Jive Software Acquires Producteev and MeetingsIO To Help Employees Get Work Done

November 5 2012 03:15:00 PM Comments Disabled
To Do'sToday Jive Software announced the acquisition of two companies, Producteev for social task management and Meetings.io for group chat and video conferencing. Both are excellent additions to the Jive platform. However, it's not their stand-alone functionality that is important. Instead, both of these products will enhance the way Jive enables people to work together to get their jobs done.

Producteev, which has seven employees and is headquartered in New York, helps individuals and teams organise the projects and tasks they are working on. Producteev is one of the vendors listed in my report on Social Task Management, which outlines the benefits STM solutions provide over traditional project management software and/or spreadsheets and email. The current version of Jive does provide basic task management functionality and they also partner with companies like Wrike and Goshido to offer more advanced functionality. While I am sure Jive's current partners will not be thrilled with today's announcement, Jive customers will be happy to see this additional functionality included natively within the core platform.

Meetings.io is a team of three people and they are based in San Francisco. Meetings.io has been one of the leading implementers of the emerging Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) standard. WebRTC is a new HTML5 standard framework that enables the sharing of video, audio, and data directly between web browsers. Unlike traditional web-conferencing services where you schedule meetings for a specific time, Meetings.io is based more on the "persistent room" metaphor for meetings.

As I mentioned above, it's not the individual features of these products that I think is the big news, but rather how they can be combined with the current collaboration features of Jive to enhance the way people work together. For example, imagine a company has a new product launch in a few months. They could create a Jive Community where they invite in all the people needed, including marketing, sales and engineering. Within this community the team can shares ideas, files and pages. With the added functionality of today's acquisitions, people could seamlessly participate in a chat or video hangouts where they take meeting notes, assign tasks and link to files and pages within the community. This is a much more productive way of working then switching back and forth between a collaboration platform, a web conferencing tool and a chat client. Jive customers will appreciate the integrated experience where they don't need to manage multiple IDs/directories and don't have to search for content across multiple locations.

Jive in not unique in providing this vision. Several other social business vendors such as IBM (Connections and Sametime), Microsoft (SharePoint and Lync), Citrix (Podio and GotoMeeting), Cisco (WebEx Meetings and Social) and Salesforce (Chatter) already offer social task management and real-time communications as part of their offerings. So while today's announcements don't necessarily differentiate Jive from these vendors, it does insure they remain competitive.

It's important to note that today's announcements are not just about products. Jive evaluated several vendors in each of these categories and ultimately chose companies that were both a technical and cultural fit. Looking at Jive's past acquisitions (FiltrBox, Proximal Labs, OffiSync) it's easy to see that Jive values the talent as much as the technology. For example, David Gutelius founder and CEO of Proximal Labs is now Jive's Chief Social Scientist and Oudi Antebi founder and CEO of OffiSync is now SVP Product Management and Design. I imagine the teams from Producteev and Meetings.io will play a large part in shaping the future of Jive's collaboration tools.

The social business industry is at a critical pivot point, where both the products and marketing are maturing from the initial messages of "sharing and transparency" to ones which revolve around helping customers understand the business value that social software can provide. Jive did a good job in this regard at JiveWorld in Las Vegas last month and today's announcements will help them continue their momentum. Hopefully we'll see the initial stages of integration with Producteev and Meetings.io show up in their next cloud-release in 2013.