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Collaborative Conversations: Ryan Rutan, Community Marketing Manager for Jive Software

We’re big fans of Jive Software here at PGi. Both our internal employee community and our external service communities such as the iMeet Community and GlobalMeet Community are powered by the Jive platform.

It seemed fitting, then, to interview Ryan Rutan, Community Marketing Manager for Jive, about the significance of both Jive as a platform and the increasing trend of social technologies becoming legitimate collaboration tools for businesses of all sizes.

Ryan Rutan, Community Marketing Manager for Jive Software

Give me the elevator pitch – briefly tell me about Jive Software and the Jive platform.
Jive’s leading social platform is the new way work gets done, delivering real business value and measurable business growth.  The dynamic platform connects employees, customer and partners in structured, actionable workflows for increased productivity that contributes to top line growth.

In huge letters on your company’s vision page it says “We believe social business is the future.” Why does Jive believe that?
2013 is the year that the social in the workforce goes mainstream because it has consistently shown it delivers real business value to people and companies.  This was affirmed by a recent research study that found that companies who used the Jive platform reported 15% increase in worker productivity and up to 4% increase in topline revenue.   This was further backed up by a McKinsey & company report (The Social Economy, 2012) that stated social technologies have the potential to unlock anywhere from $900 billion to $1.3 trillion in annual value by means of improving employee collaboration and in turn, on-the-job productivity.  Between Jive’s proven track record for delivering business value to its customers and these findings, our belief that social business is the future is mighty strong!

What is it about today’s society that makes “social” so powerful in all aspects of our lives?
For years, enterprise software has dictated what was possible in terms of innovation; however, with the advancements of social, cloud, and mobile technologies, pressure is being brought to bear by the consumer realm and forcing everyone to question the enterprise tools they use to get work done.  It is this new found existence of “choice” that makes social so powerful in today’s society. Trends such as “bring your own device” and “consumerization of IT” are just tips to the iceberg.  Soon, people will do more than just ask for better tools.  They will demand them, and the spoils will go to companies who recognize these trends and act accordingly.

What would you say to someone who says that “social” is what you do on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and has no place in the office?
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are instruments by which “social” has found success in the consumer space.  That’s it.  They are not an end-game, nor a master-set of all that is possible using social technologies.  Twitter-esque activity streams don’t deliver increased productivity or revenue.   And chatting about the soccer game after work doesn’t make employees better engaged or more productive.  Social in the workplace is about improving operational efficiency and corporate awareness through better collaboration.  Side-effects include a more connected and social workforce; however, it is how “social” technologies entice people to leverage that “connectedness” to impact the company in a significant and measurable way that makes all the difference.  This makes “social business” offerings like Jive extremely relevant!  Especially when we talk about impacting top line revenue growth.

If a business is considering going social, what business or cultural factors should they consider before taking the plunge?
At this point, if you are just considering “going social”, then you are probably already late to the party.  Based on The Social Economy, a McKinsey & company report, nearly 70% of companies use social technologies, so the chances that your competitors are already using social are quite high.  But its important to recognize that there’s no harm in being fashionably late to the party.  Now isn’t the time for reactionary measures.  It’s time to make the right decision and choose the right platform(s) for the best long-term results and value.  That starts with understanding your company’s needs and working with proven experts to understand how social can make an impact.

PGi’s iMeet Community, powered by Jive Software.

It seems like, with such a robust platform, that the variety of use-cases between businesses would be huge. What are some examples of different ways companies are using your platform, particularly ways that may have surprised even you?
As a former Jive customer, one of the selling points that drew me to Jive was its adaptability.  It is a platform that enables people to assemble, organize, and execute … fast.  This makes it applicable to practically any business use-case.  Granted, most Jive implementations start as either social intranets, customer service communities, or sales execution platforms; however, here are some of the more interesting ways Jive has been taken to that next level to add even more business value:

  • Managing events, including pre-event organization and the pre/during/post attendee collaboration experience.
  • Orchestrating joint product development efforts among partners, customers, and employees.
  • Enhancing executive communications reach and employee engagement.

I want to know how the experts do it – what’s your absolute favorite, must-have, use-it-everyday feature of Jive?
It has to be the embedded “@mention” and “!App” experiences in Jive.  “@mentions” are a great way to embed references to a user, place, or piece of content.  Not only are they in-context, but they are a powerful collaboration paradigm that allows collaborators to bring people into a conversation (exactly where they are needed), or let a people know when they, or places they are interested in, are being discussed.  Very powerful in terms of keeping people in-the-know for their areas of interest.

In the same light, “!App” experiences allow you to embed rich App experiences into content where they are contextually relevant.  Consider people discussing a trouble-ticket from a remote system, or perhaps people working together to compose a diagram/chart for a presentation.  “!App” experiences allow you to embed the “ticketing system” or “diagram” app interface directly into the conversation, allowing users the ability to launch and take permissioned actions, all from the comforts of relevant content.

For more great insights from Jive on the future of business collaboration, don’t miss their chapter in PGi’s latest free eBook!

Have more questions for Ryan? Reach out to him in the Jive Community or leave a comment below!

About Joshua Erwin

Josh is a content creator and strategist with a passion for all things tech, such as the latest gadgets, apps, games and more. Josh loves listening to and playing music and is a big college football fan, especially for his alma mater Georgia Bulldogs. When not writing for PGi, you’ll find him gaming or drumming on Sundays for the Atlanta Falcons.

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