Turbotodd

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

Archive for the ‘ibm connections’ Category

Do You Yahoo?

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Here’s the question of the day: Do you Yahoo?

And my answer is…yeah, well, sure, but only when I’m in the office.

Because, you know, and we all know, that a cubicle farm is the perfect venue by which to instigate and channel creativity and innovation.

Just ask Dilbert. He’s been stuck in that cartoon cubicle for nearly 20 years, and he’s doing just fine.

I’m referring, of course, tongue in cheekly, to Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s new edict that all Yahoo employees must come back to work in the mother ship and that there will no longer be telecommuters.

In her memo, Mayer wrote that “Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home.”

To which I would ask, “Show me the money.”

I’ve spent the better part of the last two decades working at IBM, and I would say that my career has been about evenly split: Half in an office, half working from home.

Upon reflection, I’m not sure I could say there was more productivity or innovation that could be attributed to working from one location or another.

While I’m not discounting the serendipitous opportunities for mixing it up that can come through working in a physical office with colleagues, I can attest as well that it can have the opposite effect — too many interruptions, too many meetings, too much lost productivity.

For me, work is a state of mind and being, not a location. It’s something that I do, not a place that I go.

The technologies that IBM and others have built have eliminated the perceived need for constant physical proximity.  Using IBM Notes, Sametime, and Connections our world is one big virtual office, with more than enough software capability to bind us together in a seamless fabric, one that increasingly transcends both space and time.

And perhaps that’s another key difference.

In a global company like IBM, we typically work daily with people from around the world.  But I can’t wake up Monday morning and decide I need to drop by the office in Bangalore. That’s typically a 20+ hour journey from Texas, and as far as commutes go, that would probably be on the outer boundaries of long commutes!

But I can virtually stop by Bangalore daily, chatting with colleagues via instant messaging, or at minimum exchanging emails or posts in our internal IBM Connections platform.

The Wall Street Journal’s AllThingsD columnist Kara Swisher writes on this topic this morning, with the headline “Despite Yahoo Ban, Most Tech Companies Support Work-From-Home for Employees.”

She calls out IBM in particular, citing that “IBM was one of the first global companies to pioneer programs to reduce employee commuting. It has sustained these programs for nearly two decades. Two key aspects are its (a) work-at-home program and (b) mobile employees program. Today, more than 128,000 (29 percent) of employees globally participate in one of these programs. In 2011, in just the U.S. alone, IBM’s work-at-home program conserved approximately 6.4 million gallons of fuel and avoided more than 50,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions.”

To that point, I figure in the 10+ years I’ve been working remotely, I’ve probably saved close to $20,000 in gasoline and auto maintenance costs.

I’ve also been spared the agony and utter un-productivity of wasted time spent in traffic. That’s at least another 500 hours saved over ten years, time that I can either give back to myself or, as is often the case, back to IBM.

Of course, I recognize Yahoo is also an exceptional case at the moment.

Marissa Mayer is trying to turn a culture around that has been stagnating, and through this announcement she will no doubt drive people away from the company that the company may well be better off without.

On the other hand, I’m not sure wrangling the herd of Yahoo cats back to the home ranch is going to serve as the needed combustible recipe that puts the innovative spark back in the Yahoo innovation engine.

In a year or two down the road…and I mean that quite literally…I can’t help but think the answer to that wonderful, brand-promised question: “Do you Yahoo?”

The answer’s going to increasingly be, “I used to, but I just got sick and tired of the commute.”

Written by turbotodd

February 26, 2013 at 3:16 pm

Fluor Corporation: Building Buildings…And A Better Workforce

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Some interesting customer stories and case studies have been prominently featured at the IBM Connect 2013 event down in Orlando.

One that was announced earlier today involved Fluor Corporation, a global leader in engineering, construction, and project management.

Fluor is unifying its 43,000 employees around the globe using IBM social software, helping empower its workforce to more effectively communicate, collaborate and spur innovation across its construction sites and engineering offices.

Employees across 60 Fluor global office locations on six continents are now united, able to find colleagues with unique expertise to develop and implement innovative solutions for project issues in diverse industries, including chemicals and petrochemicals, manufacturing, oil and gas, infrastructure, power, renewable energy and more.

In a matter of weeks, more than half of Fluor’s global workforce joined the social networking platform, uploading profile pictures, detailing expertise, and making new connections.

Their intranet, powered by IBM Connections and IBM WebSphere Portal, contains more than 11 news and information portals and more than 1,200 collaboration spaces with almost 2,000 active forum participants in the Connections tool allowing the Fluor workplace to be more collaborative and responsive, regardless of location or time zone.

Research from Deloitte indicates that organizations using social technology to engage and empower their employees are improving productivity and unleashing innovation to gain real competitive advantage.

According to a recent report, people-focused businesses generated 26 percent more revenue per employee and had 40 percent lower turnover rates.

Social business has really changed the way organizations of all kinds interact with their clients and their employees,” said Alistair Rennie, general manager, Social Business, IBM. “Today, organizations are thinking entirely differently about how to activate employees to drive business outcome. Social business is driving a smarter workforce. When you’ve got a smarter workforce, you’re changing the way the core processes in your business run, leveraging the incredible talent in your organization to meet your clients’ most critical needs.”

For more information about IBM’s social business initiative and creating a smarter workforce, please visit here,  or follow #IBMSocialBiz and #IBMConnect on Twitter.

From Liking To Leading: Driving A “Purposeful” Social Business Strategy

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At IBM Connect 2013 in Orlando, Florida, IBM announced earlier today new software and cloud-based services to help business leaders, such as chief marketing officers and chief human resource officers, advance their organization’s transformation with the adoption of social business technology.

The new offerings will help business leaders integrate IBM’s industry-leading social networking and analytics technologies into their business processes to empower the 21st Century workforce and transform client experiences.

Social Business By The NumbersLeading From The Front (Office)

Just as social networking has flourished in the consumer realm, Forrester has identified social business as an emerging business category, with the social technology industry growing to $6.4 billion by 2016.

Increasingly, front-office leaders, such as chief human resource officers, are looking to form a smarter workforce to unlock human potential and unleash innovation. According to a recent IBM CEO study, 70 percent of companies surveyed cited human capital as the single biggest contributor to sustained economic value.

The new social software offerings will help companies gain deeper insights into big data generated through the use of social networks. Organizations applying analytics to their data for competitive advantage are more likely to substantially outperform their industry peers.

Today, leading organizations, including 61 percent of the Fortune 100, are licensed to use IBM’s social business technologies to transform their front office business operations. This includes connecting employees globally to empower faster decision making and analyzing big data from sources such as Twitter, Facebook, blogs and public forums, to react swiftly to customer trends and outpace competitors.

Using Analytics To Better Understand Social Behavior And Business Opportunity

At the same time, social media and predictive analytics have emerged as indispensable tools for CMOs, who are using technology to make the customer experience more intelligent, intuitive and individualized.

According to the IBM CMO study, 82 percent of CMOs say they plan to increase their use of social media over the next three-to-five years to communicate with their clients.

From Liking To Leading

IBM’s new software and cloud-based services include:

  • A new Web-based social networking environment that provides HR leaders with a better way to recruit and onboard new employees, while giving employees access to digital media and data in real-time, enabling faster decision making.
  • Software to help marketing teams design sophisticated advertising campaigns and quickly publish those campaigns to leading social networks, resulting in a consistent customer experience through every online channel.
  • The next release of IBM’s industry-leading social networking platform will further enable users to access and analyze big data from inside and outside the organization, including Facebook, Twitter, audio and video.
  • Already in beta, IBM is also announcing its plans to release the industry’s first truly social email client incorporating file sharing, activity streams and a simplified user interface. This will be the first major release of Notes and Domino in five years.

“IBM is revolutionizing front-office processes with the application of cognitive computing and advanced analytics,” said Alistair Rennie, general manager, social business, IBM. “Social business has transitioned from being an emerging idea to a fundamental platform that clients everywhere are using to change the way they empower their employees and engage their customers.”

Enabling the 21st Century Workforce

Following its $1.3B acquisition of Kenexa in December 2012, IBM today announced a new Web-based social networking environment that is expected to integrate IBM’s industry-leading enterprise social networking platform with Kenexa’s recruiting, on-boarding, learning and performance management solutions.

The IBM Employee Experience Suite will help HR leaders attract, empower and motivate talent to address skill and resource gaps while enabling their workforce to deliver better results for their clients.

For example, employees can use social networking, e-meeting and instant messaging capabilities to access applications and interactive rich media such as videos, resulting in improved collaboration and greater teaming across globally distributed teams.

The Suite intends to integrate with Kenexa’s Applicant Tracking System allowing HR leaders to more swiftly educate existing employees and identify prospective talent. HR leaders will be able to set up a recruiting site, use it to onboard employees, present training options, administer surveys to employees and manage performance. Prospective employees can view the HR data on the broadest range of mobile devices, helping HR departments reach an increasingly social-savvy and mobile workforce.

Social Business Benefits

Transforming The Client Experience

The rise of the social-savvy, empowered consumer has prompted organizations around the globe to use social business and analytics capabilities to improve the customer experience. IBM today announced new capabilities that allow marketing teams to easily design, test and optimize sophisticated advertising campaigns.

For example, a new Social Media Publisher capability in IBM’s web experience software allows CMOs to push content, such as ad campaigns or promotions, to leading social networks with one simple click and without involving already resource strapped specialized IT teams.

Social Software for the Enterprise

With today’s news, IBM is introducing the next version of its social networking platform, IBM Connections. The new software will further enable users to access and analyze big data from inside and outside the organization, including Facebook, Twitter, audio and video.

Available in March 2013, IBM Connections 4.5 will include embedded document management capabilities so that members of a network can access, analyze and act on wide ranges of data types in the context of their work to improve decision-making and business results. IBM Connections’ Content Manager feature will allow teams and communities to harness an organization’s collective intelligence to solve business problems, increase productivity, and drive profit.

IBM Connections clients have access to new social features in the cloud, including blogging and ideation in Communities and access to information. In addition, IBM Connections will include enhanced integration of social capabilities in the Microsoft Outlook client, allowing users to access their social data such as profiles, files, and communities directly in Microsoft Outlook.

In December, IBM expanded its social business platform to include social document editing on-premises and in the cloud. The recently released IBM Docs, available on-premises and as part of the IBM SmartCloud for Social Business, allows browser users to simultaneously collaborate on word processing, spreadsheet and presentation documents to improve productivity.

IBM also announced that it expects to ship IBM Notes and Domino Social Edition 9 in March 2013. IBM Notes and Domino 9 will be the industry’s first truly social email client and delivers a social experience to users, whether using a browser or on the broadest range of mobile devices.

IBM Notes and Domino are used by more than half of the Fortune 500. IBM mobile capabilities manage and support a variety of platforms, including Apple (iOS 6), Android, Microsoft Windows operating system, including Windows and Blackberry smartphones (including BlackBerry 10).

Go here for more information about IBM’s social business initiative and creating a smarter workforce.

You can also follow #IBMSocialBiz and #IBMConnect on Twitter.

Alister Rennie, General Manager, Social Business @ IBM, addresses how organizations everywhere can move “from liking to leading” and build “purposeful” social business strategies.

Connecting At IBM Connect 2013

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IBM Connect 2013 and Lotusphere are the same events this year, which kicked off this morning down in Orlando, Florida.

IBM is carrying extensive live and on-demand coverage via its Livestream channel, and this year the event is following three “streams,” including “Creating A Smarter Workforce,” “Creating an Exceptional Customer Experience,” and the “Lotusphere Technical Program.”

If you’re interested in keeping apace via Twitter, the official conference hashtag is #ibmconnect.  To get a good gander from a variety of smart folks (many of whom are attending the event), you can follow this “Team Social” Twitter list.

Speaking of Twitter, there are a couple of Tweetups, one on Tuesday from 4:30-6:00 PM EST in Dolphin Suite #10-110 (and co-sponsored by Avnet).

Tonight’s Tweetup is from 7:00-7:30 EST PM in the Showcase Social Cafe, and will feature a number of IBM Champions.

You can also follow the IBM Connect action in the blogosphere, including in the IBM Social Business Insight Blog. 

Of course, Ed Brill’s blog is a must read during the event (Ed has a new book out entitled Opting In: Lessons in Social Business from a Fortune 500 Product Managerand I’m sure will have much news on his blog throughout the week).

Finally, Happy Twitter Anniversary to me.  Twopcharts informed me via Tweetdeck that today is apparently my 6 year Twitter anniversary.

At which point I immediately started having flashbacks to that 2007 SXSW when Twitter was first “tipping” and everyone used it to make their lunch plans and to do mass migrations out of really bad sessions at SXSW. I’m sure at least a few you out there remember that moment in time, and if not, you should, because it has become part of the historical lore behind the rise of Twitter.

Written by turbotodd

January 28, 2013 at 3:41 pm

New IBM Study: The Business of Social Business

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IBM’s recent study on “The Business of Social Business” revealed three major areas where organizations can most effectively apply their social business investments. The study surveyed more than 1,100 businesses worldwide, and included extensive interviews with more than two dozen widely recognized leaders in social business. You can find a link to a downloadable version of the study later in this blog post.

If you’ve been looking for a study that will help you better understand how organizations around the globe are viewing the opportunity social business presents as a fundamental way by which to rethink and overhaul how they conduct their business operations in the social age, IBM has something for you.

Earlier today, we released the new IBM Institute for Business Value study entitled “The Business of Social Business.”

This was a survey conducted of more than 1,110 businesses around the world, and with extensive interviews with more than two dozen recognized global leaders in social business. Many of those executives explained to IBM that, in fact, social business is gaining traction in their organizations.

Top line, 46 percent of the companies surveyed increased their investments in social business in 2012, and 62 percent indicated they were going to increase their expenditures in the next three years.

As the executive summary of the report stated, “The question surrounding social media today is not whether you are doing but, but whether you are doing enough.

Getting your 100,000th “Like” on Facebook, or having your latest pearl of wisdom retweeted 200 times an hour is all well and good, but are these activities driving revenue, attracting talent, and bridging the collaboration gaps in your organization?”

Is your use of social media allowing your organization to engage with the right customers, improve their online experience, and tap into their latest insights and ideas?

And does your social approach provide your customer-facing representatives with the ability to search the globe for expertise or apply learnings?

For far too many organizations, the answer are, “not yet.”

What IS Social Business?

IBM defines social business as embedding tools, media, and practices into the ongoing activities of an organization. It enables individuals to connect and share information and insights more effectively with others, both inside and outside the organization.

Social business tools facilitate engagement in extensive discussions with employees, customers, business partners, and other stakeholders and allow sharing of resources, skills and knowledge to drive business outcomes.

And what’s the upside? Top-line growth for social business users can improve between 3 and 11 percent, according to a recent study from the McKinsey Global Institute, and productivity can be enhanced by between 2 and 12 percent.

I’ll hand you off to a link of the full study later, but to net out the findings, IBM’s survey and interviews revealed three major areas where organizations apply social business investments (see graphic above):

  • Create valued customer experiences
  • Drive workforce productivity and effectiveness
  • Acclerate innovation

Shifting Towards Sales And Service

For those who have been involved in the social media realm to date, it’s important to note that social business is about moving beyond basic promotional activities to encompass the entire customer lifecycle, including lead generation, sales, and post-sales service.

The IBM study had a sub-sample of clients with some social business experience which revealed that while the percentage of companies expecting to use social business for promotional activities will rise slightly, from 71 percent today to 83 percent in the next two years, the number of companies expecting to use social approaches to generate sales leads and revenue will increase dramatically.

How companies are using social business capabilities is evolving rapidly. As you can see in the graphic, it is moving beyond basic promotional activities to encompass the entire customer lifecycle, including lead generation, sales, and even post-sales service.

Today, 51 percent use social approaches for leads and revenue, while 74 percent plan to get on board in the next two years.  Post-sales support is also expected to increase, from 46 today to 69 percent over the next two years (see graphic entitled “Users of Social Business”).

Getting Started With Social Business

Regardless of where your organization is in its own social business journey, the use of social business practices is a transformation that leads toward new ways of working.

IBM’s research revealed three essential actions to be taken across the enterprise, from the CEO’s office to the farthest corner of the organization.

  1. Develop social methods and tools to create consistent and valued customer experiences.
  2. Embed social capabilities to drive workforce productivity and effectiveness.
  3. Use social approaches to accelerate innovation.

If you’re interested in reading the full study, you can register to download it here.

As IBM’s vice president for social business, Sandy Carter, explained in the video interview below during our recent interview at the IBM Interconnect in Singapore, “culture eats strategy for lunch.” Sandy offered up some great advice on world-class social business practices, as well as how companies and individuals can better establish their brands in an increasingly crowded social marketplace.

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