Jive tries to catch up through acquisitions

Enterprise Social Software vendor Jive announced two "tuck-in" acquisitions -- start ups Producteev and Meetings.io. Four year-old Producteev is a maker of task management tools and six month-old meetings.io has a group video chat application.

Let’s decode the larger trends behind these acquisitions...

Bringing social collaboration features and specifically the activity stream paradigm to tasks and project management is a natural course for E2.0 software. Not surprisingly, a cottage industry of sorts has sprung up around it:

  • Socialcast jumped in early with an interesting application called Strides, but unfortunately, it's remained in beta for a long time now.
  • Start up Sparqlight comes at the challenge from a workflow angle.
  • Another start-up Asana is a media favorite because because of the founder’s Facebook pedigree.
  • Trilog makes a social project management module for IBM Connections.

The list goes on and on....but the gist is that vendors big and small are jostling for space, so customers should expect some shakeout and consolidation here.

When it comes to unified communications, Cisco built an entire social network offering around webex. And tibbr from Tibco offers a UC module called tibcast. But I am not yet fully convinced that we’re ready for  video chats under the umbrella of enterprise social networking. You’ll need robust calendaring / scheduling systems for meetings planned in advance and for ad-hoc meetings and chats, existing tools like Skype seem to work just fine. I am a fence-sitter for now on this and think unified communication in your Enterprise Social Network is a solution looking for a problem.

Back to Jive. It's just playing catch-up here. For a deeper evaluation of Jive and its many competitors, consult our Collaboration & Social Software research stream.

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