What’s new in Jive Cloud 2016.2?
Jive recently posted a press release to update the media on key features within the 2016.2 cloud release:
Jive Software, Inc. (Nasdaq: JIVE) today announced the latest release of its industry-leading, cloud-based Interactive Intranet and Customer Community solutions that makes work visible, searchable and memorable from any device, and allows companies to tap into their biggest asset—corporate memory—wherever and whenever they need to. As a unified WorkHub, Jive captures, measures and influences all digital interactions within and outside of an organization. New capabilities available this month include breakthrough personal analytics to drive faster and more informed decisions; intelligent profiles that streamline access to an organization’s knowledge base; and enhanced integration that infuses social monitoring functionality throughout a digital workplace.
“This latest release is another important milestone in our vision to bring employees, customers and partners together within one unified WorkHub,” said Elisa Steele, CEO at Jive Software. “Today’s innovative enhancements to our Interactive Intranet and Customer Community solutions further that strategy by making work more visible, searchable and memorable—ultimately cultivating a more productive and aligned business network.”
As one of three significant Jive Cloud releases planned for this year, I’d argue that there are four key aspects to the 2016.2 release:
Jive’s new user-centric analytics provide personalized data-driven insights for people to better understand their connections, influence peers and make faster informed decisions when collaborating. As the leader in community intelligence and insights, Jive’s new analytics go beyond current industry offerings by detailing the interconnectedness between each individual and other employees, groups, departments, customers and outside partners that comprise their networks. People can become more fact-driven in their daily contributions and community interactions, with vital information about their connections, including sentiment, engagement and the impact of their content. With Jive’s social graphs, people get unrivaled insight into who they are connected with, their business networks and how they can leverage influencers and advocates in their network to further amplify important information and collaboration.
Refreshed user profiles
The 2016.1 update was particularly notable in that it brought new designs for most of the major content types, with particular focus on blog posts and events. Whilst the new content types were behind a toggle, many customers have already deployed them and are seeing really great feedback from their users in terms of the new look and feel – suddenly blogs and other documents look very modern and behave in the way that those brought up on WordPress, Medium and other modern CMS platforms might expect.
This left user profiles as one of the most obvious areas where the UI/UX lagged behind, and switching from a piece of content to the author’s (or commenter’s) profile was a jarring experience. 2016.2 corrects this with a beautiful new interface for profiles, but the release goes much deeper than just the UI, with significant new information and features available within the user profile:
Because people are at the center of an organization, Jive created new intelligent profiles that revolve around each individual—driving pertinent content, data and information to further graph their network, build connections and increase engagement. These new innovations are powered by Jive’s intelligent Recommender Engine, an advanced technology that delivers relevant experiences and content to people based on machine-learning insights. Networks are constantly strengthening as interactions increase, fostering an automated, intuitive way to access an organization’s corporate memory of work, connections, projects, ideas and processes. With recommended, intelligent content personalized to each user, people gain important and useful information at their fingertips, such as materials their peers are working on or new content that directly impacts their role.
“Knowledge is an organization’s most valuable resource, and we understand the importance of empowering current and future employees, customers, partners, contractors and freelancers to preserve and easily access their accumulated knowledge—or corporate memory—through a unified workplace,” said Ofer Ben-David, executive vice president of engineering at Jive Software. “With Jive’s latest release, we are unleashing impactful, business-driven functionality that not only bolsters corporate memory but taps into new ways of assessing and impacting professional connections to enable people to do their best work faster, smarter and more decisively.”
As with any web platform, Jive is built on a number of third-party and open-source web tools and foundation APIs. It’s always been a challenge to keep these underlying technologies up to date – each component refresh requires additional testing, changes to integration code, plus possibly additional training and communication requirements for customers and end users. Therefore updates tend to be carefully planned and approached, rather than updated every time the third-party updates their code. In two very specific areas, 2016.2 takes a very large leap forward in this regard…
Firstly, the content editor gets a major refresh, bringing a fresher user experience with significantly improved browser support and expanded plugin library. This naturally impacts all user interactions with content – whether in the initial authoring, when updating the content, or in subsequent comments and discussions. Most elements in the content editor are improved, but a couple of aspects stand out – creation and editing of tables, and copy/paste from other applications (such as Microsoft Office).
Secondly, the file preview functionality shifts from a very capable but now firmly-deprecated Flash plugin based technology, to instead offering a fully HTML5-based approach. This improves the experience and performance for all users, but has the biggest impact on those using mobile devices, particularly when running iOS.
Jive introduced their comprehensive new reward and recognition platform a couple of releases ago, and has steadily improved it with each update since.
However, in my opinion, Rewards gets its biggest enhancement yet in 2016.2. Among many smaller improvements, users can now award badges to their colleagues in-context within content, status updates or comments.
This is so powerful in terms of enabling recognition in the flow, rather than as an afterthought:
Jive is rolling out enhanced individual recognition badges that enable people to give and receive awards in context of the particular engagement and content at hand—building influence, increasing engagement and driving peer-to-peer recognition.
Jive’s people-centric approach also includes enhanced event capabilities that deliver the specific event information each person needs, and enables engagement before and after an event to maximize return on investment (ROI). People can now highlight and promote special guests, along with their bios and social media sites, bringing additional value to an event and driving higher attendance.
In addition to these four ‘tent poles’ I’ve identified, there are also significant improvements in the following areas:
- Content tagging
- Place banners and management
- SEO (for external communities)
- Rewards (beyond the in-context element mentioned above)
- Integrations (with Learning Management and Social Media platforms)
Check out the detailed posts in the Jive Customers space for more specific info.
When do I get it?
In terms of timing, 2016.2 is being rolled out to all new and existing Jive-x and Jive-n instance over the next few weeks in a phased release schedule, with all communities having been updated by the second week of September. Many of the new features are behind admin toggles, and so they may disabled during the upgrade and then reenabled at a later stage.
Not yet a Jive customer?
Register for your own 30 day trial of Jive-n to give the new features, and the interactive intranet as a whole, a thorough trial.
What does the media think?
To conclude, It’s always interesting to see how the different media outlets report press releases and announcements such as this one, especially when they take an angle that best relates to their readership. This Enterprise Apps Today piece majors on the new Recommender Engine technology that powers the new user profiles and personal analytics:
One of the most notable new features is a Recommender Engine that uses machine learning to deliver relevant experiences and content to users.
John Schneider, vice president of product marketing at Jive, explained how it works: “The Recommender Engine takes into account a variety of aspects relating to users’ interactions in their communities. The recommendations … take preferences into account since the user’s behavior is captured in our social graph, which underlies the engine. The user’s actions — or inaction — on any information presented by the recommendation engine in turn helps the system ‘learn’ the kind of information that is most relevant to them.”
The types of information presented include recommended content from the community and top/trending people and content within the community, he said.
These kinds of personal analytics “will not only help people see how active they are in the platform, but also how their content is resonating with other users,” said Candida Rodriguez, enterprise community manager at Jive customer Cox Automotive, in a statement. “I believe this view into members’ own impact on the community will increase the strong engagement we are seeing at Cox.”
Are you prepared?
Whatever your personal priorities, there’s sure to be some aspect of 2016.2 that will significantly impact your use of your own Jive community. Be ready!
If you haven’t started to plan for your own community upgrade to 2016.2 and the rollout of new features to your user base, it is definitely high time to do so! There is plenty of really great and very detailed information in the Jive Customers space in the Jive Community that will assist you. However, it is always good to reach out to those that can give you the inside track on how best to prepare, plan and implement the new functionality, as well as effectively applying it to your existing community use cases. Consider Jive Professional Services, your existing partner (if appropriate), or speak to me directly. I’d be very happy to assist…