Turbotodd

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

Archive for the ‘lotus’ Category

Live @ Lotusphere 2012: Turbo’s Late Arrival

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First off, I don’t know what I was thinking traveling during the AFC/NFC playoffs.  Did that happen last year?

Redmonk's James Governor, Silicon Angle's Alex Williams, and IBM's Rawn Shah talk social shop at Sunday night's opening kickoff party at the Dolphin & Swan Beach in Orlando, Florida

All I can say is, Thank God for Jet Blue and DirecTV.  It was a nice flight from Austin to Orlando, where I would be attending Lotusphere and IBM Connect 2012, and I was able to see the NY Giants’ fleecing of Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, no less, some 35,000 feet up in the air (save for those nasty mid-air turns where the satellite went south…or was it north?)

In any case, there’s been a lot of fun NFL football this weekend…there was yesterday’s 49ers rout that sent the Saints marchin’ home, and the ever-laser-like Patriot Tom Brady who made Tim Tebow look like a rank amateur in the Pats’ victory over the Broncos.

Now if I could just find out who won the Sony out in Honolulu. (Oh, it was Johnson Wagner…who’s he??)

But enough sports talk, it’s time to get down to business.  At the opening Lotusphere kick-off party on Disney’s Swan and Dolphin beach, I got to catch up with some old blogger friends, not to mention made some new ones.  And clearly, I need to update my RSS feeds: ReadWriteWeb’s Alex Williams has joined the cadre led by my old friend John Furrier at SiliconAngle, and James Governor with Redmonk explained how he’s in the throes of planning his first “Monkigras,” not to mention preparing for the global invasion of East London for this Summer’s Olympic games.

At the party this evening, I did some catching up with all the above,  as well as some old IBM friends including Luis “What’s Your Email Address?” Suarez, and Rawn “What Social Book Are You Writing Now?” Shah.  There were lots of Androids and iPhones in attendance at the party as well, though I saw only one Ice Cream Sandwich.  Being a recent Android convert, I can honestly say I’m quickly grokking the Android code names.

As for tomorrow, I’m very excited to learn that former Apple executive and speaker extraordinaire Guy Kawasaki will be kicking off the IBM Connect event.

But for now, it’s time to get some needed slumber so I can be prepared for all things social and all things business in the am…with a particular emphasis on the former.

Written by turbotodd

January 16, 2012 at 4:27 am

Social Media ROI Doubts R.I.P.

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Never mind that the following blog post was written by one of my favorite bloggers (Marshall Kirkpatrick) at one of my favorite blog sites (ReadWriteWeb).

As another Marshall explained (McLuhan), “the medium is the message,” and the message IBM delivered yesterday with its social business services and education announcement is that social is here to stay.

As our own study cites from McKinsey, “…9 out of every 10 businesses using Web 2.0 technology are seeing measureable business benefits from its users.”

And as someone who jumped on the “Cluetrain” back in 1999, this isn’t a surprise to me.  What is a surprise is the continued hesitance to “cross the chasm” (thank you, Clayton Chistensen) and to start to throw more  organizational weight, not to mention real budget, into the social business realm.

It’s no longer just about having a presence on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, boys and girls.  It’s about fundamentally reassessing and optimizing your business processes end-to-end to take advantage of the enormous collaboration and business process productivity that can better bring all your value chain constituents into alignment, like so many stars in the solar system.

From here, I’ll hand it over to Marshall who did a really elegant job of capturing this announcement.

But for those of you who will be in Orlando starting next Monday for the Lotusphere and IBM Connect events, you’re going to have the opportunity to learn about this immense opportunity in much more detail.

Follow me here on the Turbo blog for extensive coverage, and also via Twitter at #ls12, #IBMConnect, and #IBMSocialbiz.

Marshall Kirkpatrick: Rest in Peace, Social Media ROI Doubts: 2006-2012

Written by turbotodd

January 12, 2012 at 11:10 pm

IBM Invests In Social Media Business Skills, Services

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As part of its continued commitment to fostering growth in the adoption of social media and social business, IBM today is announcing new programs, services and partnerships to help organizations develop and deepen skills to accelerate business opportunities being driven by the rapid adoption of social networking in the enterprise.

The IBM Connections mobile app for Apple iOS allows busy professionals to conduct their social business wherever they may have a data connection -- typically in airport lounges that don't offer nearly a good enough variety of Scooby snacks.

According to Forrester Research, the market opportunity for social business software is expected to grow at a rate of 61 percent through 2016, reaching $6.4 billion, compared with $600 million last year.

And per a 2011 AIIM survey, over 50 percent of user organizations now consider becoming a social business to be imperative or significant to their business goals. However, many organizations use social technologies only to find them fall flat.

This is often the case because of a failure to align their Social Business strategy to their unique, organizational culture. According to the 2011 State of Community Management Report from The Community Roundtable, culture is the hardest thing to change in an organization. According to a survey from the report, 28 percent of respondents said that their organizational culture was either resistant to sharing, controlling, or paranoid.

With today’s news, IBM is investing in its clients and business partners to develop the skills, technical support and industry resources that will allow them to effectively adopt social networking capabilities to transform their business operations.

Workshops, Services, & Online Training

The offerings include introducing new technical workshops designed to improve skills and consulting offerings to help develop a business culture that fosters open collaboration and sharing among employees, clients, and business partners.

Through the use of interactive online courses, live support and one-on-one guidance with IBM Social Business experts, IBM is working with organizations across the globe to educate them on the benefits of applying social networking technology to their organizations, while at the same time helping to assess the barriers of social business for faster adoption.

As the industry leader in social business among the first to embrace social internally and to develop social computing policy and guidelines, IBM is poised to help organizations exploit the transformation into a social business, helping them to build stronger relationships among their employees, customers and business partners and make better decisions, faster.

Education & Enablement: Key To Social Business Success

A successful social business must combine the use of social technologies with a business culture that promotes transparency, trust and information sharing among the workforce. Quite often, organizations need guidance around developing social policy, governance, the skills needs for compliance and connecting social technologies to business processes.

Through the new social business initiatives, IBM is delivering the right set of skills, technical support, development resources, and industry expertise that will allow clients and business partners to expand their social business capabilities effectively and accelerate adoption. This includes:

  • Strategic Consulting from IBM Global Business Services to help organizations better understand their current adoption of social business tools for both internal and external purposes and helps to articulate how social business accelerates and alleviates business challenges.
  • Global educational and mentorship programs for clients and business partners on how to become effective community managers, the fastest growing job in social, while increasing employee engagement over top, line-of-business communities on the social software platform.
  • Technical certification programs that help customers and business partners validate and demonstrate their skills through assessment exams and training resources so that they can plan for and perform the installation, configuration and day-today tasks associated with ensuring the smooth and efficient operation of social software solutions.
  • Social Business Agenda workshops on IBM’s Virtual Innovation Center providing immediate access to discussions forums focused on the benefits of becoming a social business, providing clients and business partners with case study examples of successful social businesses, and helping them to develop an agenda for driving social adoption. 

Partnering With Social Business Leaders: The Dachis Group

IBM is also announcing a partnership with The Dachis Group, the world’s leader in powering the design, development, management, and measurement of Social Business performance, to help organizations quickly drive adoption success through a social business adoption quickstart workshop.

The workshop combines IBM services for the implementation of Social Business solutions for enterprises with additional services from The Dachis Group and focuses on the use of social business technology while fostering cultural skills and engagement.

IBM is also collaborating with Group Business System, an IBM Business Partner, to help IBM clients convert IBM Lotus Notes applications into applications accessible on the Web or via mobile devices.

The new IBM services offering will help clients retain the value of their significant investments made over the years in the Lotus Notes and Domino platform while enabling them to take full advantage of the latest web technology to support their business.

“The opportunity to transform into a social business can be stunted without a focus on engagement, culture change, and policy.” said Alistair Rennie, General Manager, Social Business, IBM. “Social technologies, when combined with the right skills and culture, can truly unlock the potential of people within the organization to collaborate, innovate, make smarter business decisions and ultimately drive their bottom line.”

Visit here to get more information about IBM’s social business initiative or follow #IBMSocialBiz on Twitter.

Written by turbotodd

January 11, 2012 at 3:28 pm

TurboTech: Technological Romance For Dummies

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Scott Laningham and I, having entirely too much time to ourselves over the holidays to ponder all things technology, spent a good 26 minutes one late December day discussing likely future tech trends: Everything from the absurdity of code names for mobile operating systems to our having our own technology reality TV show someday — but one in which nobody could give Scott and I a rose.

That just simply wouldn’t be appropriate.

I also provide a shout out to the IBM Connections event, which starts a week from today in lovely Orlando, Florida.  It’s not too late to register for it, and for Lotusphere. Go here to learn more.

I’ll be arriving in Orlando early Sunday evening and plan on bringing all the blogging coverage my little Turbo hands can handle (And Scott assures me in the video below he’ll do some remote podcasting, since he won’t be there live and in person.  Make sure you provide some comments and try to hold him to it!)

Connecting @ IBM Connect 2012

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It was on this day in 1845 that Texas officially became the 28th state in the United States of America.

Happy Birthday, Texas.

But, Texas is NOT where I’ll be in a short couple of weeks.

No, instead, I’ll be visiting the 27th state admitted to the United States of America.

Any guesses on what the 27th state was?

Click to enlarge. At IBM Connect on January 16-17, 2012, in Orlando, Florida, discuss the why, what, and how of using social, mobile, and cloud technologies to meet common business challenges and to enable people to improve their business performance. IBM Connect registration fee includes access to IBM Connect 2012 keynotes and breakout sessions, dining, a Solutions Center, and two exclusive evening events.

That’s right, Sunny Florida!

Lotusphere, to be more precise.

And IBM Connect @ Lotusphere, to be perfectly precise.

I’ll be making my third return trip to Lotusphere, and I couldn’t be more excited.  Though I’ll be leaving Scott Laningham behind to cover the podcasting front remotely, I’ll be there in full regalia, and attending a number of the IBM Connect sessions.

If you’ve not heard of IBM Connect, think of it as a conference-within-a-conference for those forward-thinking business leaders who want to learn how to turn the opportunity that comes from becoming a social business into measurable business success.

At IBM Connect, C-level executives and business leaders from a wide range of disciplines — product development, R&D, marketing, sales, customer service, HR, corporate communications, and IT — and from a diversity of organizations around the globe will come together to discuss the why, what, and how of using social, mobile, and cloud technologies to meet their business challenges and to enable people to improve their business performance.

I’ve included a snapshot of the sessions from Day 1 of IBM Connect (see above), but in the meantime, you can go here to learn more about the event and to register.

Leading up to and during the event, stay turned to the Turbo blog for full coverage and highlights from both Lotusphere and IBM Connect 2012.

Vacation Over, Or Getting Over Vacation

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Well, I’m back from vacation, and (mostly) no worse for the wear.  Ironic though it may be, I went from being somewhat Internet challenged to extremely Internet challenged when I returned home to Austin last evening.

I’ve been using AT&T U-Verse for the better part of this year for my Internet, phone, and digital cable access, and have had little-to-no issues (as opposed to frequent outages Time Warner Internet, my prior provider)…that is, until arriving home, when I discovered I’d been completely cut off from the world.  This, just as I was trying to get back into the saddle and catch up on the voluminous emails that had streamed into my in-box the past week.

After an hour of troubleshooting, I finally found a support number to call, and helpful though the AT&T support rep was on the other end of the line (my iPhone line, that is…remembering my landline no longer worked!), she couldn’t get me up and running.

Fortunately, they were able to get an AT&T truck roll to my house this morning, and I was back up and running in no time.

Thanks a million, AT&T.  I know people like to give you a hard time, but you moved as quickly as could reasonably be expected, and I very much appreciated the quick response, considering that otherwise I was going to be dead in the water my first day back in the home office.

Lots happened in the past few days on the IBM front, so I’ll be playing some blogging catchup.  But I did want to highlight one piece of news that came through during my absence: On Wednesday, IBM unveiled seven new social networking and collaboration mobile apps designed to address enterprise-class requirements.

The new software is available for download from the most popular app stores, and takes IBM social networking, real-time collaboration, and online meeting capabilities from behind the company firewall and into the hands of tablet users.

The new offerings span the widest range of tablets, including the iPad, and allow employees to more effectively collaborate and share data, images, and conduct meetings more securely as part of their everyday work experience.

The business card feature allows an IBM Sametime user to launch an announcement or chat to an individual or group using an iPad.

Here’s the rundown:

  • Social networking for iPad: Available from the Apple app store at no charge for existing IBM Connections users, the new app includes a new interface ideal for tablet devices allowing for unique document editing capabilities.
  • Attend Online Meetings: Employees can attend on-line meetings from their tablets anytime, anyplace. Available on Android, BlackBerry, iPad, and iPhone devices, LotusLive Meeting users can view shared presentations, chat with meeting participants, and virtually raise and lower hands from tablets and other mobile devices. IBM Sametime software users can also lead, participate in and manage browser-based meetings from their iPad or Android tablets.
  • Instant messaging: New mobile apps for iPad and Android enable IBM Sametime users to use tablets to take immediate action on urgent business tasks by providing one-on-one or group instant messaging, background notifications, and the ability to send photos through the chat window.
  • Access business documents: Available now in the Android Marketplace, IBM Lotus Symphony Viewers allow users to view any ODF-based document, spreadsheet and presentation on their Android devices. The viewers will be available for other devices soon.
  • Reduce calling costs: IBM Sametime Unified Telephony on tablets allows a user to initiate calls to whatever phone happens to be nearby by controlling call routing preferences and device selection as well as have his one unified number appear in caller ID.
  • Easier access to mail and calendar: IBM Lotus Notes Traveler now allows IBM mail users to easily add widgets to their Android home screens for quick, convenient access to mail and calendar, and allows users to call people listed in their calendar views with just one click.

According to IDC France, the tablet market is forecast to reach over 4.1 million in 2012, representing a 48% growth compared to 2011. A recent IBM study revealed that 73 percent of business leaders surveyed currently allow mobile devices or tablets to connect to their corporate networks.

IBM is also advancing the use of business analytics by delivering expanded native mobile device support with IBM Cognos Mobile on the iPad. Available to try out in Apple’s iTunes store, the software enables mobile workers to take their business analytics on the road whether offline or online, allowing for uninterrupted productivity.

Speaking of productivity, if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to trimming down my burgeoning post-vacation in-box!

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.

Celebrating Social Media Week: Our Big Blue Social Business

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Remember the logo, that curvy red “e” that mimicked the “@” symbol, which came to represent what IBM meant by the idea of “e-business” back in the late 1990s?

Starting in 1997, the IBM e-business logo signaled IBM's focus on helping organizations transform themselves using Internet technologies. It's now helping them pursue similar transformations with "social business" adoption.

Well, imagine replacing it with a curvy “s” instead and calling it “social business” instead, and you’d have a pretty good symbol for describing IBM’s social transformation inside the company, as well as the market it’s helping to make for other companies and organizations around the globe to follow suit.

IBM: The Social Case Study

As we celebrate “Social Media Week,” I wanted to write a post to let people know some details and facts behind IBM’s social transformation. As the largest consumer of social technologies, IBM is a case study for this transformation into a social business.

This goes beyond IBM’s business in social software and services (IBM’s collaboration software, consulting services, analytics/social media research, conducting Jams for clients).  IBM is leading social business on all fronts – technology, policy and practice.

IBM takes social networking seriously —  to develop products and services, to enable sellers to find and stay connected with clients, to train the next generation of leaders, and to build awareness of Smarter Planet among clients, influencers and other communities.

What’s Past Is Social Prologue

IBM’s social media activity dates back to the 1970’s when its mainframe programmers started online discussion forums on the System 370 consoles. For 15 years, IBM employees have used social software to foster collaboration among our dispersed 400,000 person team — long before Generation Y became fixated with social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace.

I remember, because when I joined the company in 1991, I used to collaborate with fellow employees in other locations via IBM’s internal mainframe.

Then, in 1997, IBM recommended that its employees get out onto the Internet, at a time when many companies were seeking to restrict their employees’ Internet access (I’d gotten on the commercial Internet starting in 1993 myself).

In 2005, the company made a strategic decision to embrace the blogosphere and to encourage IBMers to participate (I started this blog in June 2005).

In 2007, IBM launched its own social networking software for the enterprise: IBM  Connections. My team now uses Connections to collaborate and coordinate work literally around the globe. I’m not quite sure how we got along without it (but we used to say the same thing about email!)

This is a screenshot from an IBM Connections Community that I use to manage a workgroup of people who attend a weekly call I've been holding for nearly six years now. The Connections community streamlines the time I have to take to manage basic details for the call, ranging from communicating where files are located to highlighting the call-in number. In short, I'd be lost without it, and be much less productive in my day-to-day work!

In early 2008, IBM introduced social computing guidelines to encompass virtual worlds and sharing of rich media. (Remember Second Life?? Yeah, me neither…well, kind of.)

And later that year, IBM opened its IBM Center for Social Software to help IBM’s global network of researchers collaborate with corporate residents, university students and faculty, creating the industry’s premier incubator for the research, development and testing of social software that is “fit for business”.

Social Business Means Business Change

Here’s a profound stat: According to Gartner, in 2010, only five percent of organizations took advantage of social/collaborative customer action to improve service processes.

IBM sees social media morphing into what we view as a key requirement for “social business” — as tools for organizational productivity and culture change, for engaging with diverse constituencies of clients and experts, and for spurring revenue growth and innovation for our global workforce.

Today, IBM views itself as one of the most prolific users of social networking in the industry with one of the largest corporate-wide communities on social media sites.

Some examples of IBM’s internal social media footprint today include the following:

  • 17,000 individual blogs
  • 1 million daily page views of internal wikis, internal information storing websites
  • 400,000 employee profiles on IBM Connections, IBM’s initial social networking initiative that allows employees to share status updates, collaborate on wikis, blogs and activity, share files
  • 15,000,000 downloads of employee-generated videos/podcasts
  • 20 million minutes of LotusLive meetings every month with people both inside and outside the organization
  • More than 400k Sametime instant messaging users, resulting in 40-50 million instant messages per day

The screen above has become one quite familiar to IBMers around the world. "LotusLive" emeetings have become commonplace, helping employees across multiple geographical locations come together in real-time and virtual space to meet and get work done!

If you were to glance outside IBM on the social media external to the company, you’d find a continued and expansive footprint of IBM participants:

  • Over 25,000 IBMers actively tweeting on Twitter and counting
  • Approximately 300,00 IBMers on Linkedin. This number is growing at 24%/year, which gives IBM the largest employee presence of any firm on the platform.
  • Approximately 198,000 IBMers on Facebook

Putting Social Into Action

Our social business initiatives have had a profound impact on IBM’s business processes and transformation. By way of example, well before the phrases “Web 2.0” or “social media” came into being, IBM was using online jams to drive business initiatives and values development across the company.

As our own CEO Sam Palmisano explained, “Jams have helped change our culture and the fundamental way we collaborate across our business.”  We’ve conducted jams both for IBM and our clients, including the Innovation Jam in 2006 which led directly to the development of the business opportunities that preceded our Smarter Planet agenda.

So, from that perspective, it becomes evident a massive internal social exercise that allowed the employees of IBM identify a major strategic shift for the company!

When’s the last time you let your employee base determine a massive strategic direction that your company was about to take??

Human Resources Are Inherently Social

IBM’s HR hasn’t been untouched by the social business evolution. Our HR professionals use social media for tech-enabled recruiting (think LinkedIn), employee education, sales training and leadership development.

By way of example, IBM relies on social media for leadership development from the first day on the job.  IBM’s Succeeding@IBM makes new hires become part of a social group for the first 6-12 months, so that they can get better acculturated into IBM with other new hires.

In 2006, hundreds of thousands of IBMers came together in a 72-hour virtual jam to help identify the emerging business opportunities that came to represent IBM's "Smarter Planet" initiative. This was "crowdsourcing" of a massive scale, and led to over $100M in internal investments in these important new business opportunities.

In point of fact, IBM’s recent study of 700 Global Chief Human Resource Officers found that  financial outperformers (as measured by EBIDTA) are 57 percent more likely than underperformers to use collaborative and social networking tools to enable global teams to work more effectively together and 21 percent of companies have recently increased the amount they invest in the collaboration tools and analytics despite the economic downturn.

Most recently, we’ve launched an internal initiative entitled “Social Business @ IBM” on our intranet which serves as a resource for IBMers to better educate themselves about social media and various social initiatives taking place internally, while also helping enable them to participate in the broader social media.

We also host modules that provide the IBMer with an introduction to the social web, where they learn how to use social computing tools to foster collaboration, develop networks, and forge closer relationships…with people who are often halfway around the globe!

Social = Transformational

When people tell me they still have to go into an office my response is, “How primitive.”  Don’t get me wrong, I love to press the flesh, but I’ve found that in this flatter earth, increasingly globalized realm, where my colleagues and I have to work all different hours, the question that always comes to me is “Who has time to waste sitting in a car?!!!”

But more importantly, the social business evolution I’ve witnessed at IBM is truly transformational.  When I started work at IBM in the summer of 1991 as a greenhorn intern, we DID go to an office every day and we DID have meetings face to face all the time and I DID wear a white shirt and blue tie.

These days, I can’t remember the last time I went into the IBM office, and yet I feel more connected and more productive than ever.  Why?  Well, I won’t lie, even if I sound like a commercial — the IBM technologies, from our IBM Lotus Sametime Instant Messaging to Lotus Notes and IBM Connections largely remove time and geography from the productivity equation.

But I would suggest there’s an even more transformational thought at work: IBM now trusts its employees in ways it never did before, and the democratization that social tools brought forth has also brought us a democratization in decision-making.

I now make front line decisions that, 20 years ago, would have been driven through a host of hierarchies and managers at a pace that likely would have been acceptable in terms of those times.

Today, such delays would be completely unacceptable and even uncompetitive, as decisions often need to be made instantly. But based on both the technological and cultural transformation within IBM, that’s okay, I’m expected and trusted to make those decisions.

And finally, social business, like social media, is also just plain more fun.

It’s as if these tools enable you to have the whole world at your fingertips.  And that makes for a smarter planet and  a smarter, more competitive IBM.

IBM’s Smarter Commerce In The Cloud

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I’m still shaking my head over the Netflix debacle.  Apparently so are a lot of the rest of you!

But, I’ll be honest: I’m not giving up on them.  Not yet.  I still like the streaming offering too much and enjoy their deeper catalogue of foreign flicks (but ask me again in the New Year after their Starz deal is set to expire!).

Meantime, IBM is bringing to market a new solution featuring cloud and on-premise offerings that will help organizations respond automatically to shifting consumer and business trends.

These new solutions, Commerce-as-a-Service and Social Media Marketing, combined technology from key acquisitions such as Unica, Coremetrics, and Sterling Commerce with IBM research and development.

These new software solutions are designed to help companies intelligently automate supplier and trading partner interactions, automatically turn marketplace insights into marketing and sales actions and connect online, mobile and social channels to physical stores.

With its Smarter Commerce initiative, IBM is defining and leading a new market that it estimates to be worth $20 billion in software alone.  Smarter Commerce transforms how companies manage and adapt to customer and industry trends such as online, social and mobile shopping and purchasing.

The new offerings introduced today include:

The Commerce-as-a-Service, which accelerates and extends the delivery of Smarter Commerce capabilities with:

  • A Cloud-based Configure, Price, Quote offering that simplifies the “quote-to-cash” process by allowing clients to quickly drive new revenue streams by bundling offers automatically.
  • A Cross-Channel Selling offering which connects Web store fronts to mobile devices, social networks and other channels. This enables companies to generate new revenue streams by connecting products offered online to in-store purchasing and delivery.  This software is optimized for IBM POWER7 Systems, allowing high-volume retailers to personalize customers’ online shopping experiences, and handle online sales surges during peak shopping seasons without loss of performance. In addition, the systems integrate customer buying information across all sales channels, including online, mobile, in-store, POS and kiosks.
  • A Payments & Settlement solution that delivers a highly flexible and secure PCI compliant payment capability at customer checkout.
  • A Supplier Integration & Management offering that connects and automates supplier interactions, providing clients with a dashboard view of activity as it happens.
  • A Cloud-based File Transfer capability for moving large customer and partner data within and across businesses to support critical commerce needs faster and more efficiently.

Social Media Marketing, which delivers deep analysis of natural language processing of consumer sentiment in social media. This allows customers to receive tailored, one-to-one marketing offers automatically in real time.

IBM has enhanced its cloud-based Digital Marketing Optimization offering by adding a digital data exchange for the tagging, collection and syndication of customer data. IBM is also adding capabilities to more simply analyze multiple enterprise Web sites and speed the ability to optimize email communications and reporting from creation, to deployment, to social sharing.

New Smarter Commerce Consulting Services

IBM today also announced the launch of a new Global Center of Competence for Smarter Commerce.  The new Center of Competence will be part of IBM Global Business Services and is comprised of highly skilled Smarter Commerce consulting experts who will help clients worldwide solve their most complex buying, marketing, selling and servicing business problems.

For more information on IBM Smarter Commerce go here.

IBM Introduces New Mobile Social Software

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If you’ve been following the communications around IBM’s smarter planet initiative, you’re probably aware of the major underlying themes.

When IBM shared its vision three years ago, we explained that a smarter planet presented an opportunity to infuse intelligence into every system through which the world works.

IBM introduced new software today to help organizations take social computing capabilities into the mobile space, continuing its focus on helping companies transform themselves into social businesses.

We explained that in such a world, everything is becoming instrumented with sensors and computational power.  That the world is becoming interconnected via vast, ubiquitous networks.  And that many things are becoming intelligent by applying analytics to the mountains of data they can collect.

One of those key underlying networks is made of people.  People connected to other people using social media and computing technologies, not as their own end, but as a means to the end of communicating with one another and creating new business value through those connections.

Just as the Internet changed the marketplace forever, the integration of social computing into the the enterprise represents another enormous shift in the landscape. Those organizations that successfully transform into social businesses can reap great benefits, among them the ability to deepen their customer relationships, drive new operational efficiencies, and optimize their workforce.

Today, IBM announced new software to help organizations continue on this journey by allowing them to embrace social networking using the broadest range of mobile devices.

Getting Social, Going Mobile

A shift is occurring in the enterprise. The adoption of mobile devices and social software is rapidly becoming a vital business tool, enabling organizations to transform virtually every part of their business operations from marketing, customer service and sales, to product development and human resources.

According a recent report from the Renegade firm, 86 percent of business people now use social media to help them make business decisions. With more than one billion mobile users combined with rise of social networking in the workplace, companies are looking for ways to better integrate these industry forces to help organizations accelerate collaboration, deepen customer relationships, generate new ideas faster, and enable a more effective workforce.

Being social often now also means being mobile, and with today’s news, IBM is delivering its industry-leading Connections social networking software and enabling people to download it from all the major app stores, including Android, Apple iOS, and RIM’s BlackBerry.

Connections enables your people to gain immediate access to blogs, employee data, status updates, and wikis, as well as share files, videos and photos.

As part of today’s news, IBM also is helping IT administrators simplify the management of corporate and personal data on employee devices.

With more companies allowing employees to use their own device for work, the time and management of securing personal data was becoming a burden to IT administrators.  A new IBM collaboration software “partial wipe” capability for Apple iOS devices allows IT administrators to wipe only the confidential company data from the device while preserving a worker’s personal email, photos, videos, and games.

No matter how applications are accessed, social businesses of all sizes need to communicate and collaborate on the fly across a global network of clients, partners and employees. To fully enable a social business, IBM is announcing these new mobile apps:

  • New social networking app: Available at no charge, the new IBM Connections app works just like the industry-leading IBM social software with added functionality for Google Android smartphones and tablets, Apple iOS devices and BlackBerry smartphones. In addition to the popular File share application, Profiles, and Activities, Blogs and generate-and-vote-on-ideas features, workers can now take photos with their smartphones and upload them directly to Connections. All three apps are available now in the respective apps stores.
  • Partial wipe for Apple iOS devices: New IBM software provides “partial wipe” capability for Apple iOS devices allowing an IT administrator to wipe only the company data from the device while preserving a worker’s personal data, such as personal email, photos, videos and games. Administrators can still initiate a full reset wipe if circumstances warrant it, as an alternative to this new partial wipe option.  Traveler enables IBM email, contacts and calendar information to be accessible from the most popular mobile devices.
  • Click-to-call from Android OS device calendar: Available in beta now, Lotus Notes Traveler will allow IBM email users to call people listed in their calendar views with just one click.
  • Unified Communications for Android devices: IBM’s Sametime software for Android extends presence awareness and instant messaging with new features including text-to-speech which can read incoming messages when the users cannot stop to look at the device, for example, when driving; send photos taken with the device through Sametime chats; and automatically update location status. Workers who also have Sametime Unified Telephony software reduce phone use costs by initiating calls to whatever phone happens to be nearby.
  • Online meeting support for BlackBerry: IBM Sametime meetings support allows BlackBerry users to participate in online meetings using their mobile devices.
  • Cloud-based meeting support for Android:  LotusLive Meetings support for the Android OS is planned to be available later this year.

IBM Clients Are Becoming Social Businesses

In an embrace of social business transformation in the enterprise, thousands of clients are adopting IBM social software on tablets and smart phones including Amway, Bekins Van Lines, University of Zurich, Virginia Commonwealth University and Cummins Inc.

Cummins Inc (NYSE: CMI) is a global leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel engines, power generation systems and related products and technologies.

Cummins, a global leader in diesel engines and power generation systems, uses IBM Lotus Notes Traveler software to increase the productivity of its farflung workforce.

A Fortune 500 company with 2010 revenues of $13.2 billion, Cummins has approximately 40,000 employees in 353 locations in 190 countries. Cummins is the largest independent maker of diesel engines and related products in the world.

The ability to collaborate from a smart, mobile device enables Cummins employees to be more productive in more places because they can access mail, calendar, contacts, and to do lists anywhere in the world.  In the future, the promise of mobile computing expands “true” business capability enabling new business paradigms ranging from performing diagnostic tests while working on top of large engines to taking parts inventory and finalizing parts distribution logistics to having instant access to comprehensive business analytics that reflect a business unit’s growth in a key market segment.

“Cummins’ workers have benefited from the use of IBM Lotus Notes Traveler and its functions have been well integrated into our model of how we work and help to increase the productivity of our workforce overall.  We look forward to expanding our use of IBM mobile collaboration applications in order to enhance the flexibility and on demand features that allow workers to work where they want to work,” said Eric Christian, Director, Global Architecture and Security, Cummins.

For information about additional mobile platforms supported by IBM (including Nokia Symbian) visit www.ibm.com/software/lotus/category/mobile-wireless/

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