Jive Software and Egnyte Sync Up

Enterprise collaboration software provider Jive Software and Egnyte, an enterprise file sync and share vendor, have formed a new partnership and technology integration. According to the press release announcing the deal, mutual customers may now take advantage of a bi-directional sync between the partners’ software that enables the following actions:

  • Collaborate on Egnyte files directly within Jive, with comments synced across both platforms
  • Upload content to Egnyte from Jive
  • Securely access content from mobile devices
  • View files stored in the cloud for easy accessibility, store locally to meet security and regulatory requirements, or sync with a hybrid solution
  • Easily embed links to Egnyte content in Jive’s comment and discussion fields

Egnyte has put together a short video that demonstrates these actions.

Existing, mutual customers may enable the integration at no additional charge, according to Egnyte’s blog post. The two companies are also jointly offering a special promotion to new customers who are looking to use both systems.

Jive Has Other Existing Content Management Integrations

This is not the first integration that Jive has done with a third-party content management vendor. Jive has had long-standing integrations with Alfresco, Box, Google Drive, and Microsoft (Office, Office 365 and Outlook). The Google and Microsoft integrations were built by Jive, without official partnerships being formed.
The joint Alfresco-Jive solution was launched in 2012 and used CMIS to sync documents and content actions between the two systems. Interestingly, Alfresco has a webpage describing the integration and still lists Jive as a Technology Partner, while Jive no longer acknowledges Alfresco as an official partner on its website.
Finally, Jive still has an active technology partnership with Box. Like the Egnyte integration, Jive and Box have built a bi-directional sync that pushes changes made in one system to the other.

Potential Reasons Why Jive Added Another Content Management Partner

While I have not yet spoken with anyone from either Jive or Egnyte, I can lay out some possible explanations for why they partnered and integrated their offerings.
First, the integration may have been done simply because a large number of mutual customers asked for it. That is not an unusual situation in enterprise software, and both Jive and Egnyte listen and respond well to their customers.
This partnership and technology integration may have been proposed and largely built by Egnyte, who is facing stiff competition, as well as feature and price commoditization, in the EFSS market. Partnering with Jive creates a competitive advantage for Egnyte over rivals such as Accellion, Citrix ShareFile, Syncplicity, and others. The comparative quality and depth of the press releases from the two partners suggests that Egynte may well have had the lead here. That impression is underscored by that fact that Egnyte created and published the video demonstration embedded above.
A final, possible explanation is that Jive is looking for an alternative partner to Box, which has moved up the food chain by forming deep technology and go-to-market partnerships with Apple, IBM, and Microsoft. Perhaps Box is now more focused on helping its customers integrate with IBM Connections and Microsoft SharePoint and Office 365 instead of Jive. As a result, Jive would need a more active partner, which it may have found in Egnyte. Another consideration is that Box is a cloud-only service, while Jive’s partnership with Egnyte enables cloud, on-premises, and hybrid joint deployments.

Takeaways

Regardless of the reason(s) for the Jive-Egnyte partnership, it represents a win for their mutual customers, who now have a pre-built integration that enables secure, mobile-friendly content storage, discovery, sharing, and collaboration. This partnership could also have upside for the two vendors, if they can work with the other’s existing customers to sell their own offerings.
This deal also has implications for the collaboration and EFSS market segments. If nothing else, it underscores that the line between the two, which was already quite blurry, is in fact disappearing. Pure-play EFSS vendors, in particular, will have a difficult time sustaining their existing business, much less grow it, as file services continue to be pushed into collaboration platforms. Their last hope to remain independent may rest on the growing uptake of containerized, microservices enterprise computing architectures, in which they can provide cutting edge file services.

Dropbox is pivoting into an IPO. Will that work?

A few recent events for Dropbox that suggest the company is headed for a difficult transition.
In today’s Wall Street Journal, a team of reporters (Rolfe Winkler, Douglas MacMillan, Telis Demos, and Monica Langley) explore the difficult financial terrain that confronts Dropbox. One of the 124 private companies that have been valued at over $1 billion, Dropbox find itself in increasingly hostile territory, as investors are now starting to believe that many of these unicorns are overvalued. One indication is that many companies are said to be lowering their valuations to raise new money: so-called ‘down rounds’. The general situation might be simply a downdraft that Dropbox finds itself in, a cooling climate for clay-footed investors.
But the more specific issue for Dropbox is the viability of a pure-play file sink-and-share company in a world where the Internet giants are competing for the same customers, and making their largest profits elsewhere. How can Dropbox — and Box, it’s closest competitor — contend with offerings from Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon?
Just over a year ago, I reviewed this sector in a Gigaom Research report (see Sector Roadmap: file sync-and-share platforms), and forecast that the giants were likely to drive the price of file sync-and-share toward zero, and the price compression has continued. I conjectured that a market consolidation was likely to occur in the near term of 18-24 months from the time of publishing. Regarding Dropbox and Box, I wrote

The other vendors that have large customer bases — like Box and Dropbox — will be put into a difficult position, since the majors are treating file sync-and-share as one element of larger strategies. The majors can afford to treat file sync-and-share as a loss leader, and make their money from other parts of their stack.

Despite their huge funding history — which is a proxy for the impact of file sync-and-share on computing, not necessarily a proof of future profits — Dropbox and Box remain best-positioned after consolidation, but in the long may become niche players, or attractive acquisition targets.

The fall in Box’s stock price and the difficulties Dropbox may be having in its push toward a $10 billion IPO are strong indicators of that consolidation.

Note that the nature of file sync-and-share makes it relatively trivial to transition from one vendors offerings to another: you simply drag your folders from one to the other, and a few hours later, you’ve transitioned. So even relatively small reasons to switch can lead to defection.

Dropbox has been aggressively trying to reposition itself as more than file sync-and-share, and to rebrand as a more general productivity solution vendor, specifically with the beta release of Paper, a new coediting application. I haven’t used the app yet, but there is a test document accessible here, for Product Hunt users. Here’s a screen shot, showing the identities of coeditors who have added items in a list and an image to the document canvas:

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 7.03.04 AM

(More than anything else, it reminds me of Mammoth, but a fuller review will have to wait until I get access or a full demo.)

It’s clear from recent statements that the company is trying a significant pivot to productivity and away from the financial cul-de-sac that file sync-and-share is becoming. Dropbox might just be suffering bad timing — pivoting at exactly the time that the investment market is getting the jitters — but that one-two punch could lead to a dangerous set of cross tides for the firm.

Uber and Spotify team up to let you play music while you ride

On Monday Uber and Spotify announced a partnership in which the companies’ apps will be integrated. As a result, Uber passengers with premium Spotify subscriptions will be able to play Spotify selections from their own phones in some Uber cars.

Red Hat and Mirantis: The gloves are off

They may still be nominal partners, but the bad blood is now on show for all to see. Red Hat claims Mirantis reneged on their deal by releasing its own product, but Mirantis responded by accusing Red Hat of an OpenStack lock-in ploy.

Sprint will start reselling Google apps to businesses

Sprint(s s) and Google(s goog) already have a history of close cooperation on consumer apps — Sprint was the only major U.S. carrier to support Google Wallet — but now it looks like they’re making their partnership more professional. In August, Sprint will start offering Google apps to small business and enterprise customers. The carrier won’t just resell access to Gmail, Calendar, Drive and Docs business accounts; it will provide customer support, giving those businesses a single point of contact for their mobile network and device problems as well as their app issues.

Square integrates with more accounting tools, launches software partner program

Following up on similar work with Intuit’s(s intu) QuickBooks last year, Square has integrated its transaction tracking tools with Xero’s accounting software, allowing sales data to flow seamlessly from Square’s digital register into Xero’s spreadsheets. We can expect to see more partnerships like these: Square also launched a new software partner program on Monday, designed to make its sales and inventory tracking tools work better with small business software. Square hasn’t revealed who else it is working with or what other pain points besides accounting the program hopes to address.

 

Vodafone reportedly in collaboration talks with BSkyB

Mobile carrier Vodafone(s vod) and British broadcasting and broadband firm BSkyB are in talks to create some sort of partnership, according to a report (subscription required) in The Sunday Times. The report suggests that while the companies are loath to build a new fiber network – Sky Broadbrand mostly uses national giant BT(s bt)’s infrastructure – they “have discussed striking deals on Sky’s sports and movie channels and collaborating on a high-speed broadband service.” BSkyB, which offers broadband, telephony and TV but not mobile, is currently looking to get back at BT for winning crucial football broadcasting rights in November, an event which hit BSkyB’s share price hard.

Dish, Sprint to test a home broadband service using LTE

Though it’s sitting on its own trove of mobile broadband spectrum, Dish is looking for partners to provide fixed wireless LTE access to its customers homes. Sprint and nTelos are both working with Dish in trials.