Turbotodd

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

Archive for the ‘web experience’ Category

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.

Santa’s Virtual Elves

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I’ll be jetting off to Singapore early in the A.M. for the IBM InterConnect event, where I’ll be both blogging and broadcasting (via LiveStream and YouTube), interviewing a variety of IBM execs, partners, and clients.

Tune your TweetDeck now to hashtag #ibminterconnect to keep track of the festivities.  The event officially kicks off next Tuesday, October 9th.

As I was scanning my newsfeeds to catch up on what I’ve been missing all day while preparing for all those interviews, I saw that Facebook reached 1 billion users, although some of their recent moves, including the alteration of their algorithm to minimize brand page posts being seen by those who have opted in to “liking” that page, may start sending those numbers due south.

I also discovered that Microsoft is slated to launch its new Surface tablet at midnight on October 26th.

Midnight?  Really??  You guys couldn’t come up with something more original than that? 12:15, maybe? Or 12:30, even?

Sorry, dudes, I’m all tabletted out, although I will be keeping an eye on the horizon to see what gives with the iPad Mini.

Speaking of holiday shopping, the National Retail Federation released some important holiday shopping forecasts earlier this week that bear sharing.

The NRF’s 2012 holiday forecast expects sales will increase this season by 4.1 percent ($586.1 billion), well above the 10-year holiday average, but behind the 2011 season of 5.6 percent.

To which I say, “Bah, Humbug.” I do most ALL my holiday shopping online, so I’ll be doing my personal best to get those numbers up.  And I expect to pick up a few IBM “Smarter Commerce” tricks of the trade at the sessions next week in Singapore, which I’ll share.

Although I am inclined to show up on Black Friday to run at Wal-Mart with the mortar shopping “bulls!” Nothing like a little full contact holiday shopping, taking down a few eager shoppers to grab that last “Tickle Me Elmo!”

Kidding!

All these holiday tidings come just ahead of today’s news by Thomson Reuters, which reported that back-to-school sales growth slowed in September after “a strong August,” according to The New York Times “Economy” section.

Little Johnny don’t need no more pencils, Mom.  Get in line and buy that kid a Nexus 7!

But the story doesn’t end there.

AlixPartners’ Joel Bines is also quoted in the story as saying this doesn’t necessarily bode badly for the holiday shopping season, as no “conclusive” ten-year correlation between back-to-school and holiday sales seems evident.

As for me, as I fly Eastward, I’m going to have to start giving some serious consideration to my own Christmas holiday shopping list for Santa.

Of course, I’ve been extremely bad this year, which is par for the course, but hey, it never hurts to ask!

Next stop, Singapore, where I hope NOT to participate in any caning demonstrations.

But keep an eye out on YouTube just in case.

Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Madrid: IBM Product Manager Mark Frigon On Smarter Web Analytics & Privacy

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Mark Frigon is a senior product manager with IBM’s Enterprise Marketing Management organization, a key group involved in leading IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative. Mark’s specialties are in Web analytics (he joined IBM as part of its acquisition of Coremetrics) and Internet privacy, an issue that has come to the forefront in recent years for digital marketers around the globe.

Effective Web metrics are critical to the success of businesses looking to succeed in e-commerce and digital marketing these days, and IBM has a number of experts who spend a lot of their time in this area.

One of those here in Madrid at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit, Mark Frigon, is a senior product manager for Web analytics in IBM’s Enterprise Marketing Management organization.

Mark sat down with me to discuss the changing nature of Web analytics, and how dramatically it has evolved as a discipline over the past few years, including the increased focus by marketers on “attribution,” the ability to directly correlate a Web marketing action and the desired result.

Mark also spoke at the event about the importance for digital marketers around the globe to be more privacy-aware, a topic we also discussed in our time together, calling out in particular the “Do-Not-Track” industry self-regulatory effort that intends to put privacy controls in the hands of consumers.

If you spend any time thinking about Internet privacy or Web analytics, or both, this is a conversation you won’t want to miss.

Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Madrid: Jose Luis-Iribarren On Social Network Diffusion

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Jose Luis-Iribarren is a 25-year veteran of IBM who led the Olympics Web projects for the Atlanta Summer games in 1996, Nagano in 1998 and the Sydney games in 2000, where he received the IBM Chairman Award for his work. At the Institute of Knowledge Engineering, Jose Luis has most recently been applying Social Network Analysis techniques to e-marketing. His goal with that effort is to develop a quantitative model of information diffusion through online social networks.

The strangest things happen when you find yourself walking out of an elevator (or, as they call it here in Europe, a “lift”) in hotels halfway around the world.

In my case, I stumbled upon an old friend this morning, Jose Luis-Iribarren, a former IBMer and now social networks innovation manager with the Institute of Knowledge Engineering here in Madrid.

Jose Luis spent 25 years at IBM, where he led the creation of the first official Web Site for an Olympic Games for Atlanta in 1996.

I also had the opportunity to hear firsthand some of his experiences in “pathfinding” the early digital marketing milieu, as well as some fascinating stories about his experiences helping manage the Web (including learning about the “Bento Box” effect in the 1998 Nagano Olympic Winter Games).

It was a far-ranging discussion about the cutting edge of digital marketing, and a great opportunity to renew the acquaintance of old friend.

And all because of the serendipity of an elevator, and the real-world network effect!

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

IBM Leads New Forrester Wave For Web Analytics

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Yesterday I wrote a detailed post about the recent IBM 2011 Global CMO study, which offered a variety of interesting findings.

The first of the four key challenges mentioned that CMOs believe they will be facing moving forward was the massive explosion of data, and how they as CMOs reckon with that.

As the study mentioned, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data a day — so much that 90 percent of the world’s data today has been created in the last two years alone.

Put your head around that piece of data.

Hence, the increasing volume, variety and velocity of data available from new digital sources like social networks, in addition to traditional sources such as data and market research, tops the list of CMO challenges.

The challenge, of course, is how to analyze these vast quantities of data to extract meaningful insights and then use them to improve products, services or the customer experience.

Web Analytics Leads To Market Intelligence

One way to help with corporate Web sites is through Web analytics.  IBM has invested in this space through its acquisitions of both Coremetrics and Unica (which had an enterprise Web metrics solution entitled “NetInsights”).

Forrester Research recently placed IBM at the head of the Web Analytics pack in its most recent Wave report on the subject.

Forrester Research recently published their Wave report for Web Analytics, and in so doing named IBM has one of the Leaders and, in fact, putting IBM in the lead position on its Wave chart.

Not to say that IBM didn’t have some solid competition. Forrester noted four vendors lead the market, including Adobe, comScore and Webtrends.

Yet while the other three vendors had their own unique attributes, it was IBM which “viewed web analytics as a key component of its enterprise marketing management portfolio.”

In the Wave, IBM had perfect scores in corporate strategy and a top rating on current offering. This validation comes at less than 12 months following the acquisition of Coremetrics and Unica (forming the Enterprise Marketing Management portfolio), and provides further market recognition of IBM’s  Smarter Commerce initiative.

The Digital Marketing Optimization Suite is a key solution supporting this initiative.  While this Wave focused specifically on web analytics, IBM’s real strategic commitment is in helping organizations respond to shifting consumer and business trends.

In this way, IBM’s web analytics offerings are considered a critical component of the Smarter Commerce initiative, designed to transform how companies manage and adapt to customer and industry trends such as online, social and mobile shopping.

Leadership ratings for IBM’s Digital Marketing Optimization Suite come as a tribute to the powerful combination of capabilities from Coremetrics and Unica NetInsight, now a single on-demand offering that fuses customer profiles, web analytics, and digital marketing execution to enable marketers to turn site visitors into repeat customers and loyal advocates by orchestrating a compelling experience throughout each customer’s digital lifecycle.

Here’s what Forrester had to say about IBM’s enterprise marketing management capability:

IBM. Since our previous evaluation, IBM acquired both Coremetrics and Unica in 2010. IBM has consolidated these companies into its Enterprise Marketing Management software division, and product portfolio integration is under way. IBM is incorporating the complementary and notable features of Unica NetInsight into a merged web analytics solution based on the Coremetrics platform. To stay ahead, IBM must execute on its vision for enterprise marketing by completing the product integrations in progress, gaining market traction for major initiatives such as Smarter Commerce, and creating synergies between web analytics and other IBM assets such as eCommerce, business intelligence, and predictive modeling.

Go here if you’d like to learn more about this report and to learn more about IBM’s enterprise marketing management strategy.

IBM Global Chief Marketing Officer Study: From Prime Time To Real Time

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As a marketer for IBM who specializes in the digital realm, I was excited to hear about the pending IBM 2011 Global Chief Marketing Officer study, a study of more than 1,700 chief marketing officers from 64 countries and 19 industries, and couldn’t wait to see the results.

The wait is over.

Today, IBM released the results of this important study, one that reveals that the majority of the world’s top marketing executives recognize there’s a critical and permanent shift occurring in the way they engage with their customers, but who also question whether their marketing organizations are prepared to manage the change.

Click to enlarge. The vast majority of CMOs surveyed in the IBM 2011 CMO Study indicated that they are underprepared to manage the impact of key changes in the marketing arena.

Some other initial headlines: The study reveals that the measures used to evaluate marketing are changing. Nearly two-thirds of CMOs think return on marketing investment will be the primary measure of the marketing function’s effectiveness by 2015.

But even among the most successful enterprises, half of all CMOs feel insufficiently prepared to provide hard numbers.

Most of these executives — responsible for the integrated marketing of their organization’s products, services and brand reputations –- say they lack significant influence in key areas such as product development, pricing and selection of sales channels.

The IBM study found that only 26 percent of CMOs are tracking blogs, 42 percent are tracking third party reviews and 48 percent are tracking consumer reviews to help shape their marketing strategies.

“The inflection point created by social media represents a permanent change in the nature of customer relationships,” said Carolyn Heller Baird, CRM research lead for the IBM Institute for Business Value and the global director of the study.  “Approximately 90 percent of all the real-time information being created today is unstructured data. CMO’s who successfully harness this new source of insight will be in  a strong position to increase revenues, reinvent their customer relationships and build new brand value.”

An Ever-Changing Marketing Landscape, An Empowered Consumer

Customers are sharing their experiences widely online, giving them more control and influence over brands.

This shift in the balance of power from organizations to their customers requires new marketing approaches, tools and skills in order to stay competitive.  CMOs are aware of this changing landscape, but are struggling to respond.  Four out of five CMOs expect that they will have to make fundamental changes to traditional methods of brand and product marketing.

Baird likened marketers who underestimate the impact of social media to those who were slow to view the Internet as a new and powerful platform for commerce.

Like the rise of e-business more than a decade ago, the radical embrace of social media by all customer demographic categories represents an opportunity for marketers to drive increased revenue, brand value and to reinvent the nature of the relationship between enterprises and the buyers of their offerings.  Marketers who establish a culture receptive to deriving insight from social media will be far better prepared to anticipate future shifts in markets and technology.

As someone who has been intimately involved in helping IBM make a successful transition into providing enhanced social intelligence for marketers here inside Big Blue, this is music to my ears.

While CMOs identify customer intimacy as a top priority, and recognize the impact of real-time data supplementing traditional methods of channel marketing and gathering market feedback, most CMOs say they remain mired in 20th century approaches.

Eighty-percent or more of the CMOs surveyed are still focusing primarily on traditional sources of information such as market research and competitive benchmarking, and 68 percent rely on sales campaign analysis to make strategic decisions.

Click to enlarge. CMOs surveyed in the study indicated they are overwhelmingly underprepared for the data explosion and recognize need to invest in and integrate technology and analytics.

Managing the Four Challenges

Collectively, the study findings point to four key challenges that CMOs everywhere are confronting. The explosion of data, social media, channel and device choices and shifting demographics will be pervasive, universal game changers for their marketing organizations over the next three to five years.  But a large majority of CMOs feel unprepared to manage their impact.

  • Data explosion:  Every day we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data – so much that 90 percent of the world’s data today has been created in the last two years alone.  The increasing volume, variety and velocity of data available from new digital sources like social networks, in addition to traditional sources such as sales data and market research, tops the list of CMO challenges.  The difficulty is how to analyze these vast quantities of data to extract the meaningful insights, and use them effectively to improve products, services and the customer experience.
  • Social platforms:  Social media enables anyone to become a publisher, broadcaster and critic.  Facebook has more than 750 million active users, with the average user posting 90 pieces of content a month.  Twitter users send about 140 million tweets a day.  And YouTube’s 490 million users upload more video content in a 60-day period than the three major U.S. television networks created in 60 years.  Marketers are using social platforms to communicate – with 56 percent of CMOs viewing social media as a key engagement channel – but they still struggle with capturing valuable customer insight from the unstructured data that customers and potential customers produce.
  • Channel and device choices:  The growing number of new marketing channels and devices, from smart phones to tablets, is quickly becoming a priority for CMOs.  Mobile commerce is expected to reach $31 billion by 2016, representing a compound annual growth rate of 39 percent from 2011 to 2016.  Meanwhile, the tablet market is expected to reach nearly 70 million units worldwide by the end of this year, growing to 294 million units by 2015.
  • Shifting demographics:  New global markets and the influx of younger generations with different patterns of information access and consumption are changing the face of the marketplace.  In India, as one example, the middle class is expected to soar from roughly 5 percent of the population to more than 40 percent in the next two decades.  Marketers who have historically focused on affluent Indian consumers must adapt their strategies to market to this emerging middle class.  In the United States, marketing executives must respond to the aging baby boomer generation and growing Hispanic population.

Lack of Influence

Today’s CMOs have to cover more ground than ever before.  They have to manage more data from disparate sources, understand and engage with more empowered customers, adopt and adapt to more sophisticated tools and technologies – while being more financially accountable to their organizations.

Click to enlarge. CMOs surveyed believe that they can expand their personal influence by shifting to new capabilities that focus on technology, social media and ROI.

In fact, 63 percent of CMOs believe return on investment (ROI) on marketing spend will be the most important measure of their success by 2015.  However, only 44 percent feel fully prepared to be held accountable for marketing ROI.

Most CMOs have not traditionally been expected to provide hard financial evidence of their ROI.

But given the current economic volatility and pressure to be profitable, organizations can no longer afford to write a blank check for their marketing initiatives. CMOs recognize they now need to quantify the value they bring to the business, be it from investing in advertising, new technologies or any other activity.

This increasing emphasis on ROI also reflects the scrutiny the marketing function is currently attracting, itself a reflection of the function’s growing prominence.  Today’s CMOs are in much the same position as chief financial officers (CFOs) were a decade ago, when their role was evolving from guardian of the purse strings to strategic business adviser.

If CMOs are to be held responsible for the marketing returns they deliver, they must also have significant influence over all “Four Ps”: promotion, products, place and price.  The study found that this is often not the case.

CMOs say they exert a strong influence over promotional activities such as advertising, external communications and social media initiatives.  But, in general, they play a smaller role in shaping the other three PsLess than half of the CMOs surveyed have much sway over key parts of the pricing process, and less than half have much impact on new product development or channel selection.

To meet these new challenges, CMOs must boost their own digital, technological and financial proficiency –- but many seem surprisingly reticent in this respect.  When asked which attributes they will need to be personally successful over the next three to five years, only 28 percent said technological competence, 25 percent said social media expertise and 16 percent said financial acumen.

About the Global CMO Study

The 2011 IBM Global Chief Marketing Officer Study is IBM’s first study of CMOs — and the fifteenth in the ongoing series of C-suite Studies developed by the IBM Institute for Business Value.

Between February and June 2011, IBM met face to face with 1,734 CMOs in 19 industries and 64 countries to better understand their goals and the challenges they confront.  The respondents came from a wide variety of organizations, ranging from 48 of the top 100 brands listed in the 2010 Interbrand rankings to enterprises with a primarily local profile.

Click here to register and receive your copy of the IBM 2011 Global Chief Marketing Officer study.

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