Mar 28, 2012 (09:03 AM EDT)
Jive Builds A Better Intranet, Bolsters Gamification

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Jive Software launched two new products Wednesday that bolster its Jive Social Business Platform: Jive Social Intranet Solution and Jive Gamification.

The Jive Social Intranet Solution is designed to address challenges people are having around internal collaboration, including existing intranets that never lived up to their promise, said Tim Zonca, director of product marketing at Jive. "The intranet, at least the promise of it, should have been able to solve some of these collaboration issues," he said. "Largely, the people we talk with say intranets have failed."

Zonca said existing intranets tend to be siloed, built on outdated technology, and designed mainly to manage content. Organizations then rely on email for collaboration, but that's the wrong tool for the job, he added: "People kind of cobbled things together over the course of the last decade, and it's failed. People rely on email for at least some way to try and communicate. Email is great for sending a message, but not for collaboration."

Zonca said Jive looked at how people were using its platform and saw that there was a strong set of repeating capabilities that were being used in certain ways for corporate communications, marketing, sales collaboration, engineering, and support. With Jive Social Intranet Solution, Jive has packaged up these capabilities and included a set of services that will allow organizations to "go from zero to having a really successful intranet in a fraction of the time it would taken otherwise."

[ Can social media help unlock your business's inherent cultural knowledge? Read The Hive Mind And Enterprise Social Networks. ]

A good social intranet allows users to collaborate at three levels, said Zonca: "The first is corporate communications--top-down dissemination of information, aligning people to goals, training, career development. The second thing is allowing collaboration outside your department. This is really where you can leverage the expertise your organization has. ... The third is--and this is kind of the easy one--team collaboration. Most technologies that I see people attempting to use in their social intranet--more traditional legacy systems, like a SharePoint, or something new that's maybe a social point tool--they only address one of those three. Our take is that you need to be able to do all three to have a really vibrant and engaging place where people can collaborate."

The Jive Social Intranet Solution provides document creation and editing features, content sharing and search capabilities, intelligent recommendations, and filtered activity streams, alerting users to the information and experts most important to their work. The system also provides enterprise-level controls for security, privacy, permissions, and compliance, as well as integration with Microsoft Outlook, Office, SharePoint, and other legacy systems and data. The Jive Intranet Solution can be accessed from most popular mobile and tablet devices, including BlackBerry, Android, iPhone, and iPad systems.

The Jive Social Intranet Solution offers built-in gamification capabilities, and Jive is upping the gaming ante with the release of Jive Gamification, an advanced gaming mechanics module for Jive's Social Business platform. Powered by Bunchball, the module can dramatically increase adoption, engagement, and productivity within the Jive network through targeted incentives and activities, according to Jive. Jive Gamification provides a gamification engine that tracks more than 100 specific Jive actions that can be used to define challenges and determine user rewards; "persuasive integration" capabilities, where gamification elements are integrated into the Jive experience; and targeted personalization, which uses game mechanics to motivate and reward people based on user segmentation including geography, roles, or departments.

It is this ability to target motivation and incentive that makes Jive Gamification especially powerful, said Zonca. "Jive Gamification's game mechanics allow organizations to target really specific behavior," he said. "Let's say you want to give incentive to engineering or product development teams to engage or directly answer questions from sales or customers or maybe the marketing group. You can target a set of missions or challenges or tasks around giving them incentive for doing that kind of behavior. Or maybe you want to have a sales competition: Who can complete these sales training materials first or who consumes most of them within a given amount of time? So you can use it to spur knowledge of a sales organization or support organization or something along those lines. It allows a company to use game mechanics in a really highly personalized and targeted way to spur the kind of activity that they are looking for in the community."

Follow Deb Donston-Miller on Twitter at @debdonston.

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