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Life After Jive-x: Choosing a New Home for Your Customer Community

Billy, a former Jive Software employee, shares his perspective on which customer community vendor is the best choice for Jive-x users.

If you’re a Jive-x customer, you know Khoros has given your external community platform an official end-of-life date: December 2020.

This announcement got me thinking about my time at Jive Software and my transition to Higher Logic. I started at Jive in 2007 when the platform was still known as “ClearspaceX.” After Jive was acquired and things started changing, I knew I wanted to continue building customer communities that would make a difference for organizations and their members, but where to do it?

I joined Higher Logic because I saw (and see) in them a company who is passionate about community networks and understands the power of engagement to transform businesses and the customer experience.

As you decide on a new platform for your customer community, I think your journey will mirror mine. One of the most important questions I asked, and that you should ask too, is whether the vendor shares your vision for how a customer community should be defined and what it could potentially become.

The Search for a Company Who Understands the Power of Communities

At Jive, I had spent years explaining (and seeing in action) the value of promoting a true customer lifecycle network for engagement across a variety of use cases. Instead of starting or ending with support, these use cases saw peer-to-peer support as one key point along a longer and more meaningful end user journey.

I was aware of Jive’s competitors in the space, but I didn’t want to join a community vendor focused on traditional forums and a support-only mentality.

With this view in mind, I chose Higher Logic. I was excited to find Higher Logic pioneering the vision that true communities are built for end-to-end lifecycle engagement consisting of a wider variety of end user touchpoints and advocacy opportunities.

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4 Reasons Higher Logic is the Best Jive Alternative

You can classify community vendors in two ways: Vendors building for quick transactions and vendors building for sustained engagement. Although this is oversimplified, these categories help explain what I mean.

Vendors like Salesforce, Khoros, and Vanilla focus on short burst transactions very specific to questions only, while Jive-x and Higher Logic focus on creating longer term engagement options centered around expertise sharing at all levels. Each focus has different results, and we’ll look at Jive-x and Higher Logic’s:

1. Shared Goal of Engagement

Higher Logic is a solution that is fundamentally user-centric and focused on the customer lifecycle instead of being built around an isolated feature. Jive-x was intended to be a lifecycle platform as well.

Whether you have already adopted this holistic approach in your Jive-x community or you’re still aspiring to – you should take a deeper look before you move to a provider like Salesforce, Vanilla Forums, or Khoros where community structure and features can encourage noisy, break-and-fix forums where users come, get an answer, and often, leave.

Check out rankings for online community providers on G2.

Unlocking community’s benefits to your company relies on shared experiences and return visits for more than one business need.

If you want to create a customer hub that drives retention, reduces costs, creates a better product, and grows your brand, you have to build a true community network where people want to engage, and not just when they have a problem.

Higher Logic has tools that encourage customers to come, return, and stay longer once there.

We envision our community product becoming a comprehensive resource for your customers that’s focused on customer engagement in a variety of ways.

From a practical standpoint, this means focusing on development of user groups, communities of practice, event sub-communities to generate event networking year-round, advisory boards for feedback, and ongoing education and enablement that permeates the network. You need tools that truly support the full customer lifecycle on the backend as well, like admin automation triggers, permissioning, and a modern advocacy practice.

You can see this approach of repeat engagement lived out in the way Jive-x and Higher Logic’s communities are structured.

2. Community Structures Align

One thing that can make a community migration tough is when the structure of the data between the two communities doesn’t align. But the good news about a Jive-to-Higher Logic migration is that we have similar community infrastructures.

Jive-x and Higher Logic are organized in a way that makes sense for customers and admins – by topic, rather than by feature. Your Jive groups and spaces contain every feature related to that topic, like resources, discussion threads, blogs, and events.

Higher Logic’s sub-communities act in just the same way. Again, because the products have very similar structure and permissioning, a migration is fairly uncomplicated (a “lift and shift,” if you will).

If you think about it like buying a new home, this is good news: You can bring the things you love about your current home (size, number of rooms, and what goes into each room), but also enjoy new luxuries along the way.

In fact, via our microsite abilities, we even allow you to add a few “income properties” that can create new and unique entry points for users to discover event pages, multi-lingual options, or entire product portfolio landing pages. These are not just new groups, but entirely unique landing pages within the same community.

But there’s more. You’re going to gain more community management control, with fewer tedious management activities.

3. Better Admin Tools for Community Management

Within Higher Logic, you have access to a variety of administrative tools for community managers that make day-to-day moderation much easier. You have:

  • Automation tools to encourage engagement with pre-built and configurable communications campaigns
  • Flexible control of the look and feel of your community with a unique CMS editor (and drag-and-drop widgets similar to Jive-x for quick changes—no developer needed)
  • A robust bidirectional integration with Salesforce CRM that allows for better alignment and data integrity, empowering you to:
    • Provide your customers a prescriptive view of community content and suggested activities from their first time in by mapping data attributes to community security groups
    • Capture valuable customer insight by writing back over 300 community activities to Salesforce and beyond—Higher Logic customers can harness this insight and channel it into customer success and marketing tools like Gainsight and Marketo

At the end of the day, personalization in a community, along with reducing overall noise, can drive more adoption than any single feature could ever hope to.

4. Product Innovations

Although development post acquisition was assumed for Jive-x, it didn’t happen, and there have been relatively no improvements on the Jive platform since 2017. And most of the institutional knowledge, in the form of subject matter experts on Jive-x, dispersed post-acquisition.

The reality is that you will need to migrate your community to a new platform by the end of this year.

If you want a community vendor who’s heavily focused on growth and innovation, Higher Logic is at the center of this effort. Our commitment to customer experience ensures that we’re delivering new functionality while continuing to support and enhance the assets that will boost your most common use cases.

We released an exciting roadmap to our customers at our annual conference, Super Forum, and we’re making updates and progress every quarter, as well as keeping our customers in the loop when things change.

Our upcoming updates include:

  • More flexibility for customer support use cases, like new Q&A features
  • Additional ticketing platform integrations
  • Refreshes to the UX
  • Increased moderation power

Higher Logic is the Natural Evolution of Jive

Yes, moving can be hard – but it’s also a prime opportunity to evolve what already exists into something refreshing and new.

When migration is inevitable, why not make it easier on both your administrators and your end users by choosing Higher Logic? Our experience and mindset will help create a smooth migration process.

If you want an extra dose of strategic guidance, you can even work with one of our in-house community managers and strategists to help streamline the process.

With a Higher Logic customer community, you can help end users keep doing what they’ve always done on Jive-x: Be rewarded for their efforts; join areas of interest or education where they can open, consume, or create any type of content; share feedback with your teams; or network with peers.

I’m sure you have a lot of questions about what migration could look like. Get in touch with us and schedule a conversation with someone on our team.

Billy Volpone

Billy, a Senior Community Strategist at Higher Logic​, has been working professionally in the enterprise community space for over 13 years, with a focus on both customer and member networks, along with employee intranets. His expertise helps clients leverage strategic use cases within a community network to drive sustained adoption over the long term with end users, as well as with creating clean and compelling user experience models.