Vendor Profile: Jostle
The Intranetizen team are often asked advice about intranet vendors that supply software and hardware solutions to run your intranet. Whilst we have 35 years of blue-chip intranet experience between us, in common with many intranet practitioners, we have relatively limited experience of the 200+ software systems that companies use.
To help you, to help us and to help the vendors themselves, we’re running a series of posts of over this coming week showcasing 5 intranet companies. We’ve supplied them with the same standard set of questions and will publish their answers in their own words to ensure equity! All the images have been supplied by the company themselves and are reproduced with permission.
Today, we showcase Jostle.
In a brief paragraph, who are you?
I’m the CEO and co-founder of Jostle, Brad Palmer. I’ve spent the last 30 years building and leading teams in a wide variety of corporate settings. LinkedIn profile.
Briefly describe your product’s history? Why did you start it, where does it come from?
Based on many personal experiences transforming teams and organizations, it was clear that cloud-based software could be used to help leaders connect workplaces, align teams and engage employees. Unlike our competitors, we did not start from the ‘bring Facebook to the enterprise’ premise.
For the past four years, we have been crafting our People Engagement® platform with challenging lead customers. Our focus is on truly enabling employees in the workplace and making them feel they are part of a vibrant, extended team that is accomplishing things together. Customers have proven that our platform is robust, truly engaging employees and driving culture. In recent months, we have started to move aggressively into the marketplace.
Describe your typical customer – what kind of company, what size, what are the kinds of problems they need to solve?
We target ‘up and comers’ – companies with 50 – 500 employees that are growing rapidly. Rapid growth threatens culture and breaks the systems that connect employees. Jostle can fix these problems in days, with a simple, elegant platform that does not inflict change to processes or IT systems. Larger organizations have these same problems – broken systems and disconnected employees – so we are also seeing much interest from big companies as well.
What do you see as your product and company’s USP?
Jostle is delightfully different, both as a product and as a company (check our Manifesto).
Traditional intranets quickly become cluttered with stale content and fail to engage employees –we are people-centric, build curation in and capture the real-time vibe of the organisation.
Enterprise social platforms require a huge culture shift to work, making them hard to adopt (people are busy at work – getting people to ‘follow’ and participate en masse is very difficult). Rather than force the introduction of noisy activity streams, Jostle simply connects people, uncovers hidden expertise and surfaces key information.
Which feature(s) of your product do your customers rave about most?
Our NEWS view, which captures the vibe of the organization and provides a simple ‘Shout-Out’ recognition feature.
Our PEOPLE view, which includes our powerful People Search technology (find people even when you don’t know how to spell their name) and the ability to filter by location and department.
Our TEAMS view, which makes it easy to form and reform teams, be they hierarchical or collaborative.
Our DIGEST is generated weekly for each user and delivered to their Inbox, keeping them connected to the latest happenings in their organization.
Which feature(s) of your product do you feel are most under-used?
Our What’s Happening activity stream. I see huge value in the concept of ‘working out loud’, but it demands an openness and taking the time to proactively communicate in a new way.
How much customisation does your product typically need / how much to you recommend your customers make?
None, our platform is truly turnkey. We work very hard to bring the utmost in usability and to deliver information in rich context. This involves the subtle use of color and placement. At first sight, widgets and skins seem attractive, but they very quickly lead to a cluttered, unattractive and unusable mess.
What advice would you give a company planning to invest in a new intranet platform? / what are the most important factors to consider?
What is your culture and how do you want to shift it? Who can capture stories from different corners of your organization that will reinforce your values and help employees see what is being accomplished together?
What’s your cost model? Free; one-off; per seat per month charging; something else?
Jostle is a secure, cloud-based software service sold on a subscription basis for $1 per user per month, plus a platform cost that depends on the complexity of your organization and any other enterprise systems you want to integrate with.
Who are your main competitors?
Traditional intranets (both SharePoint and ‘widget’ based) and first-generation enterprise social platforms like Yammer, Jive and Moxie.
What do you need from *your* customers to deliver intranet success?
An energized team of “news reporters” and a leadership team that sees the value of specific, real-time employee recognition.
What does the future have in store for your product?
Mobile is in development, including full deployment of our powerful People Search technology.
And an engaging new DISCUSSIONS view that will deliver threaded chat forums where conversations are tied into the full context of the organization.
What does intranet 2015 look like?
An intranet needs to do two things: enable employees and connect organizations. That’s what traditional intranets, Jostle’s People Engagement® platform, and enterprise social platforms all try to do.
Traditional intranets never worked well and are being rapidly replaced. By 2015, few customers will choose to build their intranets using SharePoint or other content-centric approaches.
Enterprise social is not working because they require a massive culture shift to adopt. By 2015, these platforms will have evolved considerably so they no longer presume mass collaboration.
By 2015, People Engagement® platform will have allowed organizations to evolve from content/tool driven to being truly people focused. Processes will shift from systems-centric to people-centric. Enterprises will allow people and teams to choose the point solutions (software tools) they want, taking advantage of our ability to clarify which tools people are using and where their data lies. Our platform will become refined to the point that it helps people navigate their workday in an un-obstructive and ubiquitous way, helping them get their work done and tap into relevant resources.
Who should Intranetizen readers speak with to find out more about your product?
The best way to understand our unique approach is to get a one-on-one demo or join an introductory group webinar. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange. You are also welcome to connect directly with me at email@example.com.
What question should we have asked? And if we had, what would the answer have been?
The question you are missing is: Stale or cluttered information kills intranets, how do you ensure curation happens?
Jostle uses four key methods to ensure curation happens:
- Automating the removal of items that are out of date.
- Making it easy to target information only to users that need it. For example, you can publish a NEWS Article to just a specific location or department.
- Ensuring curation responsibilities (ownership) is clear. It is easy to assign specific aspects of the platform (such as a family of project teams, or the content of a specific LIBRARY Volume) to the individual or team that is passionate about it. We make these content owners easy to identify and communicate with.
- Making manual curation easy. Providing content owners with clear data about how the community is engaging with their content (or not) and building in the simple tools they need to do a great job keeping content current and organized.
The complete set of Intranetizen vendor profiles can be found here. Look out for more profiles in the coming days.