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Jive 7: Moving Beyond Buzz to Deliver Useful Collaboration to the Enterprise

Posted @ 9:02 am by Aditi Seal | Category: Community & Social Media, Jive, Technology, User Experience, Web Development Process | 0 Comments

Jive released its latest update, Jive 7, at Jive World 2013 in October, unveiling some key fixes to long-standing issues with the platform as well as some new features that could finally start delivering on some of the promises of the “social enterprise.” But beyond hitting all the buzz words–social, mobile, cloud, and, of course, consumerization–the Jive 7 platform is something many social enterprise platforms are not: It’s useful.

That said, you can’t just throw a social platform at your staff and call it a day. Following is a guide to understanding what it means to be a social enterprise, and how Jive 7 might help.

1. Figure out what your people really want.

The first step to community building needs to be talking to the community in question. Before rolling out any enterprise software solution, companies need to take the following steps to understand how that “solution” will actually solve staff problems:

* Pinpoint who your audiences are — do they break down by department? By role? By subject matter?

* Find out what the key day-to-day pain points are for each audience, and where collaborative tools might be able to help.

* If you have an existing intranet or social collaboration tool, find out what’s wrong with it. Do people use it? Why or why not?

2. Understand what Jive can do.

Jive 7 goes beyond the usual file-sharing and Wikis (although the new integration with Box and Salesforce is helpful for sharing both documents and leads) to provide some very people-focused features. The most useful are:

* Endorsements – Members of your internal community can endorse each other for skills and knowledge. That may not sound like a big deal, but think about it in terms of a large and geographically dispersed enterprise. Say I’m a project manager who needs to find someone who has a certain set of skills and experience to work on my project. Someone’s title alone is not going to give me the information I need. But if their profile includes endorsements from other employees who have worked with them, then all of a sudden I’m a lot closer to finding the right person.

* Rich Profiles – Jive 7 also includes multiple data fields in staff profiles, and makes it possible for employees to flesh out details in each other’s profiles. In much the same way that LinkedIn will ask people who know you whether or not you know about things like web development or marketing, your internal Jive community could ask employees to share information about each other’s skills so that even the people who are terrible about filling out their intranet profiles (like me) will have some information posted about themselves.

* Purposeful Places – These are collaboration areas organized around specific business activities, such as sales, marketing, customer service and IT-related projects. The Deal Room, for example, has been pre-configured so that sales teams and subject matter experts can come together to share RFPs, contracts and leads. The Deal Room connects salesforce.com into Jive, allowing the Chatter stream and records within Salesforce to be available in Jive, and any interaction inside Jive’s platform to be reflected in Salesforce automatically. That means people within marketing, legal, management and finance who don’t necessarily have access to Salesforce can collaborate on specific deals and have access to all the information, documents and streams they need.

 

3. Figure out your strategy for Jive external communities.

Some of the features in Jive 7 can help take customer communities beyond just customer service, but only if there’s some strategy behind it.

* Find out what your customers want. You have to find out how and whether your customers would actually use a community. Spend some time looking at where they tend to go on your current site(s), and what they tend to talk about on social media networks. Enabling customers to find information they want or to connect with each other in your community can be very valuable. Uploading documents at them so you can say you have a customer community, on the other hand, is not.

* Share your brain trust.  Is there expert knowledge, product info or support that can be translated from your brain trust into materials your customers can use? This is a great way to provide something of value to customers without much time or effort, and even to create self-service options for customers that reduce the burden on your support staff.

* Figure out what you want from your customers. This is the piece that a lot of companies forget. If you’re deploying Jive for a customer community, you have the option of customizing profiles to include a lot of rich demographic data that can be very useful for informing marketing campaigns and generating sales leads. Most companies forget about that data stream entirely in favor of the “sexier” idea of user-generated content and the opportunity to listen in on customer discussions of their product or service. What companies end up with in that scenario is a hodge-podge of qualitative data. Jive’s rich-data profile, on the other hand, gives companies hard data that can be used to tailor messaging, sales and even products. Our own Dave Kilimnik wrote extensively about this recently, using SolutionSet client Pearson and its external community Teachability.com as an example of a company using Jive to create a highly valuable customer community. In addition to providing you with relevant, rich data about your customers, Jive’s unique user profiles also enables you to provide content that’s relevant to each user. Because the platform “knows” each user, it can help them automatically find the right people, the right content, and the right events.

4. Be prepared to act on market research.

One of the biggest improvements Jive 7 brings to the Jive platform is the introduction of Impact Metrics, which enables companies to measure the impact of both internal and external campaigns. The impact of anything that’s sent out can be measured in terms of the number of people who read or clicked on it, whether they liked it, and whether they shared it. It provides a good view into deciding what’s important, but only if companies are set up to process this information and act upon it. Rather than continuing to send out the same old messages in the same old format, be prepared to take what the Impact Metrics are telling you, and tailor your message to your audience.

5. Refine mobile use cases for your community strategy.

With Jive 7 the company is finally addressing its mobile shortcomings, enabling users to do more than just see the same updates that were coming into their email inbox.  Today, Jive mobile apps enable users to post updates, find people, and perform new tasks, making them much more useful than in the past. Again, this only matters if you’re prepared to take advantage of mobile capabilities and if you’re internal and external communities are likely to download and use the mobile app. How do you want them to use it? What additional value can mobile bring to both your staff and your customers? Defining your distinct mobile use cases is key to successfully executing a community-focused mobile strategy.

Overall, the Jive 7 upgrade makes some great improvements to the platform for internal communities and some minor improvements for external communities. The product has finally arrived that will make collaborative work truly useful. And that means the time has arrived for companies to spend some time thinking about how collaborative tools really fit into their organization, and how those tools fit into unique use cases for their enterprise.

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