Jive Software buys data-mining vendor for social analytics

Jive's purchase of Proximal Labs will help its ability to analyze an enterprise's "social graph"

Jive Software is buying data-mining startup Proximal Labs in a move that will help it derive deeper insights into social-networking data, the companies announced Wednesday. Terms were not disclosed.

Proximal has created a "web-scale, real-time machine learning engine for enterprise social systems," according to a statement.

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The technology will increase Jive's ability to analyze an enterprise's "social graph" -- the complex array of relationships between employees, customers, partners and vendors -- as well as deliver personalized search and content, according to a statement.

This will help customers find new business opportunities, help workers do their jobs more effectively and give managers insight into employee performance, Jive said.

"At Jive we believe that the future of work is personalized, giving people access to the right information and the right people at the right time to get their job done," Senior Vice President of Engineering Brian Roddy said in a blog post.

Proximal's team will become part of Jive's engineering staff, with its co-founder and CEO David Gutelius being named chief social scientist, Roddy added.

The deal is a no-brainer in the eyes of one observer.

"Developers of advanced analytic techniques often focus on specific kinds of applications," said analyst Curt Monash of Monash Research. "Even at SAS Institute, a lot of business is driven by specific applications they have built. It makes perfect sense for Jive to have picked out a specialist in the kind of analytics they needed."

Jive wasn't the only enterprise social-software vendor with an announcement on Wednesday.

Its rival, Socialtext, announced the availability of support for VMware. Customers will now be able to run Socialtext as a virtual appliance, giving them more flexibility over management and scaling of the software, the companies said.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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