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Jive Honors Innovative Social Software Customers

Jive gives top award to PricewaterhouseCoopers, with prizes for Deutsche Bank, Verizon, Premier Farnell, Millward Brown, and HealthFitness.

One smart tactical decision the steering committee for the project made was not to call the initial implementation a "pilot," Young said, after a colleague warned that "if you call it a pilot that will be the kiss of death because inherit in the word 'pilot' is the idea that it might be taken away." When the Jive network instead launched as "wave 1," it turned out that every part of the business wanted to be part of wave 1, she said. "They wanted to be part of something big."

Business units also found creative ways of boosting employee awareness, like the Spark balloon the French team lofted outside its offices.

Another of the winners, Premier Farnell, was recognized for its work with Jive's software for managing customer communities. Since 2009, the electronics products and services firm has used Jive as the basis of its Element 14 community, which caters to both professional technologists and hobbyists. In the category of "Engaging Customers," Premier Farnell tied with Verizon Wireless and the community for its mobile phone customers.

"Community is one of the hardest things to keep going, but after having good, consistent, linear growth for the last 2 years, around March of this year, we started seeing double and triple-digit growth," Dianne Kibbey, head of the Element 14 community, said in an interview.

This was largely a result of Premier Farnell's distribution agreement for Raspberry Pi, a credit card-sized Linux computer that sells for $35, including shipping. Created by an academic team in the U.K. that wanted to promote education on computing fundamentals, Raspberry Pi has been embraced by the do-it-yourself (a.k.a. MAKE) movement, and Element 14 has established itself as the community for people thinking of ways to use these devices. "The initial inventory we had sold out within minutes," Kibbey said.

Kibbey said her team has customized Jive's social software over the years to add features it lacked, but is progressively phasing out those customizations as the product fills in the gap. One customization that will remain is the social commerce component of the community, where the website makes it easy to click through from a discussion about an electronics component to the corresponding product page where it can be purchased, she said. "It's given us this whole different way to lightly market to our customers in a way that's acceptable for a community." Enthusiasts for Raspberry Pi and other products typically want to know what accessories and complementary products are available, "and they make the choice to go over and buy it," she said.

Verizon's customer community was recognized based on the scale of its deployment and the positive reaction from customers. "Because of our implementation of Jive, our community has become the center of excellence in peer to peer content," Lauren Hickey, community manager at Verizon Wireless, said in a statement.

For "Engaging Employees," the judges selected Millward Brown, a leading global research agency specializing in advertising, marketing communications, media, and brand equity. Judges cited the enthusiasm exhibited by Millward Brown's user community and its wide, global user adoption, with 86% of employees using Jive five months after its initial rollout.

"This was a true team effort and Millward Brown is proud of what we have achieved. We are especially pleased that the judges characterized Greenhouse, our Jive community, as an 'impressive, flawless implementation and the essence of what social is about,'" Deepa Ramesh, the community manager, said via email. "We use Greenhouse every day and it has become a key part of our employees' daily working lives. It has really transformed the way we share knowledge and collaborate across the globe."

Jive also gave an award to HealthFitness, which runs employee health and fitness programs for corporate clients, as an early adopter of Jive for Teams, a cloud hosted version of the Jive social collaboration software aimed at midsize businesses and divisions within larger companies.

Unlike the other awards that went to companies, the Jive "New Way to Lead" award was designed to recognize an individual or project team responsible for orchestrating a successful rollout and adoption. John Stepper, managing director at Deutsche Bank, won for driving a Jive implementation that now reaches more than 33,000 Deutsche Bank employees. "After years of trying to modernize our intranet and our collaboration tools, Jive has--within just four months--become the single best way to leverage people and content throughout the firm," Stepper said in a statement, saying the social network "has driven real value in our organization through faster problem solving and increased productivity."

Follow David F. Carr on Twitter @davidfcarr. The BrainYard is @thebyard and facebook.com/thebyard

Social media make the customer more powerful than ever. Here's how to listen and react. Also in the new, all-digital The Customer Really Comes First issue of The BrainYard: The right tools can help smooth over the rough edges in your social business architecture. (Free registration required.)

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