Jive Software, which makes social collaboration tools for the enterprise, has never been a fan of the “viral” model practiced by Yammer and some other enterprise-focused startups.Many of those companies use a free version of their service to get traction within a group or department, then later try and upsell the group or entire company to a subscription-based version of the product.
Jive has always approached enterprise sales in a more traditional way, trying to get entire companies to sign up.
But starting today, Jive will offer a 30-day trial version of its new cloud-based Jive for Teams product. It will be available for teams between 25 and 250,000 people.
The goal, says CEO Tony Zingale, is to reach important groups within big companies, like the corporate communications group at American Express, or the customer service group at a large Fortune 5000 company.
“We are not targeting small and mid-size businesses,” said Zingale.
After 30 days the trial will end, and Jive believes employees will find enough value that they’ll persuade their team to buy the full version. Eventually, Jive hopes that will get entire companies on board.
“It’s all about increasing volume opportunities for our very successful sales channel,” said Zingale. “We think this will end the ‘freemium’ debate forever.”
Jive also released an update to its platform today, with features like improved search (the technology came gained through last year’s acquisition of Proximal Labs) and integration with third-party Web sites, so — for example — two employees could annotate and comment on a sales report that appears on another Web site. It also features tighter integration with a bunch of third-party apps, so users can insert sales data from a CRM system (like Salesforce) without ever leaving Jive.