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Live @ Lotusphere, Day 3: MIT’s Dr. Andrew McAfee On The Future Of Social Business

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It’s day 3 of Lotusphere 2011.  We’re in the homestretch.

But as we heard earlier this morning, there’s still a whole lot of social business to get done.

Although when Kristin Lauria, VP marketing, IBM Collaboration, hit the stage at this A.M.’s keynote, she was quick to remind the crowd in the room and watching via Livestream that there had already been around 9,500 Lotusphere-related Tweets and 23K blog entries during Lotusphere 2011!

There’s also been a palpable social business buzz throughout the event…a very social buzz.

Lauria kicked off her introductory comments by explaining that the morning keynote would be a great one for people who are always thinking, and who are doing thought provoking things.

MIT's Dr. Andrew McAfee makes some predictions and forms some conclusions about social business for the Lotusphere 2011 audience on Wednesday here in Orlando, Florida.

One of those people is Dr. Andrew McAfee with the MIT Center for Digital Innovation.  It was Mr. McAfee who came to coin the term “Enterprise 2.0” back in 2005.

With Lauria handing him the stage, McAfee joked he didn’t especially like the term “social business,” but the weather contrast between Boston and Orlando was too attractive to ignore, and that, anyway, he didn’t really care what the industry called it, that he was focused on what change and results it could bring about.  He has, in fact, spent much of the last few years of his career researching and writing about it.

McAfee explained he would make 5 conclusions, 1 unfounded claim, and 2 predictions (a theme of the morning session).

First, his conclusions about social business:

  1. Weak ties are strong. You’re most distant colleagues and friends are actually incredibly valuable to you.
  2. Crowds can be very wise. Markets work, can best organize and allocate resources (not perfectly, but good enough), and therefore can ascertain likely outcomes better than individual experts (He used the Hollywood Stock Exchange as an example, which very accurately predicts movie box office grosses).
  3. With more eyeballs, more bugs are shallow (with a nod to Linus’s Law).
  4. There are diamonds in the social data mine. Ex. Google searches that foreshadow movements in housing prices/sales.
  5. Being social benefits individuals. That is to say, the better your network is, the more productive you are, and the more likely you will miss the next round of layoffs!

McAfee then made his unfounded claim: That being social benefits the enterprise, and is a very productive way for a company to improve its performance and competitive posture.

He cited the McKinsey survey from late last year that finds companies using the Web intensively gain greater market share and higher margins (and are some 57% more effective than those who don’t).

Finally, McAfee’s predictions:  1) We’re heading into an era of digital boost, amplified by these social business technologies.  Our toolkit of technology has already reinvigorated productivity.

And 2) There will also be a digital spread (not a rising tide that lifts all boats equally).

That is to say, it’s still an investment that can separate laggards from leaders.

Turning your back on social business would be a great way to become one of the laggards.

Written by turbotodd

February 2, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Live @ Lotusphere 2011: IBM Senior VP Jon Iwata On Making A Social Business Market

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Greetings, Lotuspherians…and those beyond who wish they were here.

After a night of Tweetups and parties and bar talk and heaven only knows what other tidings going on in here in Orlando, it was time to awaken early and get your social business vitamin shot.

IBMs’ Mike Rhodin and Jon Iwata delivered early and often in their opening remarks on Day 2.

IBM's Mike Rhodin explains the challenges and opportunities of social business for the Lotusphere 2011 audience in Orlando, Florida.

Rhodin is Vice President, IBM Industry Solutions, and picked up on a theme he started to deliver in the marketplace at last fall’s IBM Industry Summit in Barcelona.

With a nod to Alister Rennie’s comments from Day 1, he acknowledged that the market is shifting to a new era of social business, and that we heard yesterday from a wide variety of clients about the obstacles and opportunities.

And, more importantly, noted Rhodin, we heard from one another, our fellows in business and industry about the steps we’re taking to build smarter, more social businesses.

Rhodin then encapsulated the challenges and opportunities.  The challenges: Information overload (15 petabytes per day and growing), shared complexity (both infrastructure and organizational), and the need to create more shared connections.

The Social Business Opportunity

The opportunity? Social businesses embrace networks of people to create business value, and there are a few key entry points: The need to deepen client relationships, to drive operational efficiencies, and to optimize the workforce.

We’ve all had to focus on getting leaner and meaner these past few years, to the first point.  But we can also get new products to market faster, and use the market as a listening and sounding board more effectively.

Most key to social business, we can optimize our workforce by finding ways to extract new value from an increasingly distributed workforce (think globalization), and to do so without impacting productivity (in fact, quite the opposite) and to help our people become more focused on innovation.

Rhodin then posed some provocative questions: What are consumers saying about your business?  Are you listening?  What about your employee’s digital reputations, which have never been more important?

Did you know 20% of the top search engine queries in the world were now going back to consumer generated content?

Is your organization applying social analytics practices to conduct sophisticated sentiment analysis that can help you understand not only your brand reputation but also help you improve your products?

Then, Rhodin put up a slide that I thought told the entire story in one sweeping motion: The transition from traditional, hierarchical enterprises transitioning to social synergistic ones consisting of vast numbers of communities and a culture of sharing and innovation, which will soon start to separate the leaders from the masses.

It was then that Rhodin introduced IBM senior vice president, Jon Iwata, whom I also had the pleasure to hear speak about IBM’s 100-year legacy last fall in Barcelona.

What’s Past Is Prologue: From “e-business” to “S-business”

Iwata provided another quick flashback, but this time to explain we’ve all been here before.  It was 1995, and IBM bought Lotus as the commercialization of the Internet was underway and everyone in the market was talking about browsers and content.

IBM, and then CEO Lou Gerstner, were talking about the potential impact on business, even though to many it appeared IBM had no real involvement with the Internet.

Quite the contrary, and as IBM introduced the idea of “e-business,” it soon became clear Gerstner and others were correct, and the impact on business and organizations around the globe since then has been profound.

We made a market.

And today, Iwata explained, we’ve got another opportunity to lead and to make a new market, and in the process to provide our companies with game-changing capabilities.

Two years ago, IBM started a global conversation about the next era of computing and its impact on society, the “smarter planet.”

We identified three broad trends there: 1) Instrument the world’s systems 2) Interconnect them 3) Make them intelligent

With this strategy, we could start to see for the first time what was happening in key infrastucture: Our energy grids, our supply chains, etc., and we could make them more sustainable and, in a word, smarter.

But, Iwata went on to explain we also saw all the ways people interact would also become smarter, from the interconnectedness using social software to the mobility new devices would bring.

Now, we could connect billions of people, use social analytics to analyze all this new data (including our connections to one another!), and tap into the core human reality that people are inherently social.

Sometimes we work socially in a public way (retail), sometimes in a private, secure way (banking), but we’re all social.

People Working Together Better

Hence, social business, like e-business, is an opportunity to transform the enterprise, the way we work, extract, and create value, and yes, the ways we interact with one another.

IBM’s proof point, Iwata pointed out, was “Generation Open,” our own internal software development community that allows IBMers to develop software of their own choosing, and the reputation monitoring and feedback included to motivate and reward those developers.

The results? Generation Open delivered 160,000 new projects last year, drove down development costs by one-third, and increased asset reuse by 4X.

Social business.

And that’s what IBM continues to deliver in its market communications: strong, tangible proof points of how social business can deliver real business outcomes.

Take social engagement, for example: There is lots of focus on internal collaboration and expertise sharing, but what about when you go outside the firewall.  You may want to designate certain teams to monitor the social media, or provide CRM.

Realistically, Iwata suggested, all of our employees will soon adopt social technologies if they haven’t already.

So, how can we help enable them?

At IBM, we recently launched an enablement program, named aptly enough, “Social Business @ IBM,” which helps increase the social acumen of 400,000+ IBMers, educating them on policies and guidelines, and also enabling them with tools that allows them to monitor their personal networks, participate in key social media vehicles, and the like.

We expect to educate 50,000 IBMers by the end of this year alone, explained Iwata.

This new type of change requires new systems of management and leadership.  Traditional vertical functions (sales and marketing, HR, etc.) will require more integration, driven by transparency and the need to have a single view of the customer.

Iwata began his close with a call to action: Those of you who are champions of social media will soon find yourselves becoming an integrating force in your organizations.

Be prepared to help the organization make this disruptive transition, and concurrently, think about how you can leverage secure, scalable technology (including that from IBM) combined with tangible business outcomes and responsible management practices to successfully navigate your way to the new world.

The time to act is now, concluded Iwata, and the way to act is together.

Live @ Lotusphere 2011: Getting Your Bearings

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Happy Sunday, and let me offer up a warm Lotus greeting for everyone who has already arrived in Orlando for Lotusphere 2011, and to you who are still on planes, trains, automobiles, horse and buggy, or whatever else might be bringin’ ya.

Today’s Business Development Day has already kicked off (reserved for IBM Business Partners), as have the JumpStart sessions.

View from the Dolphin, Day 1, Lotusphere 2011, Before Turbo's Debrief

View from the Dolphin, Day 1, Lotusphere 2011, After Turbo's Debrief, When Things Became Much Clearer











If you haven’t already received your credentials, registration is open from 7 am to 9 pm — simply follow the signs in the Dolphin Hotel and you’ll find your way to registration desk.

If you don’t know where the Dolphin is, you’ve got bigger problems than I can help you with but I do wish you luck.

You can probably find some help from others by dipping your toes in the Lotusphere Twitterstream. Just follow #ls11 on your favorite Twitter client, or stop on by our newfangled social media aggregator and keep an eye on a garden variety of Lotusphere-relevant streams.

Your favorite Lotus bloggers and Tweeters are registered there, and let’s face it, they’re the ones who can point us to the best par-tays.

Oh, and if you start to get that deer-in-the-headlights feeling, remember, that’s normal.  Take a deep breath, meditate for a few minutes, then remember, you’re in control and can make your own decisions.

To help, remember, the conference is broken out into five tracks: Insights and Innovations, Technology for Collaboration Solutions: Infrastructure, Technology for Collaboration Solutions: Development, Best Practices, and Customer Case Studies.

There’s also a variety of special sessions, including those from sponsors, the JumpStart sessions, and Show-n-Tell, but that’s enough for now, I can see your head is starting to explode.

That’s why we throw a big Welcome Reception on Sunday night, to help you stop with that sense of overwhelmingness-ness.  At this shindig, however, and unlike “Blazing Saddles,” you’ll need your stinking badge, so please register and bring your badge to the reception. Otherwise, you’ll have to deal with Big Dennis, the security dude, and you really don’t want to be messing with Dennis.

If you forget any of this, don’t worry, much of it is in your Full Conference Guide, and the Reader’s Digest version is in the Pocket Agenda (well, not the part about Dennis).  They should be able to help you find your way and answer most of your questions.

Of course, all of that is the party line.

Now, here’s Turbo’s Recommended Lotusphere 2011 Tip and Trick (singular, as there’s only one): When it’s time for a big session change, just go walk out into the middle of the foyer, then watch the crowd.  Wherever the most people are going, follow them.

This is social business, people.  Get with the program.  It’s all about crowdsourcing, distributed participatory design, going along with the crowd to understand the greater collective intent!  Those people know where it’s at and where it’s happening, and they will lead you to the path of Lotusphere enlightenment.

Of course, they might just lead you right out into the Disney beach, but hey, that might not be so bad!

And finally, to answer that question on everybody’s mind, who’s this year’s guest speaker in the opening session?

What do I look like? I don’t know anything, I just work here.

Enjoy your Lotusphere 2011 experience, and remember: Get social, do business!

Written by turbotodd

January 30, 2011 at 2:35 pm

The Lotus Cloud Is Getting Bigger…

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…and Leon’s getting la-rrr-ggg-errrrr!

Sorry, still bemoaning the loss of Leslie Nielsen all these weeks later.

And with just three days left to Lotusphere, I’m in an “Airplane” kind of mood!

Scott Laningham and I have been tuning up our videocasting chops in pre-production preparing for all the video interviews we’re going to be conducting in Orlando (sorry, no Mickey), and we have a feast of IBM and Lotus executive and partner celebrities lined up.

To whet your appetite for all things Lotus, Scott and I synched up earlier this week for a pre-Lotusphere podcast. Scott spoke with Kathy Mandelstein and Colleen Hayes with the IBM Collaborations team for a sneak preview, and I added a few thoughts of my own about what I’d be looking forward to at Lotusphere 2011.

To keep the drumbeat going, we also announced some new partnerships and increased adoption of LotusLive public cloud services earlier today.

IBM announced partnerships with Ariba and SugarCRM to help clients take advantage of social commerce and CRM in the cloud.  We also announced the widespread adoption of LotusLive with a whole range of new clients benefiting from IBM’s cloud initiatives.

You can read more about both here.

Recent research from IDC demonstrates that worldwide spending on cloud services will grow almost threefold by 2013, to some $44.2 billion (U.S.).

And based on a survey IBM conducted in the mid-market recently, there’s growing adoption of cloud computing among midsize firms, with two-thirds either planning or currently deploying cloud-based technologies to improve IT systems while lowering their overall costs.

Adoption of cloud computing is on the rise. Recent IDC research shows that worldwide spending on cloud services will grow almost threefold, reaching $44.2 billion by 2013. With this increased interest and adoption, businesses across the world are embracing IBM’s public cloud services for easy-to-use collaboration tools to connect with colleagues, partners and suppliers quickly.

Additionally, according to a recent IBM survey of more than 2,000 midsize companies, there’s growing adoption of cloud computing among midsize firms, with two-thirds either planning or currently deploying cloud-based technologies to improve IT systems management while lowering costs.

Check out the video below to learn more about how Lotus and SugarCRM are bringing customer relationship management to the cloud, and, of course, keep an eye on the Turbo blog throughout Lotusphere as more news emerges.

Written by turbotodd

January 27, 2011 at 4:33 pm

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