Microsoft Is Moving Too Slowly On Social Features For Office, So Jive Is Filling The Gaps

Steve Ballmer Microsoft CEO

[credit provider=”Dan Frommer, Business Insider”]

Microsoft is gradually adding social and online collaboration features to Office and its other products, but Jive Software is here now for businesses that don’t want to wait for Microsoft.The company been around since 2001 but Jive started getting some real buzz last year with a $30 million investment from Kleiner Perkins and Sequoia, along with some positive reports from analyst firms like Gartner.

Today, Jive bought Israeli startup OffiSync, which helps users collaborate on Microsoft Office files that are stored in Google Docs, for a rumoured price of between $25 and $30 million. 

Jive is already similar to some of the things Microsoft has been doing with SharePoint Server and is planning for Office 365, and the OffiSync acquisition brings it even closer.

OffiSync is add-on software for Office 2003 and later that makes it work better with Google Apps — you can save files directly to Google from the Office app itself, and can collaborate in real time.

Google released a similar product, Cloud Connect for Office, back in February, making OffiSync look a little bit redundant. But Jive will now integrate the product into its own platform, which will smooth the whole collaboration process — for instance, if you attach a PowerPoint to an email message, recipients will be able to see and edit it together without ever having to leave Outlook.

This video has a good overview of how it all works together.