Jive and Drupal: Don't take their word for it

  • 16-Apr-2010

One of the first lessons taught to me in law school was "When you're arguing a case, don't ever ignore arguments against it and hope the other party just won't bring them up. Find them, then carefully defuse them." However, I tend to think that in software marketing, that last part gets  changed to "carefully diffuse them." It sounds the same, but causes a lot more confusion.

This gets worse when two vendors go head-to-head. For instance, last month, collaboration and community software vendor Jive published a whitepaper called "Jive vs. Open Source." It argues the case for Jive just as I would expect a marketing team to do it. It mostly ignores the pros of open source (saying "there are no licensing costs to deal with," which isn't even necessarily true; it depends on the license.) But it also states open source cons without much effort to actually reason them. I particularly liked the out-of-context quote, "Open source projects focus on developing software that addresses a specific need, ensuring that the need is well met." The whitepaper doesn't really explain how this is supposed to be a bad thing.

On the final page, Jive states its advantages over Drupal. Acquia (the Drupal commercial open source company) took offense, and has now responded with a package called "Drupal Commons" as a specific alternative to Jive SBS. Unfortunately, Acquia is fighting fire with fire, using pretty much the same kind of superfluous argumentation the other way, talking about Jive's million dollar licenses and how they'd "love to show how Drupal can run circles around Jive SBS for a lot less money." Personally, I'm not quite sure I'd like software to run in circles.

This is just a little tiff between vendors, so why should you care? Well, both are making it abundantly clear that a vendor is not a neutral source of information (even if the vendor is marketing open source, like Acquia.) So wouldn't you rather get your information from people that are not trying to argue a case?

Of course, I'm now trying to win you over as much as these vendors do. There's a huge difference, though: it's not in our best interest to confuse you; we only win by providing you with clear analysis of your choices, depending on your specific context. And in this case, that means digging through whitepapers -- and more importantly real customer experiences -- so you don't have to...

Our customers say...

"RSG's The Collaboration & ESN Research is by far the most exhaustive and comprehensive attempt to understand and evaluate the landscape of enterprise social-collaboration software I've ever seen."

John Eckman, Senior Director, Optaros Labs

Other Enterprise Collaboration & Social Networking posts

New CRM Evaluation Research

  • June 5, 2017

Customer Relationship Management is increasingly the backbone of MarTech and digital customer engagement. After many requests from RSG subscribers to apply our rigorous evaluation methodology to this marketplace, we decided to add a new vendor evaluation stream...

Tech Selection Tip #3: Setting the Right Business Foundations

  • May 22, 2017

Take a clear approach to decision-making to keep the process moving and ensure that decisions reflect broader enterprise priorities. You also want to ensure you have an accurate picture of enterprise maturity and capabilities to incorporate new digital capabilities....

Selection Tip #2 - Build the Right Team

  • May 16, 2017

The main point here is that people with different expertise and responsibilities should have input into the process, although a business leader ultimately drives the decision-making with significant IT input....

Jive Software Sells Itself

  • May 2, 2017

Just last week we updated our Enterprise Collaboration and Social Software research and advised customers - "Jive is at a crossroads; as an enterprise buyer, understand that there are more likely changes afoot for the vendor itself."...