Jive-x Customers: We Want YOU on Salesforce!

James Davidson | March 5, 2020

If you haven’t already heard from Khoros (which is the rebranding of Lithium, the company that acquired Jive-x), the Jive-x product will be sunsetted on December 31, 2020. As a Jive-x customer, this leaves you three choices:

  1. Retire and migrate your Jive-x community to Khoros community product
  2. Select another niche provider like Vanilla Forums, HigherLogic or Influitive 
  3. Create an experience on the Salesforce platform using Community Cloud

For those of you considering these options, I want to make the case for the third.

Why Salesforce: Make this Migration Your Last Migration

The top-cited reason for community platform migrations is a legacy platform’s inability to adapt to changing business needs.

As a former Jive premiere partner and consultant who has personally implemented many Jive-x communities, I know and recognize that the product used to be a market leader. With that said, my experience also tells me that most Jive-x customers have been left with a product that has received no notable upgrades or features since 2014. 

Conversely, Salesforce, which launched its Community Cloud product at the end of 2013, has invested heavily in its product and added literally hundreds of community features over the last 7 years. These features and enhancements, published on a three-per-year release cycle, solve user and business challenges that Jive and other standalone community platforms cannot without heavy customization. Dig into a Salesforce Community solution and you will undoubtedly uncover easy fixes to use cases that are near and dear to your to-do list.

And unlike the vague, directional roadmaps of many legacy platforms, there is no doubt that this level of investment will continue. At Dreamforce ‘19, Salesforce shared their Digital Experience Platform (DXP) vision that placed Community Cloud firmly in the center.  It’s a bit hard to interpret this graphic if you don’t speak Salesforce, but I would like to direct your attention to the slide title and white lettering in the top blue box. Community Cloud is how Salesforce is doubling down in their strategy to compete as a leading DXP.

Community Cloud: Salesforce's Digital Experience Platform

In addition to its focus on the experience,  Salesforce continues to invest in the seamless alignment of Community Cloud across their entire product suite, including Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud and Einstein Analytics. This is a product and platform that is going places!

This gives me a moment to call out the biggest difference between niche community providers, like Khoros and Higher Logic, and Salesforce. When you choose to build your customer or partner community with Community Cloud, you get so much more than an out-of-the-box, configurable-without-code engagement solution. You unlock access to the extensibility of the entire Salesforce suite of products. In fact, others in your organization are likely already using Salesforce for CRM, customer support, case management or marketing automation. The Salesforce platform allows you to natively integrate your digital ecosystem, removing data silos and building a repository of actionable insights that will make your business better.

I will conclude this section by stating my argument as clearly as I can: You’re having to migrate because your legacy platform was both small enough and successful enough to be absorbed by another company, which then chose to let it die on the vine. When you choose to migrate your community to Salesforce, it will be the last time you need to migrate your community. You won’t be left behind, because the nearly $14 billion platform is only going to get better.

Why 7Summits: Choose to Work with the Experts

7Summits are the community experts. No one has built, migrated or been recognized more in the space. From being named a Jive MVP Partner in 2012 to being the Salesforce Innovation Partner of the Year in 2015, we continue to live up to our mission of creating online community experiences that transform businesses and enhance people’s lives. 

And if you’re looking for more recent credentials, we are recognized as an expert on Community Cloud by Salesforce and our customers, plus a Best Place to Work and a Fastest Growing Firm. While we cannot share all of our customers here are two recent and publicly accessible Jive community migrations that we have completed:

Net-net we have got you covered because we understand the intimacies of both Jive-x and Salesforce. Plus, we have mastered migrating to the Salesforce platform. Allow me to tell you more…

Why 7Summits: Accelerate Your Migration

Community migrations are more complex than traditional software platform implementations. The most important reason why is that your existing users are accustomed to your user experience and features. While we never recommend a “lift and shift” or “your mess for less” approach to migrations, we also are hesitant to toss out the baby with the bathwater. You have made implicit (and sometimes explicit) commitments to your members about what they can expect from your community experience. Because of this, we strongly believe in letting your community strategy guide your implementation.

The second reason community migrations are more complex than traditional software implementations is that while Jive-x and Salesforce Community Cloud share many similar features, there are major differences that require strategic decisions. Documents from one space are knowledge, documents from another space are news, and from a third space are Chatter. It is critical that early in your migration journey you define your business goals and user needs, and work to align these with Salesforce capabilities. The Salesforce platform allows for infinite customization to meet your business goals and user needs, but intelligent planning and creating a content strategy that maps to Salesforce’s data model and community constructs will save time and money in the long run.

Finally, as I mentioned before, it is likely that your organization already has an existing presence on the Salesforce platform. Merging your community assets and data into an existing org naturally adds complexity. It’s important to involve an inclusive group of business and IT stakeholders from the start of your migration journey to avoid missteps and duplicate work tied to accommodating existing business processes.

7Summits has developed two proprietary Accelerators that help overcome these challenges, reducing both the time to launch and cost of your migration.

Community-Migration-AcceleratorOur Community Migration Accelerator tells you what content you have, gives you the power to decide what to keep and what to retire, and lets you choose how the content will appear in your new community experience. After all that planning, the Migration Accelerator then transfers the content and assets being kept into your new Salesforce Community Cloud experience. For my tech readers, this Accelerator has a Jive data extraction utility built as a Jive Add-on, which allows for decoupling the migration from the Jive environment. The Migration Engine enables configurable data transformation logic, Salesforce API access and auditing of before/after migration records. So with the Community Migration Accelerator, your data is ready to go into a new org, but how is it going to render to you and to your users? That is where our Customer Experience Accelerator comes in. 

The Customer Experience Accelerator is a pre-built, pre-configured, and highly customizable template for a customer community. The Accelerator reduces your need for custom development by giving you full (source code) access to more than 80 proprietary Community Cloud components that allow for accurate brand identity representation and are specifically designed for customer engagement and self-service enablement.

These technology Accelerators, plus 7Summits’ full breadth of competencies, means you can deliver a solution to your organization that unlocks true business value. When you partner with 7Summits you get a comprehensive approach that includes user experience design, solution architecture, content planning, and change management counseling.

So, What Do You Do Now?

I’ve done my best to lay out why you should consider Salesforce and 7Summits for your community migration. If I haven’t convinced you yet, at least allow me to give you a little free advice. When migrating your Jive-x community to Salesforce there are a number of considerations and preparation steps you can take to get ready:

    • Your Users: A community is about supporting your users. If you are planning to move platforms let them know early and why. We have witnessed some migrations where the users are the last ones to know and it created unnecessary friction and blowback for the community managers.
    • User Experience: Users are accustomed to the user experience, navigation, layouts and functionality of your Jive community. Ensure you invest time in your migration project plan for change management to create an onboarding guide, quick start videos, FAQs to guide users.
    • Community Structure: Jive and Salesforce community constructs and functionality differ. Learn about Salesforce Community Cloud features, templates and differences with Trailhead (Salesforce’s free online LMS) ahead of time.
    • Retention versus Retirement: If your Jive community has been in existence for a while you likely have A LOT of redundant structure (e.g. spaces/groups), inactive users and old content. Do some spring cleaning and remove old data.
    • Quality of your data:  How clean are your Salesforce accounts, contacts and users? Will Jive users match to your existing Salesforce data or will they be imported and created as new accounts, contacts and users? 
    • Future Opportunities: Challenge yourself and your organization to leverage the Salesforce platform to extend and integrate content and user experiences into additional business processes and close gaps that Jive never could.
Final Thoughts

Salesforce is committed to being the leader in Digital Experiences, and Community Cloud is their way to deliver on that commitment. What does this mean for you as a customer? Here are a few exciting possibilities:

      1. Enhanced peer-to-peer forums and support communities
      2. Next-generation portals that blend transaction data with social collaboration
      3. Articical intelligence, chatbots and data driven guided next best actions
      4. Community websites that blend traditional CMS with community features
      5. B2B and B2C Commerce solutions that blend sales with integrated collaboration and support

Beyond these next-generation digital experiences, there are dozens of other use cases that Salesforce addresses across your customer journey:

Despite our experience, no migration is ever the same. We are happy to discuss your needs specifically and share a proposed timeline and estimates for your migration. December 31, 2020, will be here before you know it. Let 7Summits be your guide on building your next-generation Digital Experience on Salesforce Community Cloud.

James Davidson is a Principal Consultant at 7Summits. He helps clients articulate their art-of-the-possible vision and shape their roadmaps, unlocking opportunities to integrate audiences to drive the greatest business value. James brings more than 15 years of experience in management consulting, global community and Salesforce delivery execution.

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