Jive Software made three announcements at JiveWorld today: 1) Over 50 developers have committed to developing applications for the forthcoming Jive Apps Market. 2) The release of Jive Social Media Engagement 4.5 3) The release of Jive Mobile 4.5. The products - along with Jive's flagship SBS product - work together to combat what Jive staff call the Social Frankenstein - the monster enterprises end up with when they try to stitch togethers disparate wikis, blogs, external social networking accounts, and other tools.
Jive Apps Market
Christopher Lochhead, Chief Strategy Advisor at Jive, says he's blown away by the level of interest" Jive Apps Market has generated since it was announced in June. Fifty developers - including Box.net, GetSatisfaction, Gist, Gliffy, Tungle, and UserVoice - have signed on to create apps that will be available through Jive's platform.
Jive Social Media Engagement 4.5
Lochhead says Social Media Engagement 4.5 brings improved real time response tools to the platform. But what he thinks really sets the product apart is that it's not designed "solely for the five people in the interactive marketing group."
According to a press release, Jive is introducing "both a stand alone social media engagement solution along with an option to have it integrated for an unlimited number of people with its broader Engage Platform." Jive allows users to track an unlimited number of keywords and search results.
Lochhead hopes that Jive's new licencing structure will encourage employees from throughout the enterprise to use the product. "Engaging on the social web is something everyone wants to do," he says.
The release of Jive Mobile 4.5
Jive also announced Jive Mobile 4.5 - a completely HTML5 based suite of social media apps with native support for Android, BlackBerry and iOS - plus mobile web support for any WebKit based browser.
Jive Mobile is available as both both an internally and an externally facing set of apps - meaning Jive users can re-brand the Jive apps to serve their own customers.
Monolithic Solutions or Specialized Tools?
Jive holds three coveted leadership positions in Gartner's Magic Quadrants: "Externally Facing Social Software," "Social CRM," and "Social Software in the Workplace." But many other players like MangoSpring, Salesforce.com and Socialtext are working hard in this space. And new players are rapidly emerging - Yammer recently announced its plans to branch out beyond just microblogging.
Meanwhile, other vendors like Kindling and StatusNet are focusing on doing just one thing and doing it well. There's something to be said for avoiding the Social Frankenstein, but one can't deny the appeal of simple tools that excel in one area - especially if it means letting individual teams pick the tools that work best for them.
What do you think? Do you have a preference for suites of interoperable applications, or do you prefer highly focused single use tools?