PRODUCT PROFILE

Jive Software Gives Companies Stronger Social Chops

Fast-growing Jive Software offers businesses an extensible social business solution that integrates social networking, collaboration software, community software and social media monitoring across the entire enterprise.

The company recently bolstered its board of directors with a number of executives from high-profile tech companies. Helping to guide Jive through its next phase of growth are Charles Robel, former chairman of the board of McAfee; David DeWalt, president of McAfee; Jonathan Heiliger, vice president of technical operations at Facebook; and Sundar Pichai, vice president of product management at Google.

The social web is having a huge impact on the way companies do business because it is fundamentally changing the way people interact, learn and share information, Adam Mertz, senior product marketing manager for Jive Software, told CRM Buyer.

Jive Software’s focus is on this change and how companies engage with and target audiences.

Jive Software

Companies Need to Evolve

With more than 10 years of experience helping to drive strategies in a holistic manner, including the employment of external and internal business communities, Jive Software recognizes that companies need to evolve to integrate social media into their CRM experience, Mertz said.

“It’s absolutely critical,” he emphasized.

Its 3,000-plus clients and upwards of 15 million users make Jive Software one of the top companies helping businesses better engage employees and customers by leveraging the social web, Mertz said, adding that as companies continue to evolve in this direction, Jive is gaining more traction by providing its clients with whatever they need — “everything a power user ever wished for.”

By focusing on the community aspect and helping companies create an active group of customers that share information and help each other, Jive Software enables clients to create better products and services, and it gives them the ability to create social networks and communities that that they can control, Brent Leary, cofounder and partner at CRM Essentials, told CRM Buyer. Clients of Jive Software can build company-owned networks rather than rely exclusively on Twitter and Facebook.

“They’re more of a social network platform,” Leary said. “That’s where they fit in.”

Controlling Social Media

This ability can help some CEOs overcome any suspicion they might have of social media.

“It depends on who you talk to,” marketing author Michael Port told CRM Buyer. Some CEOs find social media to be a positive tool. However, some CEOs dislike the loss of control that social networks represent.

Good CEOs see social CRM as a great opportunity, Port opined. Customers who have a good CRM experience with a company will share this on their social media networks.

“Then it starts to spread,” Port explained. The downside of this is that disgruntled customers can just as easily spread bad experiences through social media networks.

Jive Software can help companies control social media more effectively and address negative issues that start to appear by utilizing real-time alerts and internal and external social media monitoring, Mertz noted. The Jive engine also helps to reduce social media noise by filtering only information that is relevant.

Fulfilling CRM Promises

With Jive Software, users can amplify relevant connections and content to view only related threads, questions, or information from other users who may have similar issues, Mertz elaborated. This helps companies to fulfill CRM promises by increasing customer satisfaction and retention, and improving customer communication.

“We’re seeing pretty dramatic results,” said Mertz.

The system can learn the type of question a user typically asks and tailor information accordingly, Mertz explained. Users in communities begin helping other users. As users help each other, this lowers the number of customer service representatives that need to be hired, he said.

Although call centers will not disappear, Mertz foresees that they will be consolidated.

Keeping People Engaged

Jive Software’s approach is very different, said Mertz. The system is not limited to a handful of people using complex dashboards. Everybody has access and can create monitors.

Increased participation keeps all employees and customers engaged, and this allows the system to become a very powerful tool, he noted.

Social media should be as ubiquitous as email or Google within a company, advised Mertz. Different professionals within an organization — such as human resource specialists, marketing teams, and sales representatives — all have different social media goals, but they all need to be able to access social media to achieve those goals.

Jive Software offers the ability to create or purchase apps to customize functionality, and to add features such as translation, Twitter and Facebook engagement, as well as the ability to obtain sales information during an RFP process, Mertz said. The system offers the ability to search across the social web and monitor sites for trending content related to a business.

Jive Software is also available for mobile devices such as the iPhone, Android smartphones and Blackberry devices, which will become more important as companies utilize them more frequently.

“You want to keep people engaged,” Mertz said.

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