ThreeWill has been fortunate to work with some of the most innovative companies in the world through the years (including Atlassian, Informative Graphics, Accordent and JackBe, to name a few). But, perhaps there is not a better example of an innovative company than Jive Software. They lead 3 of the Gartner quadrants for Social Software in the Workplace, Externally Facing Social Software, and Social CRM. This month we would like to recognize Bill Lynch, Jive Software’s Co-Founder and a Vice President of Product Management, as March’s ThreeWill Hero.

[cb type=”person”]Bill Lynch[/cb]

The Backstory

The most innovative companies have the brightest and best working for them – this usually means that they are not willing to go outside their organization to be successful. Much like our hero from last month, we need to have someone that is willing to give us a try. That person was Bill Lynch.

A lot of things led up to us working with Jive Software. One of the most important was the work that we did with Atlassian for the SharePoint Connector for Confluence (read How We Did It coverage from the SharePoint Product Team blog). Jive was looking to take a similar approach for a SharePoint connector for their product. Fortunately for us, they were willing enough to look for an outside partner for help.

Support To Be Successful

It’s safe to say that building “world class” integration between two complex software platforms could be one of the most difficult ventures out there for software development.

Although we had a leg up experience-wise with the integration that was built with Atlassian, we still had a long road ahead of us. Bill had the patience to see this integration come together and in general the whole team at Jive treated this as a team effort. Throughout the development phase we worked as one team (even through the stresses of release deadlines). This is the recipe for success for a successful endeavor between two companies. We have transitioned off our development efforts to their capable engineering teams and today we are focusing on making sure that the integration is successfully deployed to the field with our Jive Packaged Services offering.

Building On Strengths

As with Confluence, there is plenty of overlap between SharePoint product features. The difference with Jive (as we would soon find out) is that people fall in love with their product. And with Social, this experience of falling in love with the accompanying high adoption is key.

At ThreeWill, we believe that using SharePoint and Jive together is a great solution for a lot of enterprises – especially for enterprises that demand “best in class” solutions. But, in a world of limited enterprise funds of course there are times in which the two products compete. Sophisticated buyers recognize that both Jive SBS and Microsoft SharePoint are platforms with their own strengths. It’s been a blast to see companies that are putting Jive (with its refined Social UI and branding options) together with SharePoint (the “Swiss army knife” of ECM platforms).

Extra Support

Bill has also looked out for us as a company, providing sound advice and even making introductions to other companies. A great case of this was an introduction last year to Zvi Guterman of Cloudshare. These introductions have helped us grow and thrive through the years and we are grateful for the doors he has opened for us.

Humbly Confident = “GNAC”

When you work closely together on a product you get a sense of whether there is a cultural fit. On one occasion, Tommy and I were talking to Bill about how it was important for us to find “humbly confident” people for ThreeWill (we were probably talking about Chris “Bazooka” Edwards). Bill related this to a similar Jive value – a “GNAC”. This stands for good natured a** kicker. Love it.

Today (and Tomorrow)

Jive is making bold moves today and we can’t wait to see what is in store for the company through the next couple of years. We’re excited about the upcoming version of Jive and the new opportunities for developers to build on the Jive Platform. We have no doubt that it will be a wild ride and we look forward to being a part of that journey. Bill, thank you for your support through the years and the trust that you have put in us.

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