Everyone wants one thing in one place — right now, in real time. 

Marketers, customers and enterprise workers all want it. And now Jive and Cisco are partnering to provide it in the form of new enterprise collaboration.

The two companies want to combine the best of two worlds: Jive's enterprise collaboration platform and Cisco's real time technologies like WebEx and Jabber. The goal is to bolster that "one" theme: one place for employees to communicate and collaborate, one place for customer communities to thrive and grow, one place for partners to drive business outcomes. 

"Cisco is one of the most well-respected companies on the planet, with hundreds of thousands of companies leveraging their real-time communication and collaboration offerings," Tony Zingale, CEO and chairman of Jive Software, said in a statement. "Together, we can bring Jive's industry-leading collaboration platform to these customers, and help drive even deeper and more productive business outcomes across their employees, customers and partners."

Crowded Space

But is it one of a kind? Not really.

Alan Lepofsky pointed this out today in his blog. The Constellation Research analyst noted other industry partnerships that provide something similar: 

  • IBM with IBM Connections and IBM Sametime 
  • Microsoft with Office365, including Yammer and Lync 
  • Citrix with GoToMeeting and Podio 
  • Salesforce.com with Chatter (although, Lepofsky points out, so far we’ve only seen the result of their DimDim acquisition provide chat, they have not yet released integrated web-conferencing) 
  • Unify (formerly Siemens Enterprise) has invested heavily into Ansible, their new collaboration and UC platform, Lepofsky wrote

The analyst also talked about the team of former Yammer executives running Fuze, which provides web-conferencing with a heavy focus on working together, and not, as he wrote, just having meetings. And there's LogMeIn, "which is pushing their popular web-conferencing product Join.me into the enterprise space and working on integration with their file sharing and collaboration too."

social business, Can Jive, Cisco Break Through Enterprise Collaboration Software Noise?

"I don’t see much of a downside to this from Jive’s perspective, as having an extra channel can only lead to more sales," Lepofsky wrote. "However, I don’t predict this with have a large -- think doubling -- impact on their revenue, as Cisco’s channel has already proven to be unsuccessful at even selling their own collaboration solution, WebEx Social, which began and Cisco Quad."

Catching up with CMSWire today, Lepofsky said in order for enterprise collaboration tools to be successful, they must "help people know what they should be working on and with whom. I call this area Personal Analytics."

Back and Forth

Cisco and Jive are selling the integration by saying it allows businesses to go between real-time communications, like instant messages, videoconferences and online meetings, with social collaboration, like blogs, discussions, wikis, posts, profiles and online groups.

Cisco's reselling Jive solutions as a fully integrated component of the Cisco collaboration family, it said. The integrated solution is now available globally from Cisco.

Learning Opportunities

Looking for Buyout?

Meanwhile, news came in March that Jive is seeking a buyer. But it was just rumors. Even still, it lifted the company's languishing shares by about 12 percent within two days of the report. Company officials did not comment on the rumors when asked then by CMSWire.

Jive's last big release came in the fall for its flagship enterprise social software, as well as a cloud-based version of its customer community platform. The updated Jive offered expanded user profiles to help with finding experts inside a company through autosuggestions and a “360-degree view” of employees’ connections and experience. 

Cisco's Latest 

Cisco also made news in March when it announced it and Google were putting their enterprise collaboration faith into the little $200 laptop.

The companies announced at Enterprise Connect in Orlando a collaboration for collaboration software: the Cisco WebEx experience on Google's Chromebook and the integration of Cisco UC technologies into Google Apps.

The companies envision the partnership providing capabilities such as joining a WebEx meeting directly from Google Calendar, or starting an instant meeting from Google Contacts or the Gmail People widget. Cisco and Google Apps users will see features -- such as messaging, fax, click-to-call and Cisco presence -- visible alongside Gmail.

Running WebEx on Chromebook is a better experience than anywhere else, said Cisco's Rowan Trollope, a senior vice president of collaboration at Cisco.

How the company will integrate between Google and now Jive is yet to be announced.

Title image by Stefano Tinti (Shutterstock).