Jive IPO Proves There’s a Place for Social in the Cloud Channel
Jive Software provides a cloud-based social networking platform with a self-described mission of “[bringing] the innovation of the consumer web to the enterprise.” It partners with systems integrators and other channel pros the world over, including TalkinCloud mainstays CSC and Appirio. It also had its IPO Dec. 13, 2011, premiering at $12 a share and raising about $161 million.
Obviously, Jive isn’t the first cloud company to enter the wooly world of Wall Street — not by a long shot. But while other cloud companies offer social networking, Jive is the first to my knowledge that specializes in the market. And maybe its initial market success (listed as JIVE, it closed at $15.05 per share its first day on NASDAQ) has a little to do with the high expectations for Facebook’s inevitable IPO.
Regardless of the how and why, this market interest in social validates what Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff has been saying for months now: the enterprise market wants social tools. Thanks to what Jive calls its Alliance Partners program, MSPs can get certified in and develop solutions around Jive’s platform. That includes deployment, implementation and support, all through a fairly traditional channel program structure.
And so far it seems to be working out for Jive — it was able to have a fairly successful IPO, with that $12-per-share debut beating most estimates of $8 to $10 per share. I’m hesitant to be too optimistic based on one good day, but I have a hunch this is the first sign that when it comes to the cloud services channel, social is ready for the spotlight.