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.
Leading 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.
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.
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.
There are some amazingly sophisticated tools available out there that enable businesses to do so much with social media
@Alison, true, there are many sophisticated tools available but most important thing for the companies is to identify the role of social media plan in the companies growth. If the company is convinced about the role of the social media then they can consult service companies that specialize in this.
There are some amazingly sophisticated tools available out there that enable businesses to do so much with social media -- but that does mean companies have to develop a social media plan, as you say. The good news is that there are service companies that specialize in this, too, so it doesn't mean a small or midsize business has to suddenly add social media marketing to their list of capabilities. Lots of options, lots of great tools!
Obviously, it's a lot more sophisticated than that!
@Alison, yes social media initiatives doesnt mean creating a Facebook page and a Twitter handle, its more sophisticated than that. Companies should also plan methods by which they are going to analyze the data which they collect through social media channels.
Good question, Mashka, and I believe (although I'd have to do some digging to find the facts to support my semi-educated guess) that although a lot of companies/brands are either shifting or adding more marketing/ad funds to their social media initiatives, some are totally new to advertising and/or public relations. That's why we've seen some really ham-fisted social media efforts, unfortunately, led by companies who think social media initiatives simply mean creating a Facebook page and a Twitter handle. Obviously, it's a lot more sophisticated than that!
May be my questions are a bit off topic, but when I was reading this great post I was thinking-
More and more business invest their money in social media- we can call it in different ways, but it's still an advertising or PR, so do these companies keep investing in traditional media channels and..
Is it correct to consider that social media investsments are made also by companies that have never ever made any other investsments or, it's just a turn of the strategy- those who had invested previously , just changed their channels?
I think the most important aspect of IBM's newest offering will be how well it blends existing social networks into its own HR-based one along with marketing's social offerings. Unless I'm reading the article wrong, it sounds like that's the goal but with how cranky social networks have gotten with working together lately, it still remains to be seen in my eyes.
Even if it does blend the social networks, the next challenge is blending down those silos so the right information is shared across departments. That's more an organization's climate issue, but it'd be nice to see if the software encourages it.
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