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

Archive for November 21st, 2011

Lotusphere And Connect 2012: Making New Connections

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Greetings.  I meant to say in my post from earlier today a big congratulations to the U.S. Team which held on to golf’s President’s Cup after a week of turbulent golf down under at Royal Melbourne in Melbourne, Australia.

Lotusphere 2012 will be held January 15-19, 2012, in Orlando, Florida, and will feature the two-day "Connect" event for those looking to go deep and long on social business.

Despite the controversy around U.S. Captain Freddy Couples “captain’s choice” of Tiger Woods, who hasn’t exactly been at the top of his game of late, it was Woods who, two President’s Cups in a row, clinched the cup in a singles match Sunday against Aaron Baddeley.  Woods won 5 and 3.

Tiger Woods is back.  Yay for golf!

And as professional golf in the U.S. fades further into the sunset of winter, not to be fully awakened until early January, we do know what happens in Orlando, Florida, in mid-January: Lotusphere 2012, and this year’s sister event, “IBM Connect.”

For those not in the know from years past, Lotusphere 2012 is a five-day technical conference that covers a broad array of topics focused on social business, ranging from strategy and best practices, adoption and deployment, to capabilities and solutions. As usual, there will be the familiar session tracks, labs, and the Solutions Showcase.  And of course, yours truly, along with my developerWorks livecasting guru Scott Laningham, will be in attendance conducting interviews and covering the event tidings for the blogosphere.

But, there’s more.  This year, the larger event will also be hosting an “event within the event,” in the form of “Connect 2012,” a two-day social business conference that will provide a venue for company leaders and IBM experts to share strategies, challenges, and best practices (not to mention a few Twitter IDs) for exploiting pervasive social technologies to achieve tangible advances in company performance.

So, if you have a few business leaders that you’re still trying to get on the social cluetrain, IBM Connect could be just what the doctor ordered — make sure you get them the invite info.

Here’s a breakdown of the topline “tick tock” for Lotusphere and IBM Connect 2012:

  • Business Partner Development Day (Sunday, January 15)
  • Connect 2012 (Monday and Tuesday, January 16-17)
  • Lotusphere 2012 (Monday-Thursday, January 15-19)

Here’s a link to everything you’ll need to know to register and make sure that Lotus Knows you’re planning to attend Lotusphere and Connect 2012.  Until December 2, 2011, Lotusphere registration is a mere $1,995 (U.S.), but goes up to $2,295 on December 3rd (Connect 2012 is $995 U.S.)

So register while there are still seats available, and know I’ll be sharing more details as we get closer to the two events.

IBM Helps U.K. Retailer Marks & Spencer In Digital Multi-Channel Evolution

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If you’ve ever gone shopping in the U.K. (And perhaps even if you haven’t), then you’re well aware of U.K. Retailer Marks & Spencer.

World renowned U.K. retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) is using IBM software for Smarter Commerce to transform its Web site into a global marketplace where customers can seamlessly shop from any country, device or channel regardless of whether they are calling, viewing, surfing or walking in from the street.

M&S has recently partnered with IBM to improve its online shopping experience.  Specifically, M&S is now using IBM software for Smarter Commerce to transform its Web site into a global marketplace where customers can seamlessly shop from any country, device or channel regardless of whether they are calling, viewing, surfing, or walking in from the street.

Now that, my friends, is a true multichannel retail experience.

Here’s how it works: The IBM software provides integrated purchasing, order management and customer service capabilities across all of M&S’ sales channels. This helps them capitalize on the growth of mobile, social, and multi-channel purchasing by customers in the digital age.

They hope to appeal to these increasingly online audiences domestically and establish a global customer base for its online store.

With 64 percent of consumers making a first purchase because of a digital experience, it’s critical that retailers understand this online behavior and refine their marketing and ecommerce activities appropriately.

M&S aims to become the U.K.’s leading multi-channel retailer, growing sales to between 800 million pounds Sterling – 1 billion pounds by 2013/2014, up from 543 million pounds in 2010/2011.

But M&S needed to capture its customers’ behavior accurately in order to be able to personalize its communications with them and to provide the same level of service to shoppers, regardless of their mode or channel of interaction.

M&S selected IBM Sterling Order Management for its ability to provide inventory visibility across all channels and for its transaction scalability needed to meet seasonal requirements.

M&S also chose IBM WebSphere Commerce, for its comprehensive personalization capabilities and because it can be deployed worldwide in different ways across all sites to serve different brands, regions or targeted groups of customers.

“The explosion of personalized data now accessible to consumers through social media, online and mobile interactions is causing fundamental changes in the way retailers operate,” said David Hogg, commerce solutions lead, IBM.

“It requires a new approach — which IBM calls Smarter Commerce – that puts the customer at the center of its business. With the new software now in place, M&S can take action based on a consistent view of a customer’s order across any of the sales channels they have chosen. In this way, customers can continue to enjoy the high levels of service they have come to expect from this major U.K. retailer, while M&S can expand its business by increasing sales worldwide.”

IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiatives draw on its market-leading WebSphere Commerce platform and a $2.5 billion investment in on-premise and cloud-based software from IBM’s acquisitions of Sterling Commerce, Unica and Coremetrics.

And IBM Global Business Services is expanding its consulting and solutions capabilities with 1,200 dedicated practitioners for Smarter Commerce.  Over 2,000 of the world’s top brands rely on IBM to help improve their brand and marketing execution.

Go here to get more information on IBM Smarter Commerce solutions.

Written by turbotodd

November 21, 2011 at 3:21 pm

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