Turbotodd

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

Archive for the ‘social commerce’ Category

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: A Q&A With Liz Strauss

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Scott and I sat down for a few rounds of interviews starting yesterday morning here at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit in Orlando, Florida.

We had a number of social media luminaries in attendance, and first up was Liz Strauss, founder of the business networking event, SOBcon and author of the ever-popular blog, Successful-Blog.com.

Our topics? Blogging, of course, as well as some insight and background about SOBcon.

My favorite quote from Liz: “Write intelligently from the heart.”

Watch the video to learn what Liz meant by that!

Written by turbotodd

September 6, 2012 at 7:46 pm

Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit, Orlando: Day 1 Video Recap

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Our video producer for this IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit, Noah Bello, put together an excellent reel last night that did a great job of recapping some of the highlights from Day 1 of the Summit.

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words, and a moving picture…well, it tells the tale like nothing else, so I’m just going to hand you off to Noah’s fine work so that those of you who couldn’t be here in person get a taste of the first day’s festivities!

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.

IBM To Acquire HR And Talent Management Firm Kenexa

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IBM today announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Kenexa Corporation, a publicly held company headquartered in Wayne, PA, in a cash transaction at a price of $46 per share, or at a net price of approximately $1.3 billion.

“Every company, across every business operation, is looking to tap into the power of social networking to transform the way they work, collaborate and out innovate their competitors,” says Alistair Rennie, general manager, social business, IBM, explaining IBM’s rationale for acquiring HR and talent management provider Kenexa Corporation for $1.3 billion cash earlier today.

The acquisition bolsters IBM’s leadership in helping clients embrace social business capabilities while gaining actionable insights from the massive streams of information generated from social networks every day.

The adoption of social business technology is supporting the growth of big data and the need for analytics in the enterprise. A recent global IBM study revealed that 57 percent of CEOs identified social business as a top priority and more than 73 percent are making significant investments to draw insights into available data.

The survey also reveals that 70 percent cite human capital as the single biggest contributor to sustained economic value. The combined strengths of IBM and Kenexa are key differentiators at a time when organizations of all sizes are looking to increase workforce efficiencies and gain more insight from their business information.

Kenexa: Providing World-Class Social Business Capabilities

Kenexa is a leading provider of recruiting and talent management solutions. They bring to IBM a unique combination of cloud-based technology and consulting services that integrates both people and processes, providing solutions to engage a smarter, more effective workforce across their most critical business functions.

Kenexa complements IBM’s strategy of bringing relevant data and expertise into the hands of business leaders within every functional department, from sales and marketing to product development and human resources. As a result of this synergy, clients will be able to attract and develop the right skills to build the right teams, for the right projects, the first time.

Social media has pervaded the lives of consumers, helping them connect with each other in new ways. However, a shift is occurring in the enterprise as business leaders look for ways to generate real value through the use of social technologies to evolve their front-line business operations.

According to Forrester Research, the market opportunity for social enterprise apps is expected to grow at a rate of 61 percent through 2016.

“Every company, across every business operation, is looking to tap into the power of social networking to transform the way they work, collaborate and out innovate their competitors,” said Alistair Rennie, general manager, social business, IBM. “IBM is uniquely positioned to help clients generate real returns from their social business investments, while helping them gain intelligence into the data being generated in these networks to be more competitive in their markets.”

Social Business Creating Value In The Enterprise

Today, Kenexa supports more than 8,900 customers across a variety of industries, including financial services, pharmaceuticals, retail and consumer, including more than half of the Fortune 500.

With Kenexa’s world-class front-office process solutions, IBM will be able to offer strategic consulting, a social technology platform, and expertise on a global scale to help clients enable a smarter workforce and gain a competitive advantage in any market.

By creating a smarter workforce, employees can resolve problems before they arise to improve customer service, drive innovation to bring products and services to market faster, and increase sales by building new skills — linking the right experts to the right clients.

The Kenexa acquisition will complement IBM’s social business and HR business services leadership. More than 60 percent of Fortune 100 companies have licensed IBM’s solutions for social business.

Through its combination of social software, analytics, content management, and deep industry expertise, IBM is uniquely positioned to help organizations capture information, create insights and generate interactions that translate into real business value.

With operations in 21 countries worldwide, Kenexa has approximately 2,800 employees. Consistent with its strategy, IBM plans to continue to support Kenexa clients and enhance Kenexa technologies while allowing these organizations to take advantage of the broader IBM portfolio.

IBM expects the transaction to close in the fourth quarter of 2012, subject to Kenexa shareholder and regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

Customer Sessions At The IBM Smarter Commerce Summit

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Well, we’re nearly mid-summer here in the great state of Texas, the sun is shining, and IBMers are hard at work planning for the forthcoming Smarter Commerce Summit to be held down in Orlando, Florida, September 5-7.

This event is the third in a series of Smarter Commerce events we’ve held the last year. First, there was San Diego…then there was Madrid in May (You can read some of the coverage of that event here).

And now, Orlando.

But this will be no Mickey Mouse expedition.

The IBM Smarter Commerce Summit in Orlando will provide business execs and practitioners with the insight and resources they need to more effectively connect with their customers.

Orlando’s event will bring together over 150 business and practitioner breakout sessions comprised of everything from new technology to best practices to industry perspectives and yes, even some visionary thinking from the likes of tech guru Guy Kawasaki, who will be keynoting there.

But there’s another aspect of the Smarter Commerce Summit that makes it such a one-of-a-kind event: You get to hear directly from our customers.

Scores of them.

In fact, if you click here you’ll get an up-to-the-minute view of the customer-led sessions for the event thus far.  I built a quick tag-cloud this afternoon to give folks a flavor of some of the types of discussions one is likely to find in those customer sessions:

The larger words are more dominant in terms of their use, so you can judge by the cloud there’s going to be mucho focus on IBM customers, as well as topics focusing on “marketing,” “Mmanagement”, “commerce,” “global,” “integration,” and much more.

You can also find broader access to the Session Preview Tool to get a glimpse of all the currently-scheduled sessions.

You can also start following the #ibmscgs Twitter hashtag to keep up with key announcements and information leading up and throughout the course of the event.

If you’re already sold on the idea and just want to know where to go register, visit this link for all the details and the registration form.

Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Madrid: OgilvyOne Chairman & CEO Brian Fetherstonhaugh Speaks About The CMO Hotseat

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Brian Fetherstonhaugh, as the chairman and CEO of OgilvyOne Worldwide, has a unique vantage point on how brands are built, how corporate cultures are created, and what happens as the world goes digital. In the course of the past 25 years, Brian has worked hands-on with many of the world’s leading brands including, IBM, American Express, Cisco, Coca-Cola, Motorola, Unilever, Nestlé, Kodak, and Yahoo! Today, Brian leads OgilvyOne Worldwide, the interactive marketing and consulting arm of the Ogilvy Group. With more than 4,000 staff in 50 countries, OgilvyOne is at the forefront of the digital revolution. In 2007 and 2009, the Forrester Report ranked Ogilvy as a leading U.S. interactive agency.

OgilvyOne Worldwide Chairman and CEO Brian Fetherstonhaugh started our Q&A today here at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit in Madrid by revealing who his favorite character on the 1960s-era AMC show about advertising, “Mad Men,” was.  Drum roll, please….It’s…JOAN.

Mainly, Brian explained, because Joan “gets things done.”

We then turned our discussion to the vast evolution IBM’s own marketing culture has endured the past two decades, and the opportunities and challenges presented by the changing marketing landscape for CMOs, whose tenures these days last an average 27 months.

Brian also discussed other key issues facing chief marketing officers during this time of great change, including the need for CMOs to focus on new talents and skills development. Before he jetted off to another city somewhere in the world, Brian left the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit, and you, with some valuable marketing advice.

And when you watch the video, never mind the Spanish waiter who entered the frame for just a moment: He was simply doing what we wish to see companies everywhere do best, servicing their customers!

Happy Float, Facebook

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Happy IPO day, Facebook.

I’m not an “insider” of any sorts, so I won’t be gaining from any of the early Facebook IPO action.  I’m on the fence as to whether or not I might try to buy some “FB” shares on the open market through my Schwab account…not because I’m not interested in owning any Facebook stock, but because like a lot of investors, I want it to be a conscious, responsible investment, and one never knows what’s going to happen on IPO days.

But know this: I’m very bullish on Facebook, both its past and its future.  I’ve never seen an Internet property bring so many people together from so many different places in the world, across economic and social strata, and keep them coming back.

If you’re as bullish, but not ready to gamble on IPO day, you might give some thought to investing in the Facebook “pick and shovel” plays.

Stand back, look at the Facebook ecosystem, and rather than place all your bets on the Facebook IPO “come” line, instead spread some bets across the board and benefit from all the other players who stand to benefit from Facebook’s continued growth and adoption around the world.

The Zyngas, whose gaming ecosystem helped the Facebook tribe spread around the world.  The Dachis Corps and Buddy Medias, which are helping make the Facebook platform work well for marketers (and focusing well beyond the social graph ads that GM announced it would abandon earlier this week).

And, to be sure, hundreds of others.

Regardless of whether or not you’re a Facebook fan, and heaven knows sentiment about them can run to the extremes, if you’re a good Western capitalist, you have to be excited.

This is the classic American success story, where young kid has great idea, develops that idea in his dorm room and later small house in Silicon Valley, and eventually changes the world.

And make no mistake about that: Facebook has forever changed the world.

Just ask the folks in Egypt, or Tunisia, or Russia, or any other locale or organization that has benefited from the lower center of gravity Facebook has created that makes organizing in mass quantities as simple as a few clicks.

There is a good reason that Facebook is NOT available in China — fear of transparency and open communications.

If it were available, China would be a very different place than it is today, and it makes me thankful that the kind of open innovation and entrepreneurialism we have here in the U.S. is still alive and well.

And that, in the end, may well be the most important reason for celebrating Facebook’s entry into the public markets.

Big ideas can still have big impacts, and Silicon Valley (and, more broadly, the United States) is one of those places in the world that you can find the capital, the talent, and the political and regulatory playing field  to make those big ideas a reality.

Happy IPO day, Facebook.

IBM ImpactTV 2012 Instant Replay: IBM’s Mike Rhodin On Big Data, Smarter Commerce, And The Emerging LOB Tech Buyer

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Our first interview at IBM Impact 2012 this year was with IBM senior vice president, IBM Software Solutions Group, Mike Rhodin.  This was also our first ever opportunity to interview Mike, so we were especially excited about this particular interview.

Mike leads an organization which focuses on delivering integrated offerings that target high-growth opportunities, including business analytics, collaboration, and industry solutions.  As a senior vice president, Mike is responsible for a $5 billion business portfolio which represents one of the fastest growing and most acquisitive.

In our interview, Mike explained that his business is reaching more of a non-traditional technology buyer, the senior “line of business” executives who have played a much more dominant role in tech acquisition through the economic downturn, and who are looking for solutions that can help their organizations differentiate themselves in the marketplace, and and even more readily empower front-line executives and decision makers.

He also brought us up to date on what IBM’s Watson has been up to over the past year, explaining that Watson finally got a “real” job — actually, a couple of them!

In his former IBM lives, Mike has served as the general manager of IBM’s Northeast Europe organization, as well as the GM of IBM’s Lotus Software division, a stint in which he led a team to create the “human side” of IBM’s software strategy by developing IBM’s collaborative technology and solutions which integrate people, data, and business processes.

Fear And Loathing At The Venetian

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Well, I arrived in Vegas this morning just as quick as I could get here, my purpose being to cover the National District Attorneys Association’s Conference on Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs…oh, hold a minute…sorry, that was Hunter S. Thompson.

I’M here for the IBM Impact 2012 event being held at the Venetian Hotel and Casino (which is NOT to be confused with the Venice that’s located in Italy and which is slowly succumbing to the seas around it).  No, this Venetian doesn’t have that particular problem to worry about.

The next four to five days, depending on the length of your stay and the size of your bank account, is going to be entirely dedicated to technology-related topics: SOA, BPM, cloud computing, enterprise mobility…it’s a virtual technology funfest.

Oh, and let’s not forget the Goo Goo Dolls, who will be playing Tuesday night.

A few housekeeping details you might want to be cognizant of: First, check your bathroom for Bengali Tigers FIRST THING.

Look, you can never be too careful, particularly in the wilds of Las Vegas.

Second, go get your badge at registration.  Unlike “Blazing Saddles,” at Impact 2012, you’re going to need your stinkin’ badge. You can find them on Level One of the Venetian Convention area.

Third, plan your escape route NOW in the private confines of your hotel room.  Err, I meant to say, your conference itinerary.  I know, I know, most battle plans go out the window the moment you hit the battlefield, but it’s nice to have some general semblance of where you are and where you’re going to go next, even if it’s just a strawman.

Fourth, make room for serendipity.  No, that’s not the name of a dancer from Cirques Du Soleil.  That’s more along the lines of improvisation — as in, give yourself room for some. You never know who you meet just hanging around the canals of Venetian (but hey, don’t blame me if you fall in with the wrong crowd!  I told you to have  a plan, just in case!)

This year’s conference theme is “Change the Game: Innovate, Transform, Grow.”  So, what are you waiting for?  Get to it!

As for me, I’m going to finish writing up some interview questions for ImpactTV (which starts tomorrow at 5 PM PST, 8 PM EST — check it out at www.livestream.com/ibmsoftware), then I’m going to head on down to the Pai Gow Poker tables.  I’m feeling lucky!

If you’re feeling lost, or even unlucky, just follow the #IBMImpact hashtag on Twitter — you’re sure to find plenty of others who are feeling just like you.

And if you have a question for the event organizers, send that question on Twitter to the #AskImpact Twitter ID and surely someone will get you an answer and soon…ahem, it may not be the RIGHT answer, but social media operators ARE standing by.

And most importantly, smile and enjoy yourself…you’re in Vegas, bay-bey, NOTHING could go wrong now!

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