Enterprise Messaging: HipChat, Slack. Can Jive Chime Rise to the Challenge?

May 5, 2015

Not yet.

Jive just released its own version of Enterprise Messaging, and sadly, it is lacking in the extreme. The Jive website touts “Real-time messaging for your team”. This made me all giddy – might it just be another messanging vendor taking the plunge towards WebRTC?

No.

You can see the video here:

The feature dull list on the website include:

  • One-to-one and group messaging
  • Online status and read-receipts
  • Cross-platform communication
  • Public chat rooms
  • A variety of emojis
  • Robust security features

(and a few admin management capabilities)

That’s it?

What am I missing?

  • Basics. Ability to share images and videos
  • Ability to share links (and make sense of them, like Facebook, Slack and even Twitter offer already)
  • Voice and video anyone? Real time. Remember?
  • Searchability – it might be there, but no one mentions it or even shows it on the video as a capability
  • It is all downloadable apps. Even on Windows. There’s no web browser interface at all

Jive acquired Meetings.io 2.5 years ago. You’d expect they would be doing something meaningful with that acquisition, but it seems they just botched it. After so long all they could achieve is a simple text messaging app.

This product looks a lot like the feature set in the first Microsoft OCS (which was later renamed to Lync and then Skype for Business). Only it lacks all VoIP capabilities. This is not enough to warrant progress.

The pricing of Jive Chime is $2 per user/month. That’s the same as HipChat for less features, and a lot lower than Slack’s $6.67-99 per user/month price range. There are only three reasons why Jive went out with this feature set:

  1. They had pressure from management due to the success and moves of Slack (raised more money and acquired Screenhero) and HipChat (acquired Jitsi). So they took whatever they had in hand and released it
  2. Product Management looked at all the options on the market and decided to go spartan (not Microsoft Spartan) – trim down to the basics and have a product that is simple and focused
  3. Jive targeted its existing customer base only, so a less capable service that can be integrated in the near future with its other assets might make sense. You put it out the door to make sure your paying customers thing before they plunge towards a multi-vendor adventure

To become relevant, Jive Chime needs at the very least to seriously deal with integration to its other assets (and third parties), rich content and history properly. Voice and video would be obvious additions, though not mandatory ones. Having a browser version is also critical

Why is this important?

  • Many vendors are falling into the trap of what real-time communication is all about, focusing only on the real-time part of it – the here and now
  • Reality is a lot more complex. To manage a team, you need to have history and in must be searchable
  • Messaging/communications is either a feature or a platform. As a platform, it must include integration points – and a whole slew of them
  • The enterprise messaging space is becoming crowded. Understanding the core competencies necessary will be critical to succeed

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  1. All of your feature request are actually on the short-term roadmap (Ability to share images, videos, links, and search. Voice, video, and a web app are also on the roadmap).

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