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JiveWorld 2016: The view from the floor

JiveWorld 2016 has come to a close in Las Vegas after two days packed full of keynote speeches and breakout sessions from a range of Jive executives and guest speakers.

CEO Elisa Steele kicked off the event by outlining the company's vision for the future of work at the opening keynote, with the highlight of day two being a talk from futurist Brian David Johnson.

The great thing about events such as this is that they provide a pretty good insight into the general mood around the company, offering two days to walk around the expo floor and hear from a mixture of Jive employees and customers. So, 18 months on from the last JiveWorld in 2014, what did I take away from the event?

Well, the general feeling seemed to be a positive one. According to Jive's effervescent CEO Elisa Steele, the company is "closer than we've ever been before to profitability," which is firmly an area of focus: "It's something we are committed to and will make happen."

The company also has a clear plan for 2016, with Steele pledging "laser focus and execution." In terms of sectors, Jive has always shown a strong interest in healthcare and this is something which is set to continue in the coming months, thanks to the company's strong "point of view around the market," the fact that healthcare has budget to spend and its level of knowledge from existing customers. Healthcare even featured prominently in the opening keynote, with Melanie Wong, VP of strategy and business development at MD Anderson, taking to the stage to talk about 'the business of fighting cancer.'

As you would expect, there will be more of a focus on cloud - in line with current market trends - which customers are responding to: "Our cloud product is now more mature and our customers are turning to it." This transition has been a tricky one in places, with Jive attempting to balance its existing customer base with this new strategy. According to Steele: “we’re through the tough part of the transition where our product wasn’t quite ready but we wanted to transition" and "last year, 90-plus per cent of our new customers joined our cloud.” This puts Jive in a strong position moving forward to further develop its cloud products and strategy in order to maximise the potential that cloud offers.

In today's digitally crowded and diverse world, there is always the danger that a company's strategy can become confused and over-complicated. Jive, however, is going in the opposite direction. The idea of keeping things simple was a mantra repeated on several occasions throughout JiveWorld, both by Steele at our media roundtable and by David Macmillan - Jive's head of EMEA - who spoke about “trying to pay better attention to a simple execution” and ensuring "the simplicity of our focus."

All in all, JiveWorld painted the picture of a company emerging from a period of change in a strong position and, as 2016 continues to gather momentum, it will be interesting to see if Jive can do the same.