Jive Talking for Online Communities
Jive Software has announced that it is turning its internal enterprise collaboration suite, Clearspace, inside out with the release of Clearspace X. The release marks a step towards a deeper, more open dialogue between customers and companies. The solution uses the same collaboration framework as Clearspace to connect with customers externally, through the use of blogs, wikis, documents, and forums. Clearspace X integrates information from wikis and discussions so that it can be searched across the system without any Web 2.0 aspect becoming siloed. An incentive system drives information sharing.
Clearspace X allows companies to create public communities with their customers. "The difference that Clearspace really has is its one application," says Sam Lawrence, CMO at Jive. Lawrence says that unlike other social media technologies, Clearspace X can not only bring in discussion on blogs and wikis, but can also import other binary files like PowerPoint presentations and podcasts for customers to view and search. Because everything is part of one application, finding information is a simple process. "All those content excerpts are unified by content. Here, it's all unified underneath a topic. When you unlock everything like that you can find better answers, faster," Lawrence says.
Clearspace X users can customize their user interface when developing communities, upload rich media files for consumers to view, and enforce strict filtering and content creation control. Clearspace can also monitor and measure information sharing through participation reports, tagging, and threaded discussions. To enable communication members on the public community can contact one another in real time through integration with Jive's Openfire OTC server. Ann Marcus, associate analyst at Collaborative Strategies, notes that one of the major focuses of solution is the participation incentive feature that enables a company to reward high volumes of knowledge sharing. However, Marcus says, "If it becomes a lubricant to get people motivated and to change gears it could be useful, but in the long term the value for participation will have to work for itself."
Marcus also says that connecting to consumers through social media is a growing interest of companies; a number of vendors are responding to the market demand. "It's a very busy space right now. A lot of other applications are jockeying for mindshare." Marcus sites Jive's offering as one solution in a line of many more such technological developments to come. "We're still in the gestation period now...this stuff is developing. In certain ways the Berlin Wall has fallen and it's a way for career people to talk to other real people."
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