Jive and Radian6 Partner: Great For Business, But Could Fragment IT Systems

Altimeter Group Logo Left Image: Companies can monitor and manage the discussions in their marketplace, screenshot of Jive Market Engagement

This post was collaboratively written on a wiki with my colleague R “Ray” Wang who focuses on enterprise strategies such as CRM. My focus is on customer strategy which encompasses social technologies. Together, we’re covering convergence of the emerging and incumbent technology systems, he’s cross-posted on his own blog.

Summary: Jive Offers Brand Monitoring Using Radian6 –Empowering Companies To Quickly Respond
Jive Software made an announcement that they’re now incorporating listening service Radian 6 into their community platform suite, they dub it Jive Market Engagement. This gives internal teams that manage brands, topics, or influencers to discuss, manage, and assign tasks to follow up with real world –and real-time market events. An example? A company selling headache relief medicine can quickly be alerted to conversations with mommy bloggers in the social sphere, discuss in an internal, private community powered by Jive, then decide on how to quickly take action before it escalates.

Currently, companies are doing this in a mish-mash of manual efforts using scraped together RSS feeds, Google alerts, and Twitter clients. The benefits of this partnership? Companies can now become more organized around the real-time web, develop a process to quickly respond and therefore be more reactive to customers. Yet, despite the automation upside to brand and customer management, this causes yet another disparate pool of customer data that IT departments will have to splice together –potentially giving customers a fragmented view. Companies should nod to this latest trend of social business software converging with existing company systems and develop an information strategy.

Macro market forces foster new trends in adoption and risk:
Despite this announcement, there are greater trends at play that impact both business and IT side, be aware that:

Diverse systems converging, resulting in greater speed but more complexity
The push to improve customer intimacy, move to a proactive customer experience, and convergence of Web 2.0 with enterprise class social business apps, drives new models and solutions. We’re tracking this living breathing reef and see social software, CRM, brand monitoring, email, and mobile quickly converging.

More “CRM” features being deployed, without involving the CIO
Jive’s offering is really a customer relationship module in disguise, yet because of the web based offering, marketing can implement this psudo-CRM solution without involving IT. We continue to see technology adopted from business units -often at the frustration of not getting on the IT roadmap during budget tightening times.

Greater exposure to risk, as more siloed customer information fragments enterprise systems
Being responsive to customers is ideal, but in the long run, it’s not truly effective if you can’t integrate it with your sales, service, or marketing systems. In the end, fragmenting customer data will result in disjointed user experiences for customers as separate departments will have disparate data for each customer.

Jeremiah (business side) and Ray (IT side) come from completely two different worlds’ speaking two different languages. Yet they both know that these new technologies are going to force IT and Marketing to quickly come together. Expect to see more joint-blog posts merging these two groups together, because customers don’t care what department you’re in –they just want their problems solved.

Ray’s Take: For the CIO
Expect a proliferation of social media monitoring solutions to emerge with a tie back to CRM, eCommerce, project based solutions, and collaboration software. Disparate sources will create fractured customer experiences. Single 360 degree view must be assembled and reassembled.

  1. Find tools to aggregate these new channels and sources. Consider how these new social business software platfrms will integrate back into data warehouses or customer interaction histories.
  2. Focus on data integration skill sets as process, data,meta data across hybrid deployment models.  Data integration and master data management will play a role here.

Jeremiah’s Take, For the CMO
Marketers should continue to be responsive to the real-time web, but quickly develop processes that involve other customer touchpoints such as support, service, and product development into the mix

  1. Don’t limit your responses to the corporate communication team and brand monitoring team –cascade this information quickly. While the discussions that will be had in Jive’s community platform will help to aid the customer triage problem, be sure to tie the process and data back to other customer facing teams. Remember, customers don’t care which department you are in.
  2. Use imported social data to create topic based aggregations. Looking forward, use the data that brand monitoring companies are unearthing and turn your product pages into trusted aggregations of conversations –not just static product pitches. Learn how future webpages will be more like collections of customer conversations.

Related Resources

The Altimeter Group is a strategy consulting firm focused on providing companies with a pragmatic approach to emerging technologies. Note: Ray had a minor changes and links added, which I’ve updated since original post.

  • I can relate to your point #2. It is difficult for IT to be as responsive in these efforts as parts of the organization that are used to monitoring external media. Why should Corporate Communications have to wait for IT to make a decision on tools? How can IT support the entire organization if each department goes and does what it pleases? It is important to establish internal communication and have all the participants understand the strategy that drives the company in the use of real time monitoring.

  • Good post yet again Jeremiah – I am so glad you are pushing on this theme of having social media become part of mainstream customer communication which must involve corporate infrastructure. Many regulated industries are required to save all correspondence (not least government entities) and social media cannot be immune to those requirements. Social media, while wonderful fun right now, feels a little like the wild wild west and it is time to bring in the sheriff (CIO) even though there will be many that fight it.

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  • Jeremiah:

    familiar with “R6”. What’s the relationship between Jive and R6 and what additional functionality is Jive offering?? Can’t see it.

    Telerx Marketing

  • Barry Peters

    Jive and Radian 6 launched a partnership. You can now access Radian6’s brand monitoring features through the Jive platform. It’s white labeled, so you really only see it as like a Jive module.

    This gives companies who want to not only monitor their brand a dashboard, but also an internal community who wants to discuss it a place to gather.

    As mentioned above –this is what most CRM systems should (but aren’t) be doing.

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  • Yes, yes, and yes. You guys hit the nail on the head!

    re: Ray’s take… absolutely agree! As social media is becoming more central to all business functions which have customer touch points, it becomes more important to tie all sources of customer conversation data together to provide a consistent & integrated customer experience. We believe it is important to go beyond isolated point solutions toward a platform approach which can integrate the social media content (and associated internal conversations/engagement/notes/etc) into the appropriate enterprise systems such as CRM, collaboration software, etc. That is the driver behind our platform strategy… where Radian6 now supports integration with CRM (Salesforce.com), Web Analytics (Webtrends) and now the Jive community platform suite.

    Re: Jeremiah’s take, I love the focus that this statement brings, “customers don’t care which department you are in”. It highlights why social media should not only be the domain of a single department. The second point you made is so smart… regarding moving from static product pitches to collections of customer conversations. I love the concept of integrating these conversations into web pages. This approach is *so* much more authentic and effective because people will trust a (user) community’s opinion much more than company’s marketing speak – so why not embrace this?

    Glad to see you, Jeremiah, & Ray working together (I had a chance to meet Ray at our “Rockstars of Social CRM” event in Boston). I look forward to more thought leadership from you guys.


    CEO, Radian6

  • I’m wondering if Jive will be adding this to their Express product (someone said it’ll be a module, so it doesn’t look like it). We’ve been evaluating software like Jive’s and it seems that unless a company is willing to make a pretty major IT investment, they’re going to be left behind the game. It’s pretty much something like Jive, Webtrends, Radian6…or free tools like Google Alerts. There’s a few things in between, but the difference between the high end and low end solutions is night and day.

  • If this is delivered in the normal Jive on-premises fashion, there’s no way marketing can implement this without IT, unless they are experts in Java, Tomcat, RDBMS, etc. IT can implement it without integrating with CRM, though – but you have to walk before you run, and there are significant and currently insurmountable problems connecting Twitter & FB back to your customer records.

    We listen all the time with free tools, but haven’t implemented a formal listening tool like Radian6 yet, because we don’t yet have the internal resources to sort through the noise – this kind of tool may be the right lightweight process, a sort of reddit/Digg for internal response and brand monitoring.

  • Great news for Jive and Radian6. I just led the team that launched MyBlackBerry, BlackBerry’s official social community built in Jive. This is a a perfect partnership enabling brands to monitor the consumer conversation’s in their Jive communities.

  • Marcel of Radian6, thanks for the commentary.

    Cory the jive team is watching this, I hope they respond to your question.

    John, Jive and the other community platforms have custom development shops that can do everything your IT department can do –except for the permissions to the network. However, if it’s a customer focused community –you don’t need permissions. The admin capabilities can simply be protected through Jive logins. A marketing department can do this without the IT department. That’s not important, the real question is: What will IT do to catch up before business units do this? Saying no isn’t sufficient.

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  • Hi – I’m the prod. mktg mgr. at Jive focused on this new offering and wanted to respond to a couple questions/comments above.

    Cory and John, to your basic q around ‘how easy is this to get up and running?’
    Answer – extremely easy. We’ve worked very hard to create a solution that makes it simple for the business user to get this up and running, leveraging both our cloud-based infrastructure and wizard setup process for the community itself. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised in terms of how we’ve been able to lower the threshold at many levels to start utilizing the solution.

    Barry, to your q on additional functionality that Jive is bringing to the table – the functionality is focused on a true integration by means of one click to share dashboards, reports, and all widgets from the social media console (R6) within the broader team or employee community. There’s a great article that just came out specific to National Instruments and how they’ve been using Radian6 and Jive, and will now be leveraging our new solution. http://bit.ly/2rAjTz.
    To learn more though, check out our upcoming webcast where I’ll be going thru this solution in much more detail. Reg form here – http://bit.ly/3i33e

  • Great post guys! As you know, I’ve been impressed with R6 for a long time (since seeing R6 demo at SNCR’s New Comm Forum 2008). I’m wondering about the risks though. Appreciate what you’re saying — that info can’t be left in a silo. Would like to see more on the implementation best practices and risks. Doesn’t a one-department solution create a pretty serious set of risks in two fronts?

    First, in the area of response — multiple points in the company responding to the same person at same time. Keystone cops scenario.

    Second, in the area of data integrity — different ways of capturing, storing and tagging events; overlapping but not identical sets of events being captured. Dirty data scenario.

    Again, I’m an advocate of these types of solutions. See them as nice step forward for PR dashboards and CRM systems. Just think there’s need to talk about basic steps for a holistic company-wide implementation.

  • Barbera, those are exactly the risks. Business units now all have exposure to customers through the advent of social tools. As a result, they’re developing their own data repositories of customer info. Expect this to continue till IT teams catch up.

  • It’s great to see CRM moving to social media, it’s very dangerous to do relationship in marketing the way it’s done in Support centers:

    1- The risk with the “call center approach to marketing” is that marketers will lose the strategic aspects of what marketing is really about: we do we target?, what value do we have to offer?, which “attribute” do we want to own?, what position do we want to defend?

    As an example, in marketing/branding, there is as much value in the “absence of mention” than in what is said (i.e keywords monitoring). If out of the 1000’s key people in IT security, most of the influencers never talk about Symantec. That’s a problem.

    The focus is on the target, not on the most vocals.

    This calls for marketers to use different solutions than customer service reps ones. Ones with a much higher level of control over where and with whom they spend their time.

    2- I don’t see communities in the picture.

    Reducing social media marketing to marketing on the new “social channel” misses the true revolution: tribes.

    Again, relationship and trust in the tribe does come from regular interactions with the community members. Some of that will be triggered by “sentiment mentions”, but most will not.

    3- At the end of the day these internal community platforms (Jive and others) compete with Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs and Twitter.

    Every employee only has a few hours a day for the social process.

    He does have some personal benefits in spending this time on FB, LinkedIn, his own blog, Twitter. He is aware (or will become soon) that he has to build his personal brand (people like you, R Scoble, Charlene Lee were wonderful at doing it).
    And if he ‘s a marketer, he knows he’s not going to find a lot of industry experts, clients (maybe a few), partners, competitors, non clients to engage in conversations internally on his own turf. Or if they do, they will not have the same un-biaised conversations as the ones on the open web.

    Social web is pervasive, communities organize around center of interest and with rare exceptions (Obama, iPod) brands are not the corner stone of these commnunities (Mommy bloggers, Hard gamers, Geeks).

    This is scary for brands but this is the real revolution and I think the sooner brands accept it and look at leveraging instead of replicating inside their garden walls, the better.

    Thanks for the article !

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  • Dominic you’ve raised a question that I have had for a while. If you are a company that has a huge brand presence already, it makes sense to have a ‘walled garden’ style community site. You bring your strong fanbase in closer and stronger.

    If, however, you don’t have a strong brand presence then what do you do? A small, relatively unknown company can leverage existing social media platforms to grow their reputation, but at what point do they create their own community? What about senior management who want their own community because they don’t think that Twitter/Facebook/whatever is business oriented enough and they want their own customized place?

    There are still a lot of consumers and small business owners who haven’t adopted social media for business use – how do you engage them as a community?

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