Jive Software adds a couple of new features to its Social Business Platform today. It's about what matters and working anywhere. Oh, and there's a free trial in there as well.

Here's what I like about Jive -- they believe that people need to be actively engaged. Throw all the software at your employees that you can, but if you aren't implementing in a way that makes their job easier (and by easier I mean more efficient and productive), then you might as well let them return to the manual processes of years ago.

Nathan Rawlins, Jive's Senior Director of Product Marketing, took me through the new features available on the Jive platform today, let's have a look.

Intelligent Activity Streams

We have been around the block discussing activity streams and their value for a while now. While no one denies they aren't valuable, many are concerned that they are getting too noisy with all the notifications flowing through them for integrated apps, plus regular status updates and team discussions.

Jive is offering a way to cut through all that new with its new Intelligent Activity Stream. A part of Jive What Matters, this activity stream has a streamlined user interface, similar to what Facebook offers.

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Jive Intelligent Activity Streams
 

What's also new is what Rawlin's called "attention streams", where you can put together a set of people and/or groups and activities to follow within a single stream. Attention streams are a way to aggregate together information relevant to a particular task or project you are working on, showing you only the information you to get your work done.

Jive Anywhere

It's a catchy title, but it also means that you can work with Jive within any website or web application, without leaving the app/website and without having to write major integration code. It's "no-click integration" as Rawlins put it. Essentially within your browser window, you have a new pane (via a browser plug-in) that shows you Jive content and conversations -- related to the content you are looking at in the main part of the browser.

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Jive Anywhere - Salesforce Thread
 

The example above shows this new functionality with Jive and Saleforce.com. Jive offers a number of "cartridges" out of the box. These are customized connections to specific web apps like Salesforce, MS Dynamics, Office 365, SAP, Netsuite, Google Docs and LinkedIn. So, say for example, you are looking at the record in Saleforce, or a document in Google Docs. The Jive pane will show relevant content and conversations related to that specific record or app.

But you don't need a cartridge for Jive Anywhere to work. If there is no related cartridge, then the plug-in is looking for a relationship out of the URL and/or metadata within the site or app.

Rawlin's said they would be adding more of these cartridges over time to provide even deeper intelligence.

The key here is that you can collaborate using Jive without having to bounce between browser tabs or windows. And while the plug-in doesn't work on your tablet or smartphone, you can still be a part of the conversation within Jive using mobile devices.

Jive !Apps Experiences

If you like the Jive Apps Marketplace, then this will tickle your fancy -- integrate information from other apps directly into whatever document or discussion you are working on, giving even more context to your content. Within your document, type an exclamation point (!) and a context sensitive menu with a list of apps will appear allowing you to select information from another application. Built on OpenSocial, Jive refers to it as !mentioning (like @mentioning) -- you get the meaning right?

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Jive !Apps

Integrations are already available with a number of Jive Marketplace vendors including Box, LucidChart, Appirio and more.

Information + Context = Intelligence

Bet you knew that already. Jive's take on this equation is Jive Edge and Jive Find. Jive Find is search that understands you and predicts what you are looking for with the intention of making your search results much more relevant.

Jive Find leverages Jive Edge, the reincarnation of Proximal Labs (which Jive acquired last year). Jive Edge offers big data analysis, combined with an understanding the social graph (context and interaction). Just a little more noise filtering to ensure you get the right information at the right time.

and finally...

Jive for Teams

Maybe you think you like what Jive offers, but you are quite ready to bite the bullet. Starting today, Jive is offering Jive for Teams -- free, full access to the Jive On-Demand platform for teams of any size (well actually it's aimed at teams of 25+). It's a 30 day trial that will allow you to prove it's the right business collaboration tool for you. You even get a dedicated success coach. After the trial, you are looking at US$12 per month per user.

Wrapping it all Up

Two things we talk about regularly. The first is the integration of social into everything we do at work. It's a layer not an add-on. Second, the activity stream has become an important communication tool, when it's able to be filtered correctly. On both of these points Jive delivers for mid to large organizations.

In addition, being able to filter through all the information and interactions we have daily and provide the right information at the right time in the right context (I just love saying that phrase!) is critical to any organization -- and it takes the right kind of software platform to deliver on that. There's a reason Jive is among the leaders in social software. They aren't the only ones up there, but they play the right game.