I just took a briefing from Jive Software about their new innovation management tool, Jive Ideation.  The fact that Jive is now formally dedicated to the innovation space is significant – a move that has ramifications for the broader innovation management market, and for sourcing professionals. 

Forrester has been covering the innovation management market for several years, and written about it as a “unique” market.  We have always, however, recognized that the distinctions between this market and other markets — particularly the social collaboration market — were thin.

The arrival of Jive into the ideation space shows just how thin those boundaries are.  Jive has made a name for itself over the past few years as a social collaboration tool.  The company differentiates on its ability to connect a wide variety of enterprise users (both internal and external), and integrate easily with a host of technologies – making it appealing to a range of business and IT buyers.  Since collaboration is a critical component of innovation, its not a stretch to see how Jive’s collaboration tools can be applied to their client's innovation objectives.

For the typical sourcing professional, who may be struggling to consolidate a variety of social collaboration tools, Jive’s innovation modules will be appealing.  There is certainly value in having the flexibility to integrate social collaboration capabilities seamlessly with innovation/ideation work. In just the past few months, we have had more questions from sourcing professionals about which innovation management companies are sophisticated enough to scale across their organization. 

Is the arrival of Jive a big problem for innovation management companies?  Not necessarily.  Since most dedicated innovation management companies understand innovation at a deep level, they still have an opportunity to differentiate themselves in ways that Jive will not/cannot.  On the other hand, a simple idea management tool – particularly one that has focused primarily on building technology capabilities and not innovation expertise – will feel more pressure from this fast-growing competitor.  

This market is changing every day – and I'll be writing about these changes in April.  If you have thoughts, please feel free to comment.