Jive breaks out of the ‘social collaboration’ platform model with new ‘workstyle’ apps

Jive Software has taken a revolutionary move toward delivering what the company is calling ‘workstyle’ products, and starting a migration away from the conventional ‘social collaboration’ paradigm. The company has announced three new products — Jive Daily, Jive Chime, and Jive People — that represent a fracturing of the monolithic platform approach that underlies the company’ flagship products, Jive Platform (for internal communications and collaboration), and JiveX (for customer communities).

Jive Daily will be available on 18 February at the iOS app store and Google Play. Jive Daily is a workforce communications tool that allows corporate communications teams to serve relevant information in a Facebookish news feed, and supports curation and two-way communication among staff and management.

I had some prior discussion with members of the Jive product team about this direction, and I applauded it, in the abstract, and now, again, in the specific. And I like the characterization of these mobile-first, deep-and-narrow apps as ‘workstyle’ tools, in contrast with PC-first, wide-and-shallow social collaboration platforms.

Elissa Steele, Jive President, characterized the apps in this way:

Jive Daily, Jive Chime and Jive People provide intuitive, frictionless mobile experiences that help companies embrace employees’ various workstyles and drive strategic alignment as a competitive differentiator.

We’ll have to see about the strategic alignment, but going deep-and-narrow can certainly shift employee communications onto a smaller social scale, as I have written about a great deal (see The twelve posts of Christmas, part 1Social third quarter 2014: analysis and outlookContextual conversation: Work chat will dominate collaboration).

Still, the description about Daily suggests that the app is still not organized solely around the work graph, but is still reflecting a more traditional hierarchical and corporate view of how work communications are supposed to flow. Here’s how the press release describes it:

  • Improve strategic alignment: Jive Daily cascades news to all levels of an organization, with newsfeeds tailored to each user’s specific interests, team and function, allowing people to receive just the information they need.
  • Increase employee engagement: Employees can see who’s posting, and respond by commenting, liking and following from anywhere. By putting faces to names, Jive Daily makes company news personal and transparent, and establishes familiarity and trust between executives and employees.
  • Understand communications impact: Jive Daily provides actionable metrics on who’s reading and participating so company leaders can identify ways to improve communications for even greater impact.

‘Cascading news to all levels of the organization’ does not reflect an egalitarian, social-network-oriented business, but the other features seem more forward-minded.

Jive Daily costs $2/user/month according to the company’s web site.

Jive Chime — a workforce messaging app — and Jive People — a new corporate directory — will be rolled out in the coming months. The overlap between the apps — all provide means to communicate across the workforce — is fine so long as there isn’t any cognitive dissonance in how the tools work. For example, I would expect that a recent communication with a coworker initiated in Daily would show up subsequently in Chime.

More to follow.

Related: November 5 2014, Elissa Steele promoted to president of Jive, Tony Zingale retires by Stowe Boyd