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

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

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

Social Business By The NumbersLeading From The Front (Office)

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

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

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

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

Using Analytics To Better Understand Social Behavior And Business Opportunity

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

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

From Liking To Leading

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

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

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

Enabling the 21st Century Workforce

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

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

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

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

Social Business Benefits

Transforming The Client Experience

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

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

Social Software for the Enterprise

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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