Jive Software, one of the stronger stand-alone players in the ultra-competitive market for modern collaboration software, is adding idea management to its arsenal with Jive Ideation March 2.
A module that snaps on to the company's Social Business Software suite of collaboration applications, Jive Ideation helps employees, customers and partners form communities around specific ideas, such as product or service creation.
For example, product and R&D employees can organize and prioritize ideas by stage, most popular ideas and most active discussions. These ideas may be voted on, shared and discussed using the wiki, social networking and other collaboration tools in the Social Business Software suite, Jive CMO Ben Kiker told eWEEK.
Jive Ideation may also be used in conjunction with the social media monitoring capabilities of Jive Market Engagement, which lets marketers get a handle on what users are saying about their brands on Twitter, Facebook and other social networks.
It's this sort of combination of collaboration, social networking and idea management that marks a departure for companies whose ideas "die on the vine" because they used Microsoft Excel or other productivity tools that don't have a collaboration component to help multiple colleagues, customers and partners work together, Kiker said.
Kiker said Jive Ideation is being used by the SAP Labs unit of the enterprise software maker, Alcatel-Lucent, digital map maker Navteq and interactive agency Molecular.
Available now, pricing for the Jive Ideation module starts at $20,000 for existing customers of Jive Social Business Software.
In the future, Kiker said Jive plans to add enterprise microblogging functionality to SBS akin to products from Socialtext, Socialcast, MindTouch and Yammer, among others.
While Jive is ramping up its organic software development under new CEO Tony Zingale, Kiker didn't rule out the possibility that Jive might buy a startup in this area. Yammer, Socialtext and Socialcast all augmented their microblogging products this week.
To wit, Socialcast launched its new Ease enterprise activity stream engine software March 2.
Socialcast's microblogging suite features a new real-time interface that combines corporate employee status updates with information from existing business applications, such as Microsoft's Outlook e-mail client, which is used by more than 500 million users.
Specifically, a new Outlook connector integrates Socialcast Ease into the Outlook application, allowing users to spice up the e-mail app they're familiar with, with microblogging. Interestingly, this integration comes several months after Jive created a similar bridge between SBS and Outlook.
Socialcast offers Ease two ways: via an SAAS deployment hosted by Socialcast or as an on-premises solution. Customers may use VMware, Hyper-V or other server virtualization platforms to run Ease as a virtual appliance behind the firewall.
Ease also features Socialcast's Social Business Intelligence analytics suite, which provides customers with window views into employee trends, topics and conversations across microblogging and other social activities.
Ease integrates with Microsoft Outlook 2007 and 2003. The company plans to hook into several popular business applications in 2010. eWEEK guesses integrations with Salesforce.com, SugarCRM or other enterprise apps are on tap.