social business, Cisco Guns for Microsoft with Jive Software Integration

Cisco under CEO John Chambers (left) isn't hiding its intentions with its integration with Jive Software for enterprise collaboration.

It wants to go after Microsoft. And probably IBM, too.

How do we know? They told us.

"Through this partnership, Cisco supports complete communication and collaboration, end-to-end," said Peder Ulander, vice president of collaboration solutions marketing for Cisco. "With Microsoft you would need to get bolt-on offerings from other vendors in order to approximate this set of integrated capabilities. With our offering, you get everything, from the world’s leading web-conferencing solution to the leading social collaboration platform, all from one vendor."

Can They Compete?

The first thing 75,000-employee Cisco needs to do to compete with Microsoft is catch up.

Forrester Research analyst Rob Koplowitz told CMSWire the leaders in this space in terms of the breadth of offerings are IBM and Microsoft. Perhaps Google as well, he added.

And as we saw in yesterday's piece from Constellation Research analyst Alan Lepofsky, it's not exactly a unique partnership. Potentially successful in a booming space, but unique? Not quite, according to Koplowitz.

"It's not entirely unique," Koplowitz told CMSWire. "These types of partnerships tend to happen a lot. Jive partners with Box and Dropbox for content so it makes sense to have a partner in real-time collaboration like Cisco."

Why Jive Software?

But Cisco, the San Jose-based provider, saw major appeal with Jive's capabilities. And so do investors. Jive's stock rose 9 percent yesterday, and today the Palo Alto provider of about 650 employees was at $8.42. Its collaboration portfolio is designed to deliver what Cisco's Ulander called "compelling collaboration experiences, including interoperability with customers’ existing and future assets."

social business, Cisco Guns for Microsoft with Jive Software Integration

Learning Opportunities

"Third-party partner resale agreements," he added, "allow Cisco to provide end-to-end collaboration solutions for customers who want to work primarily with Cisco for collaboration but want to incorporate elements from other vendors."

For now, the solution will be sold through Cisco Advanced Services and integrated by means of Esna Cloudlink 5.0 for Cisco, Ulander said. The solution will include integrations with CUCM, Unity, Jabber and WebEx. It will also provide integration to and Google apps.

Pricing for the Jive solution and will vary based on customer deployment, depending on deployment model, number of licenses and other factors.Cisco Services pricing is dependent on the scoping of each customer environment, Ulander added. The Cisco third-party resale agreement is applicable globally and will be available through Cisco by end of the first half of calendar year 2014.Cisco Social Collaboration Services are globally available today.

Who Benefits?

Koplowitz sees Cisco and Jive each being winners with the partnership because the product strategies "are very complementary."

"Obviously," he told CMSWire, "Jive would love to see pull from Cisco's huge sales organization."

It's a pretty good fit in terms of what organizations want to do with their enterprise collaboration strategy, Koplowitz added.

"Organizations that collaborate effectively are better able to find information and expertise across geographic and organizational boundaries and connect to those resources through rich seamless communication tools," he said. "The two experiences should be tightly integrated. Jive handles the former and Cisco the latter, hence the interest in this partnership."