Technology has changed the way businesses communicate with their employees and customers. Email became the essential business tool in the 1980s, Web sites in the 1990s and social networks and apps in the past decade. However, many are viewing Social Business Software as the next big thing for businesses.

Social Business Software is basically a Web-based application that allows businesses to turn their online properties into the hub of their social networking activity which allows greater communication among employees and customers. It brings social networking to the workplace.

Jive works with a range of companies including Cisco, Yum, VMware and Nike to build enterprise 2.0 collaboration and management tools. Jive SBS integrates the functionality of online communities, microblogging, social networking, discussion forums, blogs, wikis, and IM under one unified user interface. For example they help Nike build social communities around specific sports and built the Nike+ community.

With a new generation of workers who are more accustomed to working online, Jive is attracting a large amount of VC funding ($57m) and high profile Palo Alto execs from Google and Facebook.

BCW spoke with Tim Zonca, Jive Software’s Director of Product Marketing at the Cloud Computing World Forum, to get an insight into how social business software enables a new way of working.