SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Zeus Kerravala
Zeus Kerravala is the founder and principal analyst with ZK Research. Kerravala provides a mix of tactical advice to help his...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Zeus Kerravala | May 01, 2014 |

 
   

Cisco Dances With Jive

Cisco Dances With Jive Instead of chasing a market filled with big-name software companies, Cisco decides to partner with Jive and focus on what the company does best.

Instead of chasing a market filled with big-name software companies, Cisco decides to partner with Jive and focus on what the company does best.

The term "Jive" can refer to a type of music, a dance, or to engage in kidding. It appears that to Cisco, the term Jive has a similarly multi-layered meaning: The company tried to dance in the social media space for years but has had limited success. So instead of jiving itself further in believing it's better to build its own social platform, the company announced it would now partner with social media specialist, Jive Software.

As part of this agreement, Cisco will immediately stop selling its own product, WebEx Social (formerly known as Quad), and Jive will become an integrated component of the Cisco Collaboration suite and will be sold through the Cisco channel and massive partner network. I've heard a few rumblings that Cisco was looking to acquire Jive to bolster its collaboration platform, but its looks like those were fueled by the partnership discussions, not acquisition talks.

Cisco has told its WebEx Social customers about the plans to discontinue that product, and it will continue to support the cloud product until June of 2016, and the on-premise version until June of 2017, so I certainly don't expect any customer churn based on this announcement.

Through the integration, Cisco and Jive customers will get a number of cool features, including the ability to invoice, join and launch a WebEx, or start a Jabber chat session from within Jive. This enables employees to find and collaborate with content experts seamlessly instead of having to log in and out of different systems and maintain separate workflows. Also, the two companies will conduct some joint product engineering to deliver more innovative features, bringing more value to both groups of customers.

For Cisco, social certainly isn't new. The company acquired collaborate.com late last year and had a plan to enable workers to launch WebEx meetings from with the collaborate.com product. Prior to that, Cisco had acquired Utah Street and Five Across, so the company certainly has understood the value of social and is now using a best-of-breed partner instead of building it in house.

For Jive, the value is obvious. It has a big name in social today, but competes with some other big-name companies with huge channels, such as Microsoft with Yammer and Sharepoint, Tibco with Tibbr and IBM with its Connections product. The opportunity to sell product through Cisco's massive global channel is certainly a boon for a company that small in comparison to the competitive field.

For Cisco, the move is interesting but consistent with the other announcements the company has made over the past year or so. Cisco seems content to do what it does best instead of throwing more resources at a market that's too established or too far afield from Cisco's core for it to win.

For example, earlier this year at the 2014 version of Enterprise Connect, Rowan Trollope, Cisco's SVP and GM of Collaboration Technology Group, announced it was partnering with Google to enable WebEx to run inside Chromebooks. While Rowan didn't give a lot of details of the future of the relationship, the partnership gives Cisco a strong partner in the e-mail and office productivity areas. If you recall, Cisco once took a run at the e-mail market with the acquisition of PostPath, which became WebEx mail. Again, instead of chasing a market that's well established, Cisco said adieu to PostPath and is using Google as a partner.

The same thing can be said with Jive and social. Instead of chasing a market filled with best-of-breed companies and some big-name software companies, partner with Jive and go focus on what the company does best.

Expect Cisco now to focus on enhancing the WebEx meeting experience, Jabber functionality (particularly mobile) and video conferencing. At Enterprise Connect, Trollope had made comments about being focused on making video technology pervasive and changing the meeting experience. He also discussed how the majority of conference rooms have no collaboration equipment, so making that the primary mission of Cisco's Collaboration group seems to have more upside than chasing social. Enterprise social certainly complements that, but would also be a distraction from the core products that Cisco sells today.

As an industry, we used to debate and anticipate what the next big product announcement from Cisco was going to be. Given the shift in strategy, perhaps the next big thing from Cisco will be another partnership rather than a home-grown product.

Follow Zeus Kerravala on Twitter and Google+!
@zkerravala
Zeus Kerravala on Google+





COMMENTS



Enterprise Connect Orlando 2018
March 12-15 | Orlando, FL

Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem


Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

September 20, 2017

Customer experience can make or break your business. But how do you achieve outstanding customer service when you're dealing with outdated organizational structure, lagging technology, dated proces

August 16, 2017

Contact centers have long been at the leading edge of innovation in communications technology, given their promise of measurable ROI and the continual need to optimize customer interactions and sta

July 12, 2017

Enterprises have been migrating Unified Communications & Collaboration applications to datacenters - private clouds - for the past few years. With this move comes the opportunity to leverage da

September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.