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We’ve all been told that mobile and the cloud are great equalizers. But how often do small and mid-sized businesses continue to find technologies and solutions beyond reach because of their cost, required technical know-how, difficulty of implementation and so on?

Far more often than most vendors are prepared to admit.

But it doesn’t have to be that way, said Colleen Jansen, vice president of global marketing, Jive Software. Today the company that has brought communication and collaboration solutions to enterprises and their business partners since 2001, unveiled three new workstyle apps: Jive Daily, Jive Chime and Jive People.

They’re consumer-like in look and feel, functional in that they work the way you work, easily accessible (not just anywhere, any time, any device) in that you don’t need much help (if any) from IT to set up and use them, and affordable to business and organizations of all shapes and sizes. (Though large enterprises might fare better with Jive and Jive X).

Here’s the low down on the three apps.

Jive Daily: Tells You What’s Up

Businesses of every size are challenged with keeping their workers on the same page and in the know, and email certainly doesn’t cut it. Unless you’re an organizational freak or were a file clerk in a past life, reading things on your mobile device and putting them where you can access them easily just doesn’t happen. And if you’re a manager who’s putting out announcements company or department-wide, it’s hard to know if anyone has bothered to download and view them and, if so, when. News sometimes gets old and irrelevant before it gets read.

Jive Daily helps solve those kinds of problems. It’s been built to get the word out, drive conversations and analyze communications impact in real time. Because it’s an app, workers can check in easily to see what the company brass or colleagues have to say and to find out about what’s going on at the company that’s relevant to them. For distributed and mobile workplaces this might be a gem, especially at its price point.

What are the three big wins? Improved strategic alignment, increased employee engagement and insight into communications impact.

Jive Daily will be available starting February 18 in the App Store and Android Market.

Jive Chime: Communications, Sans Creep-Factor

For anyone who has quit a job but hasn’t stopped getting texts from the creep on last year’s project team, Jive Chime is a gem. It’s a vehicle for communicating from your mobile device with text or instant message like experiences without sacrificing access to your personal cell phone number or personal IM identity. It’s a free app that can be upgraded (with things like sync and administration controls) for $2 a month. It will be available in the second quarter this year.

Jive People: Your Company in Your Pocket

Most company directories are so yesterday they require you to go through a series of steps in order to communicate with colleagues. Jive People makes that problem go away. When you identify the person you want to talk to, all you have to do is hit a button to reach out to them via e-mail, phone call or Jive Chime.

But that’s not all Jive People has to offer. “You can go deeper into the product,” said Elizabeth Brigham, director, product marketing at Jive Software, “and do things like find experts via a workplace graph that has been built with data from profiles, organization graphs and so on."

Though Jive People is still in a prototype stage, it should also be able to give you the skinny on people whom you might encounter and attend meetings with. It will be available later this year.

There Really is an App for That

Jive gets communication and collaboration in the workplace. As a pioneer in those fields, it has learned what does and doesn’t work and Enterprises worldwide are giving its solutions like Jive and Jive X high ratings.

Jive’s Workstyle apps take those successes and extend them to the small and mid-sized market at price point that most can afford. If improved communication and collaboration yield better business results, then they’re definitely worth a look.

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License Title image by  zoonabar.