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Jive Software's "big data" team gets a boost through the acquisition of social media data miner, Proximal Labs. In the near term, Jive is more prepared for the imminent IPO. But what are the long term implications?

To be such a simple term, "big data" is beginning to cast an enormous shadow across the social technology landscape. In internet time, Google is the wise old grandfather. But almost everyone touts a "big data" strategy, from IBM to EMC.

Jive Software (news, site) is a relative newcomer to the space but has quickly established itself as a challenger in the web engagement market.

Why Proximal Labs?

Although Jive is solidly funded, acquisitions are expensive and risky. Why couldn't this one have waited until after the IPO? The easy answer is the Proximal Core and associated "Smart Apps". As valuable as those products are, the real gem in the deal is the addition of the people behind Proximal Labs to the Jive team.

Jive understands that a single product, no matter how cool and innovative, is still just a single product going out of date by the minute. But having a workforce that can keep said product relevant while also creating the proverbial "next big thing"; that's a strategy for long-term success.

Who knows if Proximal Labs "the company" or Proximal Labs "the people" have already entertained (or fought off) the advances of Google and Facebook and the other high profile players in "big data". The past is immaterial now because Jive has already made the move. I would be lying if I said I wasn't interested to see how the other contenders respond.

What is Next for Jive Software?

Firstly, Jive welcomes its new team members including a new C-level executive. David Gutelius, Proximal Labs co-founder and CEO, becomes Jive Software's Chief Social Scientist. Whether or not his new role makes Mr. Gutelius a "big c" or a "little c" is unimportant, what's important is that the person who helped build Proximal Labs now has a place at the table of the parent company.

Political implications aside, Mr. Gutelius's new role will include driving both enterprise social graph strategy and technology innovation with Jive.

From a functional perspective, my guess is there will be an upcoming release of the Jive platform that will include the advanced analytical capabilities that made Proximal Labs an acquisition target to begin with. I think it's safe to say this release will be more than a little bit anticipated.

The opportunity and challenge for Jive is to prove they can successfully acquire a company and not only integrate the people but also capitalize on the technology. I, for one, am anxious to see what's next.