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Jive buys OffiSync to deepen links with Microsoft apps

The OffiSync technology integrates enterprise social collaboration software with Office, Outlook and SharePoint

Jive Software has acquired OffiSync, whose technology links Microsoft desktop applications with cloud-based enterprise social collaboration suites.

OffiSync, based in Seattle and with its engineering team in Israel, has 12 employees and is led by former Microsoft officials. The terms of the deal between the two privately held companies were not disclosed.

Jive Software, which already uses OffiSync technology to integrate its Social Business software with Office and SharePoint, plans to extend the links with those Microsoft products and add a bridge to Outlook in the third quarter.

OffiSync's technology is also used by other vendors, including Google for its Docs cloud productivity suite and Central Desktop for its hosted enterprise social collaboration suite.

Jive Software has no plans to change OffiSync's existing business partnerships nor to close off its technology compatibility with third-party suites, said Bryan LeBlanc, Jive Software's CFO.

However, Jive Software customers will see tighter and deeper integration between the company's Social Business suite and OffiSync, he said. "This brings a huge Microsoft expertise to Jive."

OffiSync's technology creates a bridge between Outlook, Office and SharePoint and enterprise social networking and collaboration software, like Jive Software's. That way, end users see features and capabilities from Jive Software or whichever suite their company uses within the Microsoft application interfaces.

When linked with Jive Software's suite, Microsoft users can tap features like joint document editing, microblogging, discussion forums, activity streams and employee profiles.

OffiSync also provides integration between Microsoft software and social networking sites like Twitter and LinkedIn.

Integrating their enterprise social networking suites with Microsoft's collaboration and communication applications has become a priority for vendors like Jive Software, which have realized that Outlook, SharePoint and Office remain entrenched in enterprises.

Rob Koplowitz, a Forrester Research analyst, applauded Jive Software's move in snapping up OffiSync. "The OffiSync technology is used by a lot of companies, so Jive has done a nice job of wrapping up this technology for itself, as an offensive move," he said. "The Outlook social networking integration is particularly compelling."

The acquisition also serves as a defensive strategy, eliminating the possibility of someone else buying OffiSync and cutting off Jive Software's access to it, according to Koplowitz. "It's a very interesting move on Jive's part," he said.


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