Step 3: Tap into Your Network. Tell them to meet you at JiveWorld11 in Las Vegas.

Step 4: Track Your Progress. When 3 colleagues or friends click on the unique link from your share, you'll get an email with a special confirmation code.

Step 5: Enter this code here and get $200 off JiveWorld11 registration.

Step 6: Get ready to be blown away at the premier Social Business conference!


Screen shot 2011-09-07 at 11.10.40 AM.png

Have questions, thoughts, or feedback on this offer? Comment below.

iStock_000003673612XSmall.jpgWe have awesome customers and want to give you, the social change agents, a chance to be recognized.


Each year, the Society for New Communications Research presents the prestigious SNCR Excellence in New Communications Awards. The Society’s prestigious awards program honors individuals, corporations, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and media outlets that are innovating the use of social media and Internet communications technologies (ICT) in the areas of business, media, journalism and professional communications, entertainment, education, social initiatives, government and politics.


Full information on this award can be found online, and I've provided some highlighted details below:

· There are 6 leading categories for submission

· In 2010, in addition to the 6 awards categories, awards entitled “Commendations of Merit and Commendations of Excellence” were also presented to nearly 30 additional organizations that submitted case studies to the awards program.

· Submissions are $75 each, with winning case studies having been published in previous years

·  If selected, awards are given at the SNCR Research Symposium & Awards Gala held on Thursday, November 3rd through Friday, November 4th at Harvard University, in Cambridge, MA

·  In addition to the gala, a press release will be issued announcing the winners, which recipients typically leverage for outreach (recipients also have issued a press release on their respective wins)


The deadline for the submission is Friday, September 9, 2011.


internal_community_manager external_community_managers jive_champion

This week we are happy to announce that Jive was recognized by the two leading industry research firms -- Forrester and Gartner -- as a leader in the social software industry. 


We could not have achieved this milestone without YOU - our customers, partners and employees who are helping us drive the new way to business. I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to our success. We look forward to stepping it up to an even bigger level as we continue to improve our products and services to help you grow your business.


Here are some of the details behind this achievement:


Screen shot 2011-09-02 at 11.59.16 AM.pngWe are a Leader in three Gartner Magic Quadrants, covering the social business software market. The three reports include the "Magic Quadrant for Social Software in the Workplace, 2011," the "Magic Quadrant for Externally Facing Social Software, 2011," and the "Magic Quadrant for Social CRM, 2011."  Complimentary copies of these reports can be downloaded here. Gartner positions vendors in the "Leaders" quadrant based on completeness of vision and their ability to execute on that vision.




Forrester Research recognized us as a Leader in "The Forrester WaveTM: Enterprise Social Platforms, Q3 2011" report. The report analyzes the state of the enterprise social platforms market as well as the strengths and weaknesses of top enterprise social platforms vendors. Nine products were evaluated and eighteen user companies were interviewed.


According to Forrester, “Jive continues to drive to establish and lead 'social business' as a new software category. With strong momentum and an application marketplace coming on line this year, 2011 could prove a pivotal year in its quest.”  If you are interested in getting a copy, you can download the report here. Screen shot 2011-09-02 at 11.59.27 AM.png


This recognition from Forrester and Gartner is a testament of the strength and leadership of our social business platform. And we are just getting started. We are constantly looking at every aspect of our business and will continue to innovate and invest in creating the best products in the market. Just as consumer social technologies are changing the way we live, Jive is building social business software to transform the way we work.


"3 Seashells" Back Story


You may be asking yourself ... three seashells?  Or hopefully, like me, you made the same connection between the new notification management features in Jive 5 and the subtle movie sub-plot in the 1993 "blockbuster" Demolition Man, also known as that other movie Sandra Bullock starred in before Speed.


For those of you who missed out, may not remember, or consciously repressed any knowledge of this mega-movie classic, here is a quick recap: (spoiler alert)

  • Rogue hero cop (Stallone) in a war-torn LA set in the "future" (1996), gets things done, breaks the rules, framed for crime by super villain (Snipes), both are cryogenically frozen for imprisonment
  • While frozen for 40 years, society becomes civilized and aggression is weeded out; however, super villain escapes from ice cube (not the rapper), city needs rogue hero cop to stop him
  • Too many cliche scenes about how different the future is to someone from the past
  • Bad guys lose, good guys win, and Stallone eats a rat burger.  The End.


Enter the three seashells.  Looking at the above picture, it is relatively obvious as to the use of the 3 seashells.  Right?  Wrong.  And the movie racks up comedy bonus miles galore by not explaining them to the audience (or more importantly, Stallone).  In fact, in one scene Rob Schneider mocks Stallone for not knowing how to use them.  How to use the three seashells (successfully) is no doubt one of the greatest mysteries left unsolved from the 1990s, topped only by the wild success of Pogs



Notification Management with Jive What Matters



Fast forward to July 2011 and Jive 5 implements it's own version of the three seashells.  Like crop circles in the night, these three icons appear in the new Jive 5 social platform.  (see right image).  What are they?  Where did they come from? What do they do?  If the purpose of these icons isn't immediately clear, I'll go ahead and break the suspense.  They are for notification management (apologies for the Shyamalanian twist) and they are collectively referred to as "Jive What Matters".


The Problem

We all know the problem, it stares us in the face every day.  In our web browser,  inbox, and even on dry-erase boards at our desks, we all have just too much to do.  Does the following sound familiar?

Ever since I started using [INSERT SOCIAL PLATFORM NAME], I've been flooded with too much information.  And the emails!  I'm hearing too much Garfunkel and not enough Simon.  How am I supposed to get things done?  It's literally like drinking from a fire hose.  Yes, Iiterally!  There's got to be a better way!!!!



The Solution - Jive What Matters

Jive What Matters is a collection of features added to Jive 5  that, when used together, can empower users to better align their social awareness with their social readiness. These features include:

  • All Activity - Allows users to observe the fire hose, defined as an unfiltered list of all content in all places by all people that is viewable for a given user. 
    • This is traditionally used for organic conversation discovery and recreational interest across all knowledge domains.
  • Followed Activity - Allows users to define rules to filter the fire hose towards specific content, places, and people
    • This is traditionally used for refined conversation discovery around specific knowledge domains.
    • Hide Filtering - Allows users to define exceptions to the Followed Activity rules.
  • Jive Genius - Service that analyzes a user's behavior across all content, places, people, and topics in an effort to predict high-quality conversations that are relevant to the user.
  • My Communications - Allows users to focus on active conversations where they are engaged or expressed explicit interest.
    • Untrack Filtering - Allows users to define exceptions to their tracking rules.
  • Actions - Allows users to focus on what they need to do, as defined by themselves, others, or applications.



When it comes to using tools to monitor social activity, people adopt two distinct behaviors:

  • Fear of Exclusion - Defined as people who prefer to see possibly more than needed so they do not miss anything.
    • Its like watching infomercial re-runs all night long because you don't want to miss the premiere of the next big, must-have doohickey.
  • Fear of Overload - Defined as people who prefer to see as little as possible, so they can avoid unnecessary noise. 
    • Its like turning on the TV at exactly 1:33am to just catch the ShamWow "buy now" special offer because really, there's sliced bread and ShamWows...and that's about it.


At any point in time, people adopt one of these two behaviors, but this decision isn't fixed.  As conditions change, so does the need to re-evaluate one's social behavior.   For example,

When doing research on a topic that is relatively new, it is more likely for someone to desire more content rather than less.  As they become more educated on the subject matter, it is more likely for them to intelligently select information sources that are in line with their specific information needs.  Same person.  Same topic.  Different point in time.  Different behaviors.

The funnel diagram (right) attempts to depict a user's collaboration environment, as it relates to these behaviors, Jive What Matters, and the activity fire hose.  In a nutshell,

For times when you need to be inwardly focused (high personal responsibility), Jive offers the use of Actions (just tell me what to do) and My Communications (help me keep track of what I'm already doing) to help control information overload.  For those who tend to be more socially responsible (by virtue of personality and/or job function), using the Followed Activity interface provides a great way to sift through what's going on.  Be sure to leverage the "Hide" and "Untrack" features in Activity and My Communications respectively to keep your streams more relevant.  Engage the Jive Genius recommendation engine frequently to discover new conversations, as well as to improve its understanding of what matters most to you.  Jive Genius fundamentally bridges the two distinct social behaviors offering "quality" missed conversations in an interface that is unobtrusive, and yet readily available.




When it comes to social software, notification management is THE 800 lb. Gorilla in the room.  Platforms that continue to ignore Giggles (yes, I named the gorilla) and provide sub-par tools to manage user notifications will find their longevity in the marketplace cut drastically short.  It is inevitable.  As users become more interconnected with each other, collaboration will organically flourish into a bountiful forest of notifications.  And, while that future sounds all lollipops and kittens, the reality is: notification mismanagement is the #1 deterrent to social software adoption.   Selecting a social platform capable of answering this challenge is imperative for long-term success


From what I've seen in Jive 5 and Jive What Matters thus far, I can only feel positive about the road ahead!

Some closing thoughts:

  • If you are considering a new social platform for your enterprise or community, I highly recommend that you consider evaluating platforms with a mind-set beyond the first six months to address this notification management problem head on.
    • How will the solution(s) empower users to manage this problem, when it occurs?  How many levels of granularity does it provide?
    • How will the solution(s) cater to both social behaviors, "Fear of Exclusion" and "Fear of Overload" on-demand?
    • How will the solution(s) compel users to keep them engaged in the system?  Will your users react accordingly?
  • If you are already using Jive 5 (or a previous version of Jive),
    • Take the time to provide quality training to users on the Jive What Matters interface(s), and how they can be used to promote an efficient  collaboration environment. 
    • Don't leave users stranded in a cubicle (or bathroom stall) staring perplexed at three seashells while getting overrun by excess notifications.
    • Don't mock users for being new to the future of enterprise collaboration.
  • Lastly, regardless of what Google might suggest from this article, watching Demolition Man will not make you an expert on notification management, Jive 5, or Jive What Matters.  At best, you'll want to tweet about your impromptu enchirito craving for Fourthmeal.


The more you know. 


Be well.


Ryan has over 10 years of experience in web technologies including Java, eMarketplace, ECM, CRM, Web Analytics, Email Deliverability and Collaboration. As the Social Business Architect at National Instruments, Ryan is responsible for orchestrating collaboration solutions that connect employees, customers, and enterprise systems.  Ryan is an MIS graduate of the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin.  You can connect with him online at @ryanrutan or on LinkedIn.

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