Just like other competing providers, Jive Communications offers a user portal interface. As such, users are able to manage their account directly—i.e. view account information (lines, extensions, log in records, reports, etc.) as well as configure and manage their system (hold music and sound clips, local and corporate directories, schedules, permissions, and other systems settings). Though Jive’s portal includes a variety of options, many of its functionalities can be found within competitors’ portals. Despite this, the provider implements a highly user-friendly, step-by-step approach within their interface. As a result, users, both new and old, are fit with a highly intuitive user experience.

As stated above, Jive Communications’s portal includes many of the same functionalities as providers’ portals; however, the provider still manages a fresh approach in framing their portal differently. With Jive, there is less of a sense of restriction and more room to explore. In doing this, the provider utilizes a step-by-step approach in which every location builds off the last. While this can sounds complicating, its accessible and very helpful. First off, the portal is split into two halves, the Support Center and PBX Management. The Support Center is the basic support platform, which allows users to view and submit tickets, as well as includes Knowledge Base, User Profile, Organization (Your business info), Preferences (Time Zone, language, etc.), and more.

In addition to this, the Knowledge Base offers bundles of information with a number of guides for users and administrators, mobility, and FAQs. As such, each option offers different features/functions. For example, the User Guide includes: Getting Started, Register For a JiveID, End User Portal, Make Calls, Jive Desktop, Transfer, Eavesdrop, Conference, Star Codes (*), and Voicemail. Separate from this, the Admin Guide includes: Getting Started as well as Network Requirements & Best Practices, Web Portal, Users, Groups, Phone Numbers, Devices, Extensions, Ring Groups, Conference Rooms, Call Queues, Dial Plans, Voicemail, Virtual Fax Machine, Hold Music, Sound Clips, Directories, Schedules, Permissions, System Settings, Call Reports, and more.

Essentially, the Support Portal is a one-stop for users looking for every piece of information about their Jive Communications account/system/device, etc. Though others providers offer support within their portals, Jive manages to extend Support into its own portal. As such, the portal is very comprehensive in terms of information. Separate from this, however, is the PBX Management Portal, which is where users can edit, manage, and view their account holistically. In first logging in, users view their basic account info (identity, password, security info, and last recorded log in). From here, users access their services portal—in this case PBX Portal.

The homepage of the PBX Portal is very unassuming; however, users should be aware of the full spectrum of functions at their fingertips. There are three main tabs, Home, Reports, and Admin. The Home tab is what users are brought to upon initial login. Here, users are given a directory, which includes lines with user names and extensions, dial plan, and numbers testing. Next is the Reports tab, which is where the bulk of the portal’s functionality lies.

The Reports tab includes Dashboard, Days, Phone Numbers, Extensions, Maps, and Call Logs—all of which have their own sub menus, which detail different information.The Dashboard header includes graphs and tables that display calls by Type (Inbound, Tollfree, Outbound, and International).Although graphs are helpful, the table lists the same information as well as totals calls and minutes. Additionally, it offers Average breakdowns of minutes/calls, call/extension, call/number, calls/day, Minimum Calls/Day, and Maximum Calls/Day.

In viewing this information, Dashboard, as well as EVERY other tab, offers a variety of viewing options including view by Calls or Minutes, view by days (All, Weekdays, Weekends), or view by Date (Previous 3 Months, Previous Month, Previous Week, Month to Date, Week to Date, Last 30, 14, 7 Days, or Yesterday).

Independent of this is the Days sub-heading. Users can view history the same as with the Dashboard. Also, Total Call info is deployed both graphically and textually; however, the breakdown is much more in-depth—i.e. can view calls by hour as well as type (inbound/outbound). The Phone Numbers and Extensions tabs are similar in that they both list calls made (either by a specific number or by extension). Inversely, the Maps tab is much more distinct. Under this sub-header, users are given a full map of the US which is highlighted differently to represent the number of calls in that state. Underneath the map, there are two tables—one includes total call and total minutes inbound, toll-free, sub-total, outbound, International, and Grand Total; the other includes the state (the call was made in) inbound, outbound, total, and Average Calls/Day. Distinct amongst all these tabs is the last, Call Logs, which details logs by extension, numbers, and/or days by time (all, weekdays, weekends), category (all, Internal, External), and Type (All, Inbound, Outbound, Toll-Free, International).

Jive’s portal also includes the Admin header, which is where admin personnel can modify, edit, and/or manage every area of their service/account. As such, users can add, edit, and manage devices, users, user groups, phone numbers, extensions (lines, ring groups, Conference Rooms, Call Queues, Dial Plans, Shared Voicemail Boxes, Virtual Fax Machines), Hold Music, Sound Clips, Local Directories, Corporate Directories, Schedules, Permissions, and System Settings. That being said, it’s easy to deem the Admin tab as being the most extensive.  Here, users can manage every aspect of their system thoroughly. For example, with Schedules, users can add, delete, edit, disable, or enact any schedule with descriptions—i.e. General (description basic) set hours between 9am and 5pm.

With all this in mind, it’s easy to see that Jive’s platform is fully equipped. Again, many of the features can be found within competitors’ portals; however, Jive enacts a more informative and progressive layout. As such, usability and workability are much easier; however, the portal does suffer from a lack of Search or Browse bars, which can ultimately hinder navigation—especially for new(er) users. Jive’s layout is great for users looking for familiarize themselves with their system/account. It definitely fulfills just about every need a user could have. While it does cater to those who know what they’re looking for, it is chock full of information and function for new(er) users too. That being said, it seems unlikely for users to take a whole lot of issue with navigation, especially when operability is this straightforward.