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5/23/2011
05:49 PM
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Jive Software Acquires OffiSync Tools For Microsoft Office

Outlook users will get social collaboration through Jive and public social communities.

Jive Social Networking Capabilities In Outlook
(click image for larger view)
Jive Social Networking Capabilities In Outlook
Jive Software has acquired OffiSync, a maker of Microsoft Office plug-ins that will allow Jive to embed its enterprise social networking capabilities in Outlook.

Jive did not disclose the terms of the acquisition of the Israeli company, which is already complete. Founded by a team of former Microsoft employees, OffiSync has been marketing tools for integrating Microsoft Office with Google Docs since 2009 and is the top-ranked Google Apps Marketplace add-on for document management. Oudi Antebi, OffiSync's co-founder and CEO, will become Jive's senior vice president of enterprise solutions.

Jive CFO Bryan LeBlanc said OffiSync will continue to support other partnerships and integrations it had established as an independent company, but Jive will put the main emphasis on integration with its own product suite. "We see it continuing as a separate add-on to our product line, meaning it will be sold as a module on top of the Jive platform," he said in an interview.

Jive had been "a close partner" with OffiSync for the past year, LeBlanc said. Because of its Outlook integration, OffiSync can "bring the social experience to where people are spending the majority of their day," he said. OffiSync and Jive can be used together for collaboration on documents. For example, multiple users could make edits on a shared PowerPoint document while carrying on conversations in a sidebar OffiSync adds to the user interface, he said.

The integration the two companies currently offer will get "deeper and broader now that we're one company," said Patrick Lin, Jive's senior VP of product management. "We're bringing personal productivity together with group collaboration."

The Outlook integration is particularly important because it allows users to "promote an email into a Jive conversation" and carry on collaborative processes in a more efficient way than they could through email.

"We'll liberate that content to be shared in a more efficient way--as opposed to 'reply to all,' which is the tool you've had socially in your inbox for the past 20 years. You could say this will be the end to 'reply to all,' " Lin said. The OffiSync team members will also be the lead developers on "a series of Microsoft integrations," he said.

OffiSync's integration with Microsoft Office is available now for Jive 4.5 and the forthcoming 5.0 release. The Microsoft Outlook integration will be added in the third quarter. In addition to connecting to Jive, OffiSync will provide connections to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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