Oh snooze!

I’ll be honest, that’s the first thing I thought when Jive Software reached out to say that they were introducing a mobile-first employee directory app. Hadn’t I seen this before from at least two or three other vendors?

But contempt prior investigation isn’t an option when you write about technology, so I went ahead with the demo for Jive Circle — a secure, app built to help employees quickly search for and discover other employees in their organization.

And get this, it’s worth a look.

Are You There?

Jive Circle was created with one goal in mind: to help you quickly identify who at your company can answer your question or help solve your problem so that you can get back to work.

Let’s face it, the customer experience using Enterprise 2.0 technologies, old intranets, Active Directory, org charts and SharePoint leaves a lot to be desired. Besides, they weren’t built mobile-first and for a distributed workplace. Jive Circle was; after all, it’s brand new.

Rian van der Merwe, who heads design for Circle, might also have a clue or two about building software people want to use — he literally wrote the book Making It Right.

Who Are You?

Colleen Jansen, Jive’s VP of Marketing, said the Jive team spent a lot of time talking to customers who said that they were frustrated with the choices on the market and were trying to build their own apps to get the job done.

This spelled opportunity to Jive. It’s their sweet spot. The company has spent the last 14 years delivering on a simple mission — to help people work better together.

“In Jive Circle we believe we have something simple, a mobile app that helps workers easily discover and access the right employee profiles,” said Jansen. Profiles are visual, and aside from putting headshots to names, they can contain information like phone numbers, physical location and time zone, availability status, e-mail addresses, reporting relationships, project affiliations and so on.

Now I See You

This makes it easy to do things like search a visual organization chart and to identify subject matter experts.

There’s also a browse feature for filtering and finding out information about colleagues. Once a colleague is identified, a press and hold feature prompts connection icons for immediate contact via click-to-call, email or Jive Chime , Jive’s real-time messaging app.

You Can’t See What I Said

If there’s one thing that keeps workers from being more than superficially social it’s their lack of control. Jive has now enabled Jive Chime users with the ability to quickly remove and hide conversations — whether from the mobile app or desktop.

Jive Circle is a business product that offers enhanced security with the ability to add, edit and deactivate users.

It was built-in alignment with industry security best practices such as third-party testing and leverages the security of the Amazon Web Service environment. In addition, it was built to make it easy for IT administrators to import employee information to create accounts and build out their organization for the app.

Bells and whistles may seem like great tools to win customers, but the reality is simple usually wins.