JiveWorld17: Jive’s three big technology announcements from the opening keynote
The opening keynote at JiveWorld 2017 took place yesterday and was a pretty impressive effort, all told.
Featuring a wealth of product announcements, an important appearance from the CEO of Jive’s prospective new owners (Aurea), plus case studies detailing the use of Jive solutions at customers such as Grant Thornton and Western Digital, the keynote ran for 2.5 hours and was packed with compelling stories and innovative product plans (as well as just a few not so convincing moments). Therefore I’m going to split this summary into a number of parts to make it just a little easier to consume!
So, first up, lets jump to approximately an hour into the keynote, and the product-focused section. For any existing customers, this is likely to be the most important content of the event – what do Jive Software have planned for the rest of 2017 and beyond?
Jive’s executive vice president of products and engineering, Ofer Ben-David, and other senior executives (Nick Hill, John Schneider and Hunter Middleton) were introduced by Jive CEO Elisa Steele, and came on stage as a group to share an overview of their vision for a next-generation collaboration hub. This included some time spent on the challenges facing organisations worldwide, the collaborative needs of individuals, teams and organisations, and the roadmap of specific technology enhancements that Jive will be implementing in order to deliver the solutions required.
Jive’s re-imagined Collaboration Hub
The vision builds on Jive’s mission of helping people work better together and is aimed at disrupting the market by combining the market-leading interactive intranet and customer community into a new singular platform that:
- enable communities of all sizes
- spans any and all members of an enterprise ecosystem (e.g. employees, partners, customers)
- supports the toughest security standards from healthcare to financial services to government.
In a really well delivered and engaging hour or so of stage time, Ben and his team shared the exciting technology enhancements that Jive is planning, including universal identity, enterprise-wide search and workgraph intelligence.
Later in 2017, Jive’s community solutions will support a single identity, enabling people to seamlessly interact with content and colleagues across their employee, partner and customer communities. The new architecture will use metadata to power an entitlements-based universal search. Jive says that this is the only solution in the market that will bring content and people together across the entire business ecosystem without replication, whilst enabling immediate collaborative action on any piece of content without leaving the community user experience.
Identity has been an issue since the earliest days of online communities. Whilst almost every platform has user profiles as a feature, getting users to complete and maintain core profile details has been hard to achieve, let alone additional attributes such as skills and expertise. Then no sooner has the user populated that profile in an internal community or intranet, than they are asked to repeat the process in external communities, partner platforms, social media sites, LinkedIn and so on. It has also been a challenge to then control the identities and accounts when a user leaves the organisation – how does one ensure that the user is deactivated wherever they are identifying themselves as an employee of the organisation?
Jive’s vision is of a single user identity that can be used in multiple communities, irrespective of the who owns the platform. The new Jive ID technology potentially unlocks cross-product collaboration (Jive-n and Jive-x) and cross-company collaboration (I populate my profile on my own intranet, then share the same details as an external user on a partner’s community).
Even more importantly, changes can be managed for all employees from a central JiveID Admin console, giving administrators and community managers the ability to control at a user/email level rather then a community level! When the organisation wants to have any employee update their password or profile attribute, the administrator will be able to maintain that control across any community where the employee uses their Jive ID.
This promises to be hugely powerful in terms of enabling more seamless communication and collaboration across companies and communities, reducing the demands on users to keep their details up to date, and allowing control to be regained by organisations and community managers.
The Collaboration Hub will provide a common collaboration layer across applications and organizations. Jive’s new collaboration services, including universal search and integrated contextual conversations, will power collaboration at any scale, in any system, for any team working across an ever-changing digital landscape.
Just as with the identity piece, search as always been a challenge. Whilst the ability to find conversational and collaborative content within Jive is as strong as in any community solution, there will always be content and reference material that exists only outside of the community – in document management solutions, in systems of record etc. Enterprise Search platforms have attempted to bring these different types of content together, but they tent to be overly complex to manage, difficult to use, and deliver sub-optimal integration into the platforms that are used most regularly.
The new Jive Universal Search functionality will allow users of Jive communities to search for people, places and content both inside Jive, as well as outside, within a single search query. The search experience will be similar to the existing user experience, and results from each search will honour permissions, such that only content which the user has access to will be surfaced in search results. In addition to Jive-based content, Universal Search will be able to access content from platforms and services such as Google Drive, Microsoft Sharepoint Online, Salesforce and JIRA.
Whilst other vendors offer variants of universal search, they tend to rely on additional products and services with complex integration points into the community platform. This announcement from Jive forecasts an entirely new grade of user-facing search, with significantly improved quality of results whilst maintaining ease-of-use.
One of the most distinctive benefits of Jive’s collaboration hub is the network intelligence surrounding the connections between people and content that form and strengthen every day. Businesses today are challenged regarding how work happens in the digital landscape of the 21st century due to the complexity of collaboration across always-changing business ecosystems. The Jive WorkGraph is the first to enable predictions that uncover latent business value and hidden profits through the use of big data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI).
Across the industry, starting with consumer services such as Google Home and with enterprise-grade solutions such as IBM’s Watson, we are starting to see AI being integrated into solutions and services in all verticals and across all sizes of organisation.
With this announcement, Jive is for the first-time, truly building AI abilities into the core community platform, and as a result, will create the first of its kind network visualisation of how work happens. They have partnered with academia to determine how the Jive WorkGraph and AI can be uniquely leveraged to answer organisational questions in real time. They will be using new People Analytics to gain more organisational intelligence, allowing their platform to understand how work gets done, hopefully leading to more accurate predictions that can then yield better organisational performance.
This is, of course, early days for AI and even earlier days for Jive’s development of such abilities. However, the WorkGraph concept does look to be innovative and forward-looking, and if it delivers on the promise, will truly offer intelligent insight into the ways in which employees connect, communicate and collaborate, and as a result, enable enhanced abilities that aid individual and team performance.
So those were the three cornerstone features of the Collaboration Hub as shared yesterday. I’ll move on to discussing the roadmap and the rest of the keynote in additional posts to be shared over the next couple of days.