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To: stockman_scott who wrote (841)2/12/2012 9:34:23 AM
From: Glenn Petersen
2 Recommendations   of 1235
 
Jive Really Means Business

The "other" social networking company, a recent IPO, is effective in providing communication tools for employees, bosses and customers.

By MARK VEVERKA
Barron's
February 11, 2012

Jive Software ain't no jive.

The 11-year-old enterprise-software outfit is the "other" social-networking company. Sometimes referred to as Facebook for business, Jive (ticker: JIVE) provides similar communication tools for employees and bosses to talk and work together online within a protected environment. More important, it also allows employees to communicate with their customers and business partners to collaborate on common goals, such as sales and fulfillment.

Despite its hipster-ish name, Jive is serious business, says Chief Executive Tony Zingale. This isn't about chatting with classmates, posting pictures from vacation or trying to locate long-lost love interests. Jive is an example of how the Internet is transforming business communication. "We want to help change the way people work," Zingale tells Barron's.

Jive went public just about two months ago. Its IPO was a tad under the radar because it occurred just a few days before social-gaming zenith Zynga (ZNGA) issued its shares to the public on Dec. 16.

So far, Jive is holding up nicely. The shares, priced at $12, rose 25% to $15.05 on their first day of trading on Dec.13. After trading as high as $18, the shares closed Friday at $17.08 after the company earlier in the week reported its first quarterly results since going public.

The Palo Alto, Calif., concern's market valuation already hovers near the $1 billion mark, but that's chicken feed when it comes to social-networking valuations these days. Facebook, which has finally filed its papers to go public, is currently valued at $100 billion on the private market. Jive posted strong revenues that surged 53% to $22.5 million. A non-GAAP loss of 28 cents a share beat analyst expectations.

Morgan Stanley software analyst Adam Holt, who is bullish on Jive, was impressed with the company's results, saying it is "off to a good start." He points out that billings growth rose at a fast pace as Jive added new customers, such as Thomson Reuters, and was able to sell more services to existing customers, such as Hewlett-Packard (HPQ). The analyst foresees Jive being able to sustain 40% revenue growth.

CEO Zingale isn't just jive talking when he speaks about changing the way people work. His company produces tangible results, Holt says. It increases employee productivity by cutting e-mail traffic by 27% and lowers customer-service costs by reducing telephone calls by an average of 28%. Research outfit IDC sees employee collaboration and communication as a new business segment poised to grow at an annual compound rate of 8% for the next three years, adds Holt, who has a 12-month price target of $20.

Jive caught the eyes of some institutional investors, who were interested in investing in social-media companies prior to initial offerings, but were concerned about a number of risks involving financial transparency, corporate governance and unproven top management. Mike Stark, chief investment officer and founder of Crosslink Capital in San Francisco, said his firm passed on taking a pre-IPO stake in Zynga but opted instead to buy private shares in Jive. Zynga shares were priced at $10 and closed underwater on their first day of trading on Dec. 16 at $9.50. But on Friday, Zynga shares closed at $13.33, up 33% from their first day of trading.

It appears that social media are more than just fun and games.

online.barrons.com

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (856)2/12/2012 9:41:41 PM
From: FUBHO
1 Recommendation   of 1235
 
Google might launch Drive for cloud storage soon

February 12, 2012 by Nancy Owano
physorg.com



(PhysOrg.com) -- Google's next big move, according to the Wall Street Journal, is a cloud storage service called Drive. Hardly first to the plate, Google is simply catching up to introducing its cloud repository idea for mobile users. Apple, Microsoft, and Dropbox are known for their services, but stories about anticipated Google launches generally stir the waters and seed lots of news items and bloggers’ posts.


Google, as observers already point out, has significant “stickiness” with an array of services surrounding documents and communications; its extension into cloud storage is seen as important to watch.

Drive will allow the user to store files and retrieve the files from Internet-connected devices, be it smartphones, tablets, or any other. The launch is reportedly planned for any time soon—possibly in the coming weeks.

Information that can be Drive-stored is to include photos, documents, and videos, which would land on Google’s servers. This type of online storage system sounds familiar to those familiar with Dropbox, which has enjoyed success. Dropbox has 50 million users, according to reports, and similarly allows users to store photos, documents and other material so users can always access them from PCs, smartphones, or other devices. Google and Dropbox also bear resemblance in pay models--Google's Drive service will be free, but users who store large amounts of data will have to pay.

Similarly, Dropbox offers 2GB for free but collects $9.99 per month from customers who want 50 GB of data per month and Dropbox charges $19.99 per month for 100GB.

Apple offers iCloud and Microsoft, SkyDrive, but much of the press attention is focusing on Dropbox and what Google’s entry might do to threaten the popularity of Dropbox.

Another question being posed is whether Google’s business executives will be content with simply a tiered subscription payment model or whether the company will be getting into the more lucrative business of scanning the user’s data for the purpose of sending targeted ads. This might ruffle watchdog groups sensitive to threats to privacy.

Lastly, there is the all-familiar question about cloud storage versus maintaining security for large businesses. Some cloud-computing watchers worry over the idea of employees storing certain information on a service that the companies cannot directly control. Ensuring security measures to automatically stop people from sharing confidential documents has been one suggestion in the ongoing conversation about cloud services and security.

However, if Dropbox, which enables enabled iPads, Android phones and PCs to work together, is any indication, a number of businesses do feel comfortable about file-sharing services from Dropbox. According to a report last year in The New York Times, “millions” signed up with their work e-mail addresses to Dropbox and the company estimated that at least one million businesses used the service.

Yet another company, Box.net, has had success in targeting business customers by spelling out advantages of using its file-sharing services without incurring headaches over compromised security. Box.net tells customers that “protecting your corporate content is our top priority.” The company says it has invested heavily in security and resiliency at its data centers.


More information: online.wsj.com

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (856)2/13/2012 2:31:00 PM
From: Doren
   of 1235
 
How does this work: Jive

Anyone want to hazard a guess?

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (855)2/13/2012 2:41:49 PM
From: Doren
   of 1235
 
Workday sounds very interesting, but it also sounds like it will be a known quantity by the time it IPOs.

I would be interested to know more about this. Dave Duffield sounds like a guy who knows this business. He also sounds like someone who could lure talent away from Oracle. How would Workday displace PeopleSoft at Oracle?


Seems to me that Oracle would have most users by the gonads unless they are willing to go through a massive change, otherwise newer companies might be more attracted by better pricing. Does SaaS signifigantly cut cost so that Workday can offer services cheaper than Oracle/PS or are their software or services just better.


I can see Oracle as the kind of company that people don't like using but are forced to use.


Can anyone comment on this?

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To: Doren who wrote (859)2/14/2012 7:02:58 PM
From: sm1th
2 Recommendations   of 1235
 
I can only speculate on Workday, but have experience with Oracle and SAP installations. All ERP packages have a lot of implicit business processes embedded in them. If you are willing to bend your business to their standard practices, implementation is not real expensive. If you need to heavily tailor those packages to your business practices, implementation can run into $100's of millions.
The SAAS model tends to be less flexible than on site packages, as the provider has to operate and support the software, and are generally less tolerant of customization. I would expect with Workday, the customizations are much more limited, but if you can live with their standard solutions, it is likely less expensive.
In all cases, data and process migration from one solution to another is very expensive. There is tremendous lock-in once a system has been implemented.

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To: sm1th who wrote (860)2/15/2012 2:37:26 PM
From: Doren
   of 1235
 
Thanks that makes sense and clarifies my thinking.

So one quality that would be very advantageous for an SaaS company would be the ability for customers to customize their desktop experience.

Just thinking off the top of my head.


Seems to me that given database structures, that might be doable. Just a question of good designers and programmers.

Also seems to me that settling on a standardized database like SQL would probably be a wise move for at least smaller companies. I would imagine that SQL is neither as flexible, fast or capable as an Oracle system though.


er... Of course SaaS companies would have to have their own systems. I wonder what they are using, proprietary, SQL or even Oracle.




Price -
Flexibility -

(Pretty obvious.)

Usability - respect for designers (fat chance)
Speed - function of size


Now how would one go about finding this info and comparing offerings?

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To: Doren who wrote (861)2/15/2012 6:52:05 PM
From: sm1th
   of 1235
 
So one quality that would be very advantageous for an SaaS company would be the ability for customers to customize their desktop experience.

The desktop experience is much less important than the underlying business processes. To make a bad analogy to cars, the desktop experience is the color of the paint or interior. The underlying business processes are the engine transmission, and suspension.
One aspect of the SAAS business model is that in order to keep their support costs reasonable, they must have all clients on the same release of the core software. When they release a new version, they update all hosted customers. The more that they allow customers to customize the applications, the harder it is to maintain this model.
It comes down to a fundamental tradeoff on where a business thinks its competitive advantage exists. For non-critical systems, the SAAS model may reduce costs in non-critical areas. Payroll has been outsourced for most companies for years. For the systems that define a company's competitive advantage, they are better off with in house highly customized solutions. IMHO.

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To: sm1th who wrote (862)2/16/2012 1:23:56 PM
From: Doren
   of 1235
 
> bad analogy to cars


I was thinking more along the line of accessories - iPod dock - surround sound - TV - power windows... do any cars still have manual windows? Currently they are all powered by oil downloaded from Saudi Arabian servers.

Anyway along the lines of modular parts like Firefox has extensions. You buy the basic service then buy extensions as you need them or build them yourself.

OR standalone apps that access the servers.

Data is data on the server, if you can access it you can look at it in different ways.



The problems for me here is:

1) I don't have access so how can I compare services
2) I don't know anyone that can, for example compare netsuite with salesforce with workday. I would think only CEOs and CTOs get to do that

So I can't really approach any of these companies as a value proposition. Virtually no investors have that kind of access. That means all investors are either flying blind or approaching it from TA or sales/profits/estimates.

Hmmm.

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To: FUBHO who wrote (857)2/19/2012 11:05:55 AM
From: Glenn Petersen
1 Recommendation   of 1235
 
Apple’s iCloud Is No Dropbox Killer (It’s Much More)

Sarah Perez
TechCrunch
February 16, 2012

With today’s reveal of the next version of OS X - OS X 10.8, aka Mountain Lion – Apple is more deeply integrating its iCloud service into the operating system itself. No longer will storing your documents in the cloud feel like an extra, value-added feature – it will feel like part of the OS itself. The cloud is just another drive, Apple seems to say, and saving to the cloud should look and feel no different than saving to your Documents folder or your Desktop.

The idea, of course, is not novel. It’s what startups like Dropbox are doing today: making a drive that appears like any other, but that can be accessed from any machine. While on the surface, it’s easy to dub iCloud “Apple’s version of Dropbox,” the truth is actually more complex: it’s about building a new computing paradigm.

In testing the new iCloud integration in Mountain Lion, a file could be open in multiple locations – say, your Mac, iPad and iPhone – and when a change was made, it would appear almost instantly across all three devices in real time. You don’t have to wait for a notification, or reload the file. It just appears. While the immediate thought is that iCloud is rapidly turning into Apple’s own, improved version of Dropbox, it’s also a fierce competitor to Google Docs, and the long-rumored Google Drive.

With Google, however, the philosophy is that file creation itself can migrated to the cloud. An online office suite is “good enough,” if not as good, as a native one. And “good enough” will win due to ease of use. With almost a completely opposing view, Apple’s iCloud is doing the reverse: bringing the capabilities of the cloud to the richer, more robust native apps. This includes not just office apps in iWork, but through the use of developer APIs, it will extend to any apps that need to be iCloud-enabled. Although today, iCloud support is more limited for third-parties, the APIs will improve in time. Eventually, any app running on the Apple platform (desktop or mobile), will have the tools to move data between its different installations.

To make the transition to the cloud seamless, Apple has embedded the cloud deep into new version of OS X, right down to the “Open” and “Save” dialog boxes. Mac Store Apps will be able to immediately save to either the local file system or iCloud. The iCloud is also baked into the Finder, showing a realtime list of files, sorted by application. And managing those files has an iOS-like flare: you drag and drag them on top of each other to make a folder, for example. And even the background here looks like the iOS springboard.

But Apple’s iCloud is not just about building a better Dropbox – it’s about keeping everything in sync: Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Reminders, Bookmarks, Notes, Photos, Accounts, and more.

For now, the end user sees iCloud as this Internet location, as represented by a new choice to make: “save to iCloud?” As if the iCloud is merely an online storage bin! But this almost feels like a transitory step between the world we’re accustomed to - that of physical hard drives – and a future in the cloud. The funny thing about this in-between step is that it somewhat misrepresents the cloud in its attempt at simplicity. The cloud is not actually a “hard drive in the sky” (hello, Microsoft). It’s a tool that allows us to maintain a single computing environment, no matter where we are or what device we use.

http://techcrunch.com/2012/02/16/apples-icloud-is-no-dropbox-killer-its-much-more/

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From: Sr K2/20/2012 7:54:25 PM
   of 1235
 
news.investors.com

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