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Migrating from Jive to Office 365 and Beezy

8/5/15 3:12 PM

SharePoint is a powerful platform in many ways, but let’s be honest: it has always struggled with enterprise social. Microsoft recognized this a few years back, and made major investments in the social capabilities within SharePoint 2013 to "catch up" to where the rest of the industry -- and their customers -- were headed. And then the Yammer acquisition happened and their strategy changed, providing some new social capabilities but confusing the overall messaging for social within SharePoint. Don't get me wrong: Yammer is a good platform, and fills some of the gaps that SharePoint cannot cover without extensive customization. However, even the combination of SharePoint and Yammer falls short of what is wanted and needed by many enterprise customers.

In the years since the Yammer acquisition, a number of competitors have stepped up their efforts to lead customers away from SharePoint. One of the leading competitors has been Jive, a "communications and collaboration" solution provider that focuses less on documents and more on communities and social capabilities to capture shared knowledge and conversation. Jive does a nice job of combining many of the necessary tools and functionality of an Intranet with the power of enterprise social, using communities to develop crowdsourcing "hubs" to improve internal and partner/customer knowledge capture and sharing. Not that Jive is a perfect solution -- it does not have the breadth and depth of SharePoint's many capabilities. Within Jive, community activities are integrated with business processes through a siloed solution that is decoupled from the corporate IT stack and governance model. But the key differentiation between SharePoint and Jive – and the reason some customers end up selecting Jive – is the social capability of the platform. It's all about the user experience (UX). For organizations that want an enterprise social experience, SharePoint simply does not deliver.

At its core, Jive is first and foremost an enterprise social platform. This is an important distinction from the out-of-the-box SharePoint experience. Over the past couple years, rather than enhance the native features and provide an integrated solution, much of the community and social capability in SharePoint has been redirected toward Yammer. However, the links between the powerful document and process-driven activities in SharePoint and the community and collaboration features of Yammer are very limited. Basically, its just an embed feed, and with almost every customer we meet with, this falls far short of what is wanted and needed for enterprise social collaboration.

Customers want a native, integrated social collaboration experience -- not a disconnected experience across multiple tools and platforms.

For most enterprise customers who made the move to Jive, the constraining factor that caused them to move away from SharePoint -- whether on-premises or online through Office 365 -- was the disconnected social experience. Of course, there are customers who run both SharePoint and Jive side by side, using the former as their document and knowledge management repository and to power many of their business applications, and the latter to manage all of their communities and social interactions. Jive provides limited SharePoint and Office integration, but the primary activity and content creation happens within Jive, and as a result this creates yet another information silo.

We speak with many customers who would love to simplify and consolidate onto Office 365 -- but they are concerned about migrating hundreds, if not thousands of Jive communities, conversations, and content, or how a migration project would impact the UX. They want to know: What am I giving up by moving to Office 365? In our experience, about two-thirds of the features in Jive can map to a combined Office 365 and Yammer platform -- with some customization needed to maintain the same user and community experience. The remaining one-third requires major customization and app development, or just doesn't fit the SharePoint model at all. With this lack of parity, and the cost and unknown risks of migration, many of these customers are staying put on Jive, making it an expensive information and collaboration silo.

As I mentioned in a guest blog post earlier this year, Beezy is able to solve this solution gap between Jive, Office 365 and Yammer, and can migrate 100% of Jive communities, conversations, and content to the Office 365 platform (read the press release). For Jive customers, this means that you now have the ability to get the best of both worlds: the most robust Intranet platform on the market (SharePoint) combined with flexible and powerful enterprise social capabilities of Jive -- but built on SharePoint, for SharePoint.

Beezy can migrate 100% of Jive communities, conversations, and content to the Office 365 platform.

Beezy is not an add-on or social "skin" across the top of SharePoint, but a fully-integrated software solution. First, we provide software that makes SharePoint a streamlined experience across online and on prem environments, including Yammer. For example, if you've built out Yammer communities, none of that work will be lost. Beezy can provide true two-way integration between Yammer and SharePoint, and we can deliver this on prem, in the cloud, or in hybrid environments. We unify your SharePoint experience across farms, topologies, and geographies with a single enterprise social collaboration solution.

Second, we extend the social experience beyond what either SharePoint or Yammer provide on their own, delivering an award-winning user experience and cutting-edge enterprise collaboration capabilities. Things like Group and Project spaces, photo albums, Q&A sites, idea elevation, and many other social tools that only seem to be available in the leading consumer-based platforms.

Third, we have developed the ability to map anything and everything within Jive (as well as IBM Connections and Sitrion/NewsGator) to Office 365 and Beezy, allowing enterprise customers to consolidate their collaboration platforms to the Microsoft stack without the fear of losing data or community momentum. It’s not a matter of just moving content – we create the necessary placeholders in Office 365 for every content type and social artifact, which makes migration possible. This includes user profiles, personal newsfeeds, documents, discussions, picture libraries, calendars, blogs, tasks, metadata, and much more.

All of this and a dynamic, customizable, and award-winning UX. There really is nothing like it on the market today. If you are a Jive customer and you would like to know more about how you can make the move to the cloud with Office 365, it's time to take a look at Beezy.

Contact us if you would like a demo to see how Beezy can help you move your Jive environment (or IBM Connections, or NewsGator) to Office 365.

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