Turbotodd

Ruminations on IT, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for the ‘social business’ Category

Live @ IBM InterConnect 2012: Marie Wieck On Business In Motion

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Marie Wieck is general manager of IBM’s Application & Integration Middleware (AIM) business unit, where she leads an organization of more than 7,500 software development, marketing, services, and sales professionals. She is responsible for IBM’s WebSphere software portfolio and other strategic middleware products, including Web application servers, transaction and messaging systems, integration, and business process management solutions.

Marie Wieck is the general manager of IBM’s Application and Integration Middleware organization (home of IBM’s distinguished market-leading WebSphere brand), and has held a variety of technical and executive roles across our software, services, and finance groups.

In her current role, Marie leads an organization of more than 7,500 software development, marketing, sales, and services professionals. There, she is responsible for IBM’s WebSphere software portfolio and other strategic middleware products, including Web application servers, transaction and messaging systems, integration, and business process management solutions.

During our sitdown at IBM InterConnect, Marie shared some of the proceedings from her two “Hot Topic” sessions in Singapore, one on the Mobile Enterprise, and the other on Business Process management.

Marie also expanded on IBM’s emerging “mobile enterprise” strategy, explaining that rather than see mobile as another blip on the technology evolutionary radar screen, that rather it’s an opportunity to be transformative across the enterprise.

From fomenting front-line employee’s opportunity to be more collaborative in the field, to enabling back-office overlords to use their smartphones to watch over and manage business process management processes, IBM is working to bridge systems of record and of data together with employees and external constituents in a much more transformative story than has been communicated to date.

It’s an exciting narrative, and as Marie conveyed in the interview, mobile is touching the entire IBM portfolio.

Live @ IBM InterConnect 2012: A Q&A With Sandy Carter About Social Business

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Sandy Carter is Vice President, Social Business and Collaboration Solutions Sales and Evangelism at IBM, where she is responsible for setting the direction for IBM’s Social Business initiative, working with companies who are becoming Social Businesses, and being the evangelist for the concept and best practices around Social Business.

Yesterday afternoon here in Singapore, we started our Livestreaming endeavours at IBM InterConnect and one of the first folks I interviewed has been a beacon of leadership when it comes to social business, inside and outside IBM, and that is Sandy Carter.

Sandy currently serves as vice president for IBM’s Social Business and Collaboration Solutions Sales and Evangelism, where she is responsible for setting the direction for IBM’s Social Business initiatives, working with companies who are becoming social businesses, and being the evangelist for the concept and best practices around social business.

Prior to her current position, Sandy was VP, Software Business Partners and Midmarket where she was responsible for IBM’s worldwide software ecosystem initiatives, and prior to that also VP, SOA, BPM and WebSphere Strategy, Channels and Marketing where she drove IBM’s Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) marketing efforts to achieve 70% market share for SOA, and where IBM WebSphere became a market leader, receiving more than 34 industry awards.

Fast Company named Sandy one of the most influential women in technology, and Everything Channels CRN magazine named her one of the most powerful 100 women in channels in 2010 and 2009.

Sandy is the best selling author of two books: “The New Language of Business: SOA & Web 2.0”, which won the Platinum MarCom Award in 2008, and “The New Language of Marketing 2.0: Social Media”, which won the Silver MarketingSherpa award in 2009.

Sandy and I chatted about a variety of social business relevant topics, in which she also offered some advice to both companies and individuals looking to better establish their brands in an increasingly crowded social marketplace.

I hope you enjoy our chat as much as I did!

Singapore Redux

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I mentioned in an earlier post I would share a little information about Singapore.  Much of this, I crowdsourced liberally from the Wikipedia entry on Singapore, along with some of my own observations thrown in for good measure.

First, the city-state is formally referred to as the “Republic of Singapore.” If you’ve ever flown here from the U.S., you know that it’s one of the longer plane rides one can take.

I left Austin around 8 am last Friday morning, catching connecting flights in Atlanta and then Tokyo’s Narita, with both flights lasting around close to 24 hours flight time, and arriving here early Sunday morning (around 1:30 AM).

Singapore is an island country consisting of 63 islands, and separated from Malaysia by the Straigts of Johor to the north and from Indonesia’s Riau Islands by the Singapore Strait to its south.

The British founded modern Singapore when it obtained sovereignty over the island in 1824, and was later occupied by the Japanese in World War II. It later declared independence, uniting with other British territories to form Malaysia in 1963, then separated from Malaysia two years later.

It is known as one of the “Four Asian Tigers,” and is the world’s fourth leading financial center, with its ports being among one of the five busiest in the world.

Its economy depends heavily on exports and refining imported goods, and has the third highest per capita income in the world with slightly over 5 million citizens.

Its population is very diverse, and has four official languages: English, Chinese, Malay, and Tamil, and is one of the five founding members of the Association of South East Asian Nations.

It’s manufacturing base includes electronics, petroleum refining, chemicals, mechanical engineering, and biomedical sciences. It also produces about 10% of the world’s foundry wafer output, making it an integral part of the globe’s semiconductor industry supply chain.

It also has majored heavily in tourism (including so-called “medical tourism”), and to attract more tourists it legalized gambling in 2005 (The IBM InterConnect conference is being held at Royal Sentosa Resorts, which has one of those casinos).

This is my second visit to Singapore (my first being in early 2010), and my impressions on both visits have been quite favorable. For a Westerner who doesn’t know Chinese, Malay or Tamil, it’s quite easy for an English speaker to find their way around.

The city-state itself reminds me of Dallas or Houston, what with its shiny, chrome and beige skyscrapers and ports surrounding parts of the island.

But it’s also very futuristic and forward-thinking, having invested early on in commercialization of the Internet and hosting a robust mobile computing infrastructure. Singapore is one of the most ubiquitous Internet penetrated of nations in the world, with over 77 percent of its citizens having online access.

And the “Intelligent Nation 15″ ten-year blueprint I mentioned earlier has refined that digital capability, and in fact, the country has emerged as a vital foundry for Internet-based companies.

By way of example, Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin relocated here in 2009, announcing plans to invest in “companies with strong interests in the Asian markets.”

Singapore’s National Research Foundation selected eight new incubators for its Technology Incubation Scheme earlier this year, and through that program, the NRF will co-fund up to 85 percent of total investment in each company (up to U.S. $400K).

And talk about a mobile-friendly country. I only needed walk through either Singapore’s Chinatown or “Little India” yesterday afternoon to find mobile phones from around the globe available to me (and settled on an old-school Nokia 1280 to serve as my new GSM “world phone”).

I paid $20 to a local mobile retailer catering to the Indian market, and within minutes (along with the purchase of an $18 SIM card) was up and running.

For the casual visitor, though the city itself can seem expensive compared to other industrialized countries, deals abound, including for food (the cuisine here runs the gamut, from Chinese to Malay to Japanese to India to American, etc.), and that most national of Singaporean pasttimes, shopping.

If you’re a night owl, you’ll certainly find plenty to do here, what between the casinos, the food, and yes, even the nightlife.

As for me, the rest of this week I’ll mostly be stuck in front of the camera or my laptop covering IBM InterConnect here on Sentosa Island, but I hope and expect to sneak in a few noodles or pieces of dim sum along the way.

IBM InterConnect begins first thing tomorrow, so don’t forget to tune in to our Livestream channel and to Twitter hashtag #ibminterconnect so you can keep up with all the emerging announcements and news from IBM in this important and digitally vital part of the world!

IBM Survey: Social Media Impacting Threats From Reputational Risk

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More than 400 respondents in 23 industries across the globe agree: managing reputational risk is crucial to their business, and managing IT risk is a major part of their efforts. And, social media is cited as a major factor for those shifting more focus to their reputational risk management efforts. Learn what these respondents are doing — and what they’re overlooking — in the 2012 IBM Global Reputational Risk and IT study report.

So here’s a question for you?  What is your organization doing to more effectively manage its risk profile?

IBM recently released its 2012 Global Reputational Risk and IT Study, and the findings suggest that companies are viewing their IT investments through a new lens.

First, some background, and then a summary of the findings.

This study is an investigation of how organizations around the world are managing their reputations in today’s digital era, where IT is an integral part of their operations and where IT failures can result in reputational damage.

The report was written by the Economist Intelligence Unit, which both executed an online survey and conducted client executive interviews.

That included 427 senior executive responses from around the world, 42 percent of those being C-level, with 33 percent of respondents coming from North America, 29 percent from Europe, and 26 percent from Asia-Pacific.

The survey included industries that ran the gamut, including banking, IT, energy and utilities, and insurance.

Impact of Social Media On Risk

Corporate reputations are especially difficult to manage in an era when anyone with a smartphone and Internet connection can file their complaint with a single touch.

With social media sites like Facebook and Twitter boasting over 1.4 million people combined, there is now a highly visible and immediate alterative to a company’s own communications regarding its reputation.

Because of that, more organizations have introduced reputational risk as a distinct category within their enterprise risk management frameworks.

The study suggests that companies have begun to pay closer attention to the links between IT failures and reputational damage, and also examines how executives are attempting to protect their brands from what could arguably be called “a preventable glitch.”

So, drum roll, please.  Here’s a summary of some of the key findings:

  • IT risk management and investment directly supports a company’s reputation.  Reputational risk has evolved into an asset that is fundamentally supported by IT planning and investment.  78 percent say they included reputational risk in their own IT risk planning, and 75 percent say their budget will grow due to concerns for such. Eighteen percent indicate that spend will increase by more than 20 percent in the next 12 months.
  • The CEO owns it but shares it. When asked to name the top 3 C-level execs who owned reputational risk, close to two-thirds say it was shared across the C-suite. 80 percent of CEOs indicated it was theirs to win, followed by 31 percent of CFOs, 27 percent of CIOs, 23 percent of CROs (Chief Risk Officers), and 22 percent of CMOs.
  • Five characteristics of highly effective companies — they get reputational risk and invest in it. Of those who do, 83 percent indicated they have integrated IT into their reputational risk management regimes. They also perceive stronger links between IT threats and key elements of reputation (especially customer sat and brand reputation), and they also say they have strong or very strong IT risk management capacity (84 percent). Seventy-seven percent indicated they have well-resourced IT risk management functions, and are more likely to require vendors and supply chain partners to meet the same levels of control as they require internally.

Improving Reputational Risk Management: Best Practices

So what’s a concerned C-level exec to do? The study revealed several core strategies:

  • Be proactive rather than reactive. That is, be prepared to invest in developing comprehensive reputational risk management strategies that include robust controls on IT risks, particularly those related to security, business continuity and tech support.
  • Create an organization where IT managers collaborate with other risk management specialists. Together, they should be tasked with presenting a comprehensive profile of organization-wide reputational risks to senior management.
  • Engage in scenario analysis, especially with new and emerging technology. Don’t wait for the worst to happen — there are plenty of case studies to be used as a basis for “what-if” planning.
  • Assess risks across the entire supply chain. A failure by a downstream supplier can be just as devastating as an internal problem, and risk controls can be harmonized among key players.

A More Integrated, Holistic Approach

This more integrated, enterprise-wide approach to risk management — led by the C-suite on down — can help your organization increase the attention being paid to the direct reputational impact of IT risks, and help you mitigate those risks (including those stemming from the use of new technologies).

To learn more and to gain access to the full study, go here.

IBM’s Combination Of Social & Analytics = Social ROI

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The embedded experience of the news feed in IBM Connections, also known as an activity stream, allows employees from any department inside an organization to explore structured and unstructured data such as Twitter feeds, Facebook posts, weather data, videos, log files, SAP applications, electronically sign documents, and quickly act on the data as part of their everyday work experience.

Big news today from IBM re: social analytics, and for some key customer wins on the social business front.

First, to the news about social analytics. Today, IBM unveiled new software and services that bring the power of big data analytics into the hands of a social savvy workforce anytime, anywhere.

With this new capability, organizations will be able to apply analytics to their social business efforts, allowing them to gain actionable insight on information generated in social networks and put it to work in real-time.

IBM’s Lead In Social Business

Today, more than 60 percent of the Fortune 100 have licensed IBM social software to activate their workforce to improve productivity, and gain insight on data to anticipate individual customers needs.

IBM’s leadership role in analytics has been established through a thoughtful strategy that required the expansion of R&D, acquisition and business initiatives across its hardware software and services portfolio.

As part of today’s news, IBM announced the availability of its industry-leading social software platform, IBM Connections.

IBM Connections incorporates sophisticated analytics capabilities, real-time data monitoring, and faster collaborative networks both inside and outside the organization, whether on premise, in the IBM SmartCloud or using a broad range of mobile devices.

You can check out a demo here.

IBM Customers Becoming More Social

IBM also announced today that leading companies around the globe, including Bayer MaterialScience, Colgate-Palmolive Company, LeasePlan, Primerica and Teach for America, are using its social software to achieve real returns on their social business investments.

The rise of social media is prompting business leaders, from the CMO to the chief HR officer to the CIO, to evaluate how to create opportunities that drive business transformation through the use of social technology, creating real business value.

At the same time, business leaders lack the tools to gain insight into the enormous stream of information and use it in a meaningful way. According to IBM’s CEO Study, today only 16 percent of CEOs are using social business platforms to connect with customers, but that number is poised to spike to 57 percent within the next three to five years.

Do you want to know what becoming a social business can do for your company? This video will help you understand how you can create exceptional customer experiences and a smarter workforce to empower your business. Find out how you can compete with — and win against — the world’s best by giving customers what they want. You can view the video here: http://bit.ly/SASGdi

A recent IBM study of more than 1,700 chief marketing officers reveals 82 percent plan to increase their use of social media over the next three to five years.

“To truly realize the full potential of a social business, leaders need to empower a company’s most vital asset — the information being generated from its people,” said Alistair Rennie, general manager, social business, IBM. “Now is the time for business leaders to embed social into their key business processes to shift their business from the era of ‘liking’ to ‘leading’.”

Social ROI

Today, more than 60 percent of the Fortune 100 have licensed IBM social software. There is strong demand for IBM’s social business platform in regulated industries, with 41 percent of Connections 4 beta participants in banking, finance and healthcare institutions.

Primerica, a leading distributor of financial products in North America, will utilize Connections and WebSphere Portal, to transform how its agents engage with its 2.3 million policy holders on the fly, to provide increased value for its customers.

The company plans to use social business software to improve the overall client experience, drive competitive edge and stay on the forefront of innovation in the financial services industry.  You can read more details on Primerica’s adoption of IBM social software here.

And in the video at the bottom of this post, you can check out my interview with Digital Influence Group’s Glenn Engler about the challenges and opportunities for social media in heavily regulated industries.

Expanding IBM Social Capabilities In Key Growth Markets

To support the burgeoning demand for social business solutions in growth markets, in the fourth quarter of 2012 IBM will open two social business customer support centers to serve IBM’s Asia-Pacific and Latin American clients.

Located in Manilla, the Philippines, and Sao Paolo, Brazil, these centers will support the rapid adoption of social business tools in these growth markets. The Philippines and Brazil centers join a roster of IBM social business centers in North America, Dublin, Japan, China and India.

IBM’s growing business partner network of more than 39,000 business partners are also bringing new, cutting-edge capabilities to IBM’s social platform every day in areas including gamification, video, compliance, project management and mobility.

For example, Actiance provides leading compliance capabilities to thousands of organizations globally, SugarCRM helps sellers use social networking and analytics for effective selling, and Bunchball provides gamification capabilities to IBM Connections.

Making New Connections With IBM Connections Social Software

IBM Connections, a cornerstone of IBM’s social platform, is available on premise, in the cloud, and on a broad range of mobile devices.

IBM Connections integrates activity streams, calendaring, wikis, blogs, a new email capability, and more, and flags relevant data for action. It allows for instant collaboration with one simple click and the ability to build social, secure communities both inside and outside the organization to increase customer loyalty and speed business results.

The new Connections mail capability provides simplified access to email within the context of the social networking environment.

Empowering Your Employees

The new capabilities empower employees from every line of business, such as marketing, human resources and development to gain actionable insight into the information being generated in their social networks.

For example, the Connections landing page features a single location that allows users to view and interact with content from any third party solution through a social interface, right alongside their company’s content, including email and calendar.

The embedded experience of the news feed, also known as an activity stream, allows employees from any department inside an organization to explore structured and unstructured data such as Twitter feeds, Facebook posts, weather data, videos, log files, SAP applications, electronically sign documents, and quickly act on the data as part of their everyday work experience.

To learn more about IBM’s social business initiative, participate in a simulcast on September 13, 2012 at 1 PM ET at bit.ly/Pn9sqd or sign-up to attend IBM’s Connect conference in January 2013.

For more information, please visit www.ibm.com/press/socialbusiness.

IBM blogger and tech evangelist Todd “Turbo” Watson interviews Digital Influence Group CEO Glenn Engler at SXSW Interactive 2012 about the opportunities and challenges of social media for heavily regulated industries.

Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Orlando: IBM GBS Exec Paul Pappas On IBM’s Smarter Commerce Consulting Capabilities

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Paul Papas is an executive with over 22 years of experience in consulting and over 15 years of specialization in customer relationship management and business analytics. He leads a global practice that helps clients use digital technologies to increase the value they provide to their customers and business partners. He is a frequent public speaker and blogger on the subject of digital transformation.

If you’ve ever wondered just what part of IBM it is that helps bring IBM Smarter Commerce solutions to life on behalf of our clients, you need look no further.

Paul Pappas, the Smarter Commerce Global Leader for IBM’s Global Business Services unit, is an executive with over 22 years of experience in consulting and over 15 years of specialization in customer relationship management and business analytics.

Paul now leads a global practice that helps clients use digital technologies to increase the value they provide to their customers and business partners.

Paul was formerly a partner at PriceWaterhouseCoopers and has held several practice leadership roles throughout his career.

Prior to assuming his role as the Global Smarter Commerce leader, Paul led IBM’s Life Sciences practice and is a recognized industry subject matter expert.

During our 11 minute discussion at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit this past week in Orlando, Paul outlined the vision behind IBM’s approach to smarter commerce, the so-called “systems of engagement,” which focuses on customer touchpoints (and not just transactions).

He also explained the four “I’s” — Interact, Inform, Integrate, and Innovate — that drive his discussions with clients.

The IBM Smarter Commerce GBS practice began 18 months ago with just over 1,000 consultants, and in that short time has already doubled to keep pace with market demand.

As Paul explains in the interview, “Every IBM client has a different set of objectives or needs,” and it’s that customer-centricity that has helped IBM rapidly become a market leader in servicing this burgeoning growth area.

Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Orlando: Twitter Editorial Director Karen Wickre On Effective Communication In 140 Characters Or Less

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Karen Wickre is Editorial Director at Twitter, where she shapes the way the company communicates publicly. She has worked the editorial side of publishing for 20+ years as an editor, author, columnist and content strategist. Previously, Karen worked at Google, for which she developed the company’s corporate content strategy, and built its blog and Twitter platforms into global channels.

Karen Wickre, currently the editorial director for Twitter, has been on the vanguard of digital and social media communications for over a decade.

During her nine-year stint at Google, she helped found the Google Corporate Blog, which paved the way for Google’s more aggressive embrace of blogging for not only corporate communications, but also knowledge sharing and Google product enablement.

More recently, she’s served as the editorial director for Twitter, helping Twitter employees and customers communicate as widely and engagingly as is possible in 140 characters or less.

During our interview at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit in Orlando last week, Karen and I chatted about the early days of social media, then worked our way forward to more cutting-edge concerns, including Twitter celebrity, Twitter’s key role in helping share the zeitgeist of live events, Twitter’s increasing international reach, and yes, even the ever-feared “DM Fail.”

Karen’s insights into both the philosophy and reality of effective social media communications can impact organizations everywhere looking to build their own smarter commerce strategies.

You can follow her on Twitter at @kvox.

Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Orlando: The CMO Club’s Pete Krainik On The CMO Agenda

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Pete Krainik is the co-founder of The CMO Club, and brings over 30 years of experience in marketing, sales, IT, and product management within the consumer goods, high tech, digital and software industries.

Earlier this year, the Gartner Group informed us they were projecting that by the year 2017, chief marketing officers would be spending more on information technology than the CIO.

Yes, that turned a few heads, at IBM and elsewhere in the industry.

But Pete Krainik, the co-founder of the CMO Club, an organization which brings CMOs together in an environment “of openness and contribution that enables them to become better at what they do” explained during our interview in Orlando that CMOs face challenges bigger than simply better embracing IT.

Most CMOs are expected to lead the growth agendas of their organizations, Pete suggested, and yet many don’t feel they have the needed credibility or are not viewed with the same authority as other C-level execs.

Moreover, many are still wrestling with the rapid advent of social media, and the need to provide more aggressive outreach and enablement of their key advocates. As Pete explained, “Advocates have juice,” and yet so many organizations are struggling as to how to most effectively create and foster relationships with their brand advocates.

We discussed these issues, as well as the powerful narrative emerging around IBM’s Smarter Commerce play, in a fun and engaging discussion.

Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Orlando: Social Thought Leader Ted Rubin Talks “Return On Relationships”

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Ted is a leading social marketing strategist and in 2009 started using the term “ROR: Return on Relationship,” a concept he believes is the cornerstone for building an engaged multi-million member database, many of whom are vocal advocates for the brand.

“Just be nice.”

Those are just some of the words of wisdom that Collective Bias’ chief social marketing officer Ted Rubin offered up in our interview last week at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit in Orlando, Florida, as Ted discussed the opportunities and challenges of social media marketing.

Ted is a leading social marketing strategist who, in 2009, began using and evangelizing the term “ROR,” or “return on relationship,” a concept he believes is the cornerstone for building an engaged multi-million member database, many of whom have the potential to become vocal advocates for brands.

In our interview, Ted also addressed some key emerging themes in the social media, including the massive opportunity that social media presents to organizations looking to interact at scale with their customers, and how social platforms are increasingly helping to facilitate those interactions.

His book, Return on Relationship, is due to be released in October of this year.

Written by turbotodd

September 10, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Live From IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit: The Magic Of This Kingdom

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When I arrived in Orlando yesterday for the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit, which kicked off here earlier this morning, I started having flashbacks.

No, not those kind of flashbacks, the hallucinatory kind!

No, these were childhood flashbacks. To when I must have been 6 or 7, and I experienced my first firsthand brand impressions of Disneyworld.

My mom and dad were some patient people, carrying my sister and I all the way to one end of the country from Texas to experience all the magic that Walt Disney had imagined.

And magic it was.

I don’t remember much in detail, but in emotional impression, I remembered a lot. I remembered cruising along on “It’s a Small World” ride, when, in fact, the world still seemed quite big and grandiose to me.

I also remember the haunted house ride, the one where the ghost sits next to you, even if for a brief spell.  I was frickin’ mortified, terrified…and exhilirated, all at the same time.

And Space Mountain…well, don’t get me started. I might as well have been on another planet.

I haven’t even gotten to seeing the Disney characters come to life walking around the Animal Kingdom, or Snow White in that beautiful castle.

Mind you, these experiences transpired roughly forty years ago (I’m trying not to be TOO precise), and yet the fondness and remembrance they created for me were…well, simply magic.

I’m sure that’s not why we bring all our customers here to Orlando, to experience Disney’s magic.  I’m sure we’ve gotten some good economies of scale for holding our events here, and certainly we (and our own customers) get great service while staying at the Disney properties.

Then again, that kind of IS the point.

As we come together to discuss the opportunities and challenges for Smarter Commerce over the next few days, we’d be wise to remember that not everything that creates business magic is something you can sell or even mimic.

The integrity and honesty of a real and positive brand experience should have and be just that, integral and honest.

If your company genuinely desires to create a positive and integral experience, then it will be so.

But to try and put it on and wear it as an after-the–fact costume…well, Mickey Mouse will have never been outed so fast!

When IBM launched its Smarter Commerce initiative last year, we tried to make sure we were wearing an appropriate costume. IBM has invested some $3 billion in acquisitions in this space, and created an IBM Global Business Services team of 1,000 focusing exclusively on Smarter Commerce.

Our Websphere Commerce technology, which was already a leading, organic product in the marketplace, was evolved, with both client and general market feedback, to expand and cover the entire B2B2C commerce lifecycle end to end.

But probably most importantly, and not unlike Walt Disney, we recognized that our own customers’ customers were going to be the ultimate measure of our success.

We live in an amazing age of the empowered customer, one who has unlimited to access to information and who can instantly share his or her experience with the entire planet…and does!

Because technology has empowered those customers with greater access to transparency to information and raised their own expectations for relevant communications, superior price, delivery, and service, so, too, must our customers raise their game, and we at IBM, our own.

Hence the discussions you’ll be tuning into and participating in over these next three days.

Soak it up. Take notes. Talk to everybody you can. Don’t waste a moment. Some of the best minds within IBM, and the broader industry, are here just for all of you to help you on your journey.

As for me, I’ll be here, and on the Solutions Center floor interviewing some of those great minds for our YouTube channel. 

And if I can, I’m going to try and break away just for a few moments so I can go say hi, and make peace, with some old ghost friends of mine.

I have a distinct feeling Walt Disney wouldn’t have had it any other way.

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