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Business - Written by on Saturday, June 28, 2008 11:02 - 0 Comments

Friends don’t let friends use SharePoint

Jive software has released a product called Clearspace – an enterprise collaboration tool with social networking, wiki and blogging capabilities. Jive has gotten some great reviews on Clearspace, suggesting that it’s easy to use and intuitive. Clearspace is making some headway breaking down the negative perceptions associated with terms like social networking or blogs, and helping to bring collaborative web technologies to the enterprise. The first thing that comes to peoples’ minds when they hear the words ‘social network’ is Facebook – the place where kids post pictures from keggers or write in their online diaries – but if you look a little deeper there are some clear enterprise benefits associated with these technologies which is probably why Jive is boasting a strong list of 2,000 customers, including impressive names like Dell, Intel, Nike, Deloitte and Oracle.

Clearspace’s social networking function offers detailed profiles of your co-workers as well as a ‘mini-feed’ to keep users updated on what their colleagues are working on. Its wiki platform helps deal with long chain e-mail responses, speaking to the ‘wiki happiness’ diagram that Anthony Williams pointed us to in one of his previous posts. Clearspace’s blogging capability lets employees express their interests, opinions and talk about areas within their expertise. Most importantly – all of this is searchable.

A Forbes article featuring Jive points to a blind-test of several collaboration options, including Clearspace and SharePoint (the dominant enterprise collaboration suite, created by Microsoft). “People voted unanimously for Clearspace and were so won over they made bumper stickers that said ‘Friends don’t let friends use SharePoint.’”

Jive understands its competitive environment and sees the need to adapt its strategy to the demands and restrictions of the market since it is up against heavyweights like Microsoft (Sharepoint has over 100 million licenses sold since 2001). In an interview with CIO magazine, Jive’s CEO Dave Hersh points out that around 80% of their customers have SharePoint.

Although Sharepoint is good at work flows and files, it’s not as good with working with web content and online collaboration. To compete with companies like Microsoft, Jive has developed Clearspace to be extensible (understanding that it would be near impossible to convert all of Sharepoint’s established customers): it has the ability to integrate with Sharepoint while Jives’ discussion forum software is bundled into Oracle and SAP’s portal applications.

For more articles highlighting jive and clearspace go to their news section.

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