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Jive: Partner Program Fights Snake Oil Problem

Jive launches a unified partner program to match customers with tech vendors that the company trusts.
14 Leading Social CRM Applications
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Jive Software has introduced a unified partner program designed to match customers with trusted integrators and application providers, while also providing a more open apps market.

Jive wants to do a better job of connecting customers with "partners who are trusted by Jive for a great outcome," said Chris Morace, senior vice president of business development. "As the space has gotten more exciting, everybody's come out of the woodwork--some with good intentions, and some snake oil salesmen."

Known as the Jive Social Network, the partner program consists of alliance partners, strategic technology partners, and Jive Apps Market partners. Alliance Partners are systems integrators including Accenture, CSC, Infosys, Logica, and SapientNitro.

Jive Apps Partners include a longer list of firms that have built apps that conform to the Jive application programming interfaces, as certified by Jive, and will be available through its enterprise apps marketplace. Some of them are Appirio, Box, Gliffy, Jive Social Media Engagement, Lingotek, RoundPegg, Rypple, SalesCrunch, Spigit, SurveyGizmo, and Tungle.

"We're providing a path by which these applications can get into the enterprise in an approved and sanctioned way," Morace said. Jive will screen these applications for characteristics like scalability, but enterprise technology managers will also be able to decide which ones should be offered to their users.

Jive characterizes the Strategic Technology Partners as best-of-breed technology vendors and solution providers that extend its platform, including Alfresco, Akamai, and Appirio.

Jive will probably establish fewer strategic technology partnerships in the future, instead directing most technology providers to create apps for the app market, Morace said. By promoting a social platform that other vendors can easily integrate with, Jive hopes to prevent the creation of redundant social media experiences, such as multiple activity streams built into different projects, he said. "The last thing everyone needs is to use technology that's supposed to be about connecting people to create new silos."

Appirio, a specialist in integrating cloud services, is one partner that is participating in all three types of relationships with Jive. "I think that's what the next-generation partners are going to look like--with all three aspects in the stable," said Eryc Branham, general manager of social CRM at Appirio. The company is a strategic partner because of the Social Selling for integration it will have ready to launch with the introduction of Jive 5 later this month, and it also will be offering other applications through the apps market. In addition, Appirio will offer custom integration services for those Jive customers who need a somewhat different integration with Salesforce.

Appirio already offers a Google Apps integration with, and its integration apps are offered through the Google and Salesforce apps markets in addition to Jive's. "We're starting to see that more and more," Morace said, where the vendors of cloud services are offering their products through multiple apps markets.

Employees have more ways to communicate than ever, but until the mishmash of tools gets integrated, productivity will suffer. Also in the new, all-digital issue of InformationWeek: A buyer's guide to enterprise social networking. Download it now. (Free registration required.)