Wolfe's Den: Talking Enterprise 2.0 With Jive Software CEO Tony Zingale - InformationWeek

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Alexander Wolfe
Alexander Wolfe
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Wolfe's Den: Talking Enterprise 2.0 With Jive Software CEO Tony Zingale

If you don't embrace a social platform in the next year or two, you'll probably be out of a job, says the chief executive of the company which wants to provide that platform.

When I opined on Enterprise 2.0, back in June, I complained that the biggest impediment to the adoption of social collaboration tools in the enterprise has been the fact that the benefits are difficult to quantify.

Over the past six months, the obsessive focus on coming up with an ROI for E2.0 seems to have abated. Instead, it's pretty much become received wisdom that we're all going to be using these tools, and probably sooner rather than later. No enterprise 2.0 app has become more firmly established than the wiki.

If you're using a wiki, there's a very good chance you're working with an instance provided by Jive Software, either on premises or in the cloud. I should caveat this by noting that Jive would say they offer much more than wikis. Their main product used to be called Jive Clearspace; now it's called Jive SBS, for social business software, which reflects its broader, platform nature. However, to keep things accessible in plain English, it's fair to say their basic underpinning is a wiki.

I sat down with Jive Software CEO Tony Zingale [picture, upper right] at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Santa Clara, Calif. I apologize for the lag -- the event took place last November -- but Tony's insights remain worthwhile.

Zingale took the helm of Jive Software as interim CEO in February 2010; that appointment was made permanent in May. Zingale came to Jive from IT management software vendor Mercury Interactive, where he was president in 2006 when HP acquired the company for $5.1 billion.

During the past year, Zingale has significantly revved up Jive's footprint, making a number of smart moves to position Jive not just as an app but as a platform. First, Jive created the Jive Apps Market through which users can fold additional apps -- such as Box's file-sharing tools or Brainshark's multimedia presentations -- into the instance of Jive they're running. Jive also entered the Google Apps Marketplace, though which customers could try free trials of its software.

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