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

Archive for January 17th, 2012

Live @ Lotusphere 2012: Bill Ives On IBM’s Social Practicing Of What It Preaches

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If you’re fortunate to make it to Lotusphere, or any of the other signature IBM events held around the globe every year, you get the opportunity to meet some of the most interesting people: everyone from fellow bloggers to other IBMers to customers to analysts…the list goes on and on.

Just last evening, I was introduced to a gentleman by the name of Bill Ives, an analyst and blogger with Merced Group who writes about knowledge management and social business, among other topics.  As we got to talking, I discovered that Bill had lived in the town I hail from and grew up in, Denton, Texas, once upon a time when he was a wee lad, and who also shares my passion for golf.

Bill has been producing some of his own fine coverage of Lotusphere 2012 and IBM Connect here in Orlando, and I wanted to share the link below to his post on some of IBM’s own social business endeavors.

Keep in touch, Bill, and keep those posts a comin’:

Lotusphere 2012 Notes: IBM as a Social Business

Written by turbotodd

January 17, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Live @ Lotusphere 2012: Newly Weds Foods Gets Cooking With Social In The IBM SmartCloud

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IBM today announced here in Orlando, Florida, at Lotusphere 2012 that Newly Weds Foods is collaborating on the IBM SmartCloud to help its chefs create recipes adopted by its tens of thousands of clients globally.

Chefs at Newly Weds Foods, a world leader in food ingredient technology, have reduced department travel and meeting costs by 10 percent using the IBM SmartCloud for Social Business services. The cloud services allows them to easily collaborate and quickly share information and ideas online, including new region-appropriate recipes and menus as well as ingredients such as sauces, batters, breading and seasonings.

With its network of R&D, manufacturing and service facilities, which include 27 state of the art plants and 19 regional laboratories globally, Newly Weds Foods needed to find a way to more quickly accommodate the regional differences, food preparations, and ingredient availability of its food manufacturing and food service industry clients.

Too Many Cooks On the Video Conference?

Newly Weds Foods chef Abe White explains how his company is utilizing the IBM SmartCloud to save on various and sundry business expenses (excessive travel, meeting costs, etc.) through the use of online meetings, social networking, brainstorming, and online information sharing.

IBM’s SmartCloud services facilitates online meetings, social networking, brainstorming, online information sharing, saving Newly Weds Foods time and money spent on travel expenses, teleconference fees and in-person meetings.

Due to its rapid growth in recent years, the company needed to quickly figure out a way to work together more efficiently across geographic regions.

As more offices opened, and more chefs and thousands of new clients came into the picture, the company needed a more intelligent and streamlined form of communications.

“Working with IBM is helping Newly Weds Foods become a social business, connecting our many resources across the globe in an effort to bring better products to our customers,” said Bob Brindza, Manager, management information systems (MIS), Newly Weds Foods.

IBM’s SmartCloud for Social Business portfolio features social networking, online collaboration tools and e-mail as a service. It can help businesses of all sizes reduce IT costs, increase productivity and save money.

Watch the video below to hear Chef Abe White explain how Newly Weds Foods is collaborating in the cloud:

The company’s MIS department has also reduced expenses by using the IBM service. Instead of traveling to teach remote employees and new divisions how to use new and existing technology tools, the MIS manager now conducts the training from the comfort of his office, saving both time and travel expenses. The research and development department recently starting using the service as well.

Additional IBM clients collaborating in the cloud include AA Translation, Brunswick, Michigan Municipal League, Russell’s Convenience, Signature Mortgage, State of Vermont, and York University’s Schulich School of Business in Canada.

IBM Helping Customers In The Cloud

IBM has helped thousands of clients adopt cloud models and manages millions of cloud based transactions every day. IBM assists clients in areas as diverse as banking, communications, healthcare and government to build their own clouds or securely tap into IBM cloud-based business and infrastructure services.

IBM is unique in bringing together cloud technologies, deep process knowledge, a broad portfolio of cloud solutions, and a network of global delivery centers. For more information about cloud offerings from IBM, visit http://www.ibm.com/cloud.

Join the Twitter conversations via hashtags #IBMSocialBiz and #IBMCloud.

Written by turbotodd

January 17, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Live @ Lotusphere 2012: IBM Customer TD Bank Makes Major Social Business Deposit

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So are you feeling social yet?

C’mon, it’s day 2 of Lotusphere and IBM Connect 2012, get with the program!

My alarm clock had another big fail this morning, but fortunately my neurons were so in tune and excited about day 2 of Lotusphere 2012, that I sprouted up just in time for the morning keynote once again.

Starting Day 2: Getting Down To The Business Of Social Business

If I were to summarize this morning’s session, I’d have to say Day 2 is about getting down to the business of social business, moving well past the “whys” and into the practicalities of the “hows.”

IBM VP Mike Rodin kicks off day 2 of Lotusphere 2012 with a discussion on finding one's way to the real business value of social business

But first, IBM executive Mike Rodin set the stage for Day 2 with a few prefatory comments.  He explained that there are a number of key forces driving the market need for social business, and that we’re witnessing some major changes in people’s behaviors.

Notably, he observed the rise of the empowered individual.  And I thought for a moment, and said, wait a minute, he’s talking about me!  No, not me, specifically, but all of those of us who have an entrepreneurial bent in organizations large and small, who just want to get good work done and make a difference for our businesses and who now have the tools and technologies to facilitate that type of action.

He explained this new milieu is changing the way we all work, and that roles and connections are being forever changed across both internal and external networks.

McKinsey On Social Business: 90% Of Companies Realize Real Business Value

Rodin then brought to the stage Michael Chiu, a senior fellow with the McKinsey Global Institute.  Apparently, someone on the staff forgot to remind Mike Rodin that he  was the one interviewing Michael, as Rodin left for the exits.  Very funny, very human moment, talking about social business!

Rodin quickly made his return and set right in to getting some red meat from McKinsey, as Chiu explained his team had been studying collaboration in the enterprise for over 10 years, and observed that though IT has been great at learning how to improve the efficacy of physical and transactional processes, with knowledge work, that hasn’t been as much the case.

But, he explained, we’re getting there, and are on the cusp of the “S-curve” towards better understanding how to improve those knowledge worker processes, and the rise of social is adding fuel to the fire.

Rodin responded by asking how companies can use capabilities like microblogging for business benefit, and Chiu expanded the aperture with his answer by explaining you can never fully know how people are going to use the technology, but if you can develop some level of hypothesis based on the general adoption, you’ll be surprised where you will find the most benefit.  Then, you have to learn how to scale and extend it across the enterprise.

Wendy Arnott, VP of Social Media and Digital Communications at TD Bank America, explains to the Lotusphere 2012 audience how even a heavily regulated industry like banking can move into the social business realm.

Rodin acknowledged this by observing that McKinsey’s own data suggested over 90% of companies using social today are deriving hard ROI, and Chiu echoed this, explaining that fully 70% of them were reporting real business results.

IBM Customer TD Bank: Make Social Part Of Your Culture

Perfect time for IBM customer, TD Bank, in the form of Vice President of Social Media, Wendy Arnott, to enter from stage left, to help demonstrate not only to the IBM audience, but to the world, what real social business leadership looks like.

Some background on TD Bank: They’re the 6th largest bank in North America, with some 19M customers and more than 85,000 employees working in over 3,000 locations, including in branch offices, trading floors, and even home offices.

Ms. Arnott started TD Bank’s social business pitch explaining that their corporate social mission had to jibe with the company’s key values, including staying true to their belief of “building for the future.” She and her associates were always trying to figure out how they could take their business to the next level, and that because the world was changing, and her fellow employees and their customers were operating in new ways, were driving new expectations of the bank.

And yet, there were constraints for moving into social business: TD Bank operates in a highly regulated industry, and yet, they recognized incremental improvement wasn’t enough.  To win, they needed to change the game.

They started by engaging in conversations with their customers through a social media customer service team, a logical place to do so, and a launching point for other companies trying to move into social business.

But TD Bank didn’t stop there.  They decided to focus on three key imperatives that would guide their social strategy development: Align with their core values, deliver real business outcomes, and acknowledge and face their risks head on.

Soon, they found themselves breaking through some formerly taboo issues. The bank wanted to expand its business by staying open on Sundays.  Through a transparent employee jam, employees, rather than booing the idea outright, came around and were eventually enthusiastic about the idea, recognizing it would make TD Bank that much more competitive.

Good Ideas Can Come From Anyone

Another win: A CSR in a brand had an idea about changing a simple paper process to digital that would prevent customers from having to make a physical trip to the branch office.  It wasn’t a completely new idea, but now, with crowdsourcing, hundreds of other employees chimed in and rallied behind the idea, and the next thing you know it was sitting in front of executives, just daring them not to support the idea!

With each step, TD Bank was embedding social in its core business processes.  Little by little, they were able to bring down the walls of resistance, even in the regulatory environment.  On that front, they again brought the key risk mitigators into the discussion, made them core to the brainstorming, and were able to find common ground and, as a team, identify the major risk inhibitors, and soon found many shifting their perception from risk to opportunity.

So what were the lessons learned in all this?  Arnott explained there were several, and left the Lotusphere 2012 audience with this very actionable set of “leave behinds”:

  1. Leadership matters. At TD Bank the entire senior exec team believed in and supported the Connections roll out from the beginning.
  2. Build a dedicated social team.  This has to be someone’s job.  Every day, all day.
  3. Form great partnerships. Things don’t just happen in a large organization.  HR, communications, privacy, marketing, IT…they all need to come together to forge a set of shared beliefs that will get social efforts off the ground.
  4. Get into the weeds.  The devil’s in the details, even when they rock the boat.  Be prepared.
  5. Engage employees. They get it, and they can advocate on a large scale and quickly.

Live @ Lotusphere 2012: Day 1 Vodcast Recap

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Scott Laningham is not here at Lotusphere 2012 this year…at least, not corporeally.  But he is here in spirit, and yesterday afternoon, I spoke with him live from Studio 8004 here at the Dolphin Hotel in Orlando and debriefed him on all things Lotusphere Day 1, the Turbo POV, for The developerWorks Podcast.

We discussed day 1 themes and talks, including that wonderful keynote from actor Michael J. Fox, as well as some of the key announcements and an overview of the IBM social business strategy.  Keep an eye out here on the Turbo blog and Twitter to be reminded of future Lotusphere podcasts…in the meantime, let Day 2 begin!

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