Category Archives: IBM

Complete Listing of IBM Connect 2013 Notes

Here is the complete listing of my notes on IBM Connect 2013. I was very pleased to be back again after the last two years thanks to IBM’s support. Here are my notes from 2011 and 2012 and Ellen’s preview post, AppFusions is Fired Up for IBM Connect 2013 – Bring.It.On.AGAIN.

IBM Connect 2013 Notes: Opening Session

IBM Connect 2013 Notes: Monday Morning Press Q&A

IBM Connect 2013 Notes: Four Major Trends Shaping Social Business in 2013

IBM Connect 2013 Notes: Creating a Smarter Workforce – Panel

IBM Connect 2013 Notes: Tuesday Opening Session

IBM Connect 2013 Notes: Reinventing the Inbox – Ed Brill

IBM Connect 2013 Notes: Wednesday Opening Session

IBM Connect 2013 Notes: Getting Social in the Cloud – Rebecca Bulsan

IBM Connect 2013 Notes: Social Business Goes to School

IBM Connect 2013 Notes: Innovation Lab

Here also are several recent posts on IBM that have appeared on this blog.

Social Business – What Works and How: Highlights of IBM 2012 Social Technologies Study

IBM Connections 4.0 Expands Its Social, Integration, and Analytic Capabilities

 

IBM Connect 2013 Notes: Innovation Lab

This is another in a series of my notes on IBM Connect 2013. here are my notes from 2011 and 2012. These notes cover the Innovation Lab Tour showing work by IBM Research.  There were a number of interesting applications in varying states of development from proof of concepts to working apps in pilot with active users. I have cover the wrk of IBM Research in Cambridge for some time and was pleased to see what they are up to now (see for example, IBM’s Social Software Initiatives: Part Three – Internal Applications and More IBM Research on Enterprise 2.0 – Activities and Other Tools).  I looked at the following on this tour

Best Fit Expertise – with Dan Gruen

It helps find matches for expertise requirements by refining the request. There is a tree diagram that asks clarifying questions as you enter information. Such questions as availability, recent experience with required task or company are examples. Once the questions are made final, candidates get ranked and other factors are applied. You can also track requests to see where requests are coming from and what types of requests are being made to anticipate growing needs. Dan said that the model within it is being used as a framework for the related applications in the expertise area on display in the lab including the Social Media-based Expertise Locator and the Expediting Expertise discussed below.

It was great to see Dan again. I wrote about his work in 2005 and said the following. Dan Gruen presented Unified Activity Management. It looks at work from an activity perspective and lets you chart business process (e.g. responding to an RFP) and associated best practices. You drag in documented sub-steps from other processes to improve your process. You can find work process related documents and people. I wish we had this application in 1993 when we created the insurance underwriting KM system that was very process-centric. A key concept in Unified Activity Management is that you do not have document processes as a separate activity. The application records the process in the context of supporting it. Then you can access this recorded process and mix and match past processes to create new ones. This was the illusive goal of some of our early KM efforts. Just do it and the system will document the useful stuff without you having to do the extra work that often interfered with documentation. Kudos to Dan.”

Social Media-based Expertise Locator – Uri Avarham

You can use the Social Media-based Expertise Locator to find experts on any topic base don social media data such as: tags, communities, wikis, blogs, forums, bookmarks, etc. Then you can view evidence to learn what makes them an expert in the field. Next you can find out how to connect with the expert. You can also find people similar to the given expert. It was developed by the IBM Research Group in Haifa. Here is a screen shot on how it works.

Here is a pop-up on an individual.

Expediting Expertise – Jie Lu

This tool combines analytics and social software to concretely measure the user’s current expertise level for a given topic. Then it can facilitate improvement with learning recommendations. It allows you to rapidly identify and grow expertise within the organization. Here are two screen shots to show you how it looks. First there is your score.

Then there are recommendations for how to improve your score.

Social Knowledge Management – Hiro Takagi

This tool uses information sources to uncover knowledge assets. Then employees can “like,” “mention,” and/or share their discoveries. People can also post requests for documents on certain topics and others can find them. Then the documents get placed into Connections for greater accessibility and further enhancements.  It employs “cardification” by which a report card is created for each document where it can be rated and ranked. It will get elevated in Connections if people find it valuable. To get started the tool uses gamification to help useful documents go viral. Here is an image on how it works.

Work Marketplace – Steve Dill

This tool allows people to post work assignments and have others bid on doing them. This work exchange allows request to be shared within a community or across and organization. Colleagues can select, bid, or compete for work. It is especially useful for people between projects. After a project is completed the person’s participation is evaluated. A digital reputation can be earned based on the work performed. Teams can self-organize to bid on projects.

IBMers Who Tweet – Casey Dugan

This tool first takes input from employees on possible IBMers who are tweeting. They look at anyone how mentions IBM in their twitter profile or in other ways. Then possible matches are found in IBM Connections profiles. Matches are contacted to verify accuracy and asked if they want to be included in the directory that gets analyzed. No one is required to participate. Over 500 IBMers have helped classify 7,000 Twitter accounts. Then the Twitter activity is made visible and analytics are applied including sentiment analysis and topic identification augmented by demographics and interactive data visualization. Below is a sample screen shot.

IBM Social Business Clinic

Kate Ehlich provided a demonstration of a survey that IBM is offering their clients on how effective their current social business is functioning. Below is a sample set of results. You can compare the results you gave your company (red) with the global averages (green) and those for your industry sector (gray).

 

IBM Connect 2013 Notes: Social Business Goes to School

This is another in a series of my notes on IBM Connect 2013. Here are my notes from 2011 and 2012. These notes cover the session: Social Business Goes to School: Leaders in Academia Share Insights with Michael Brito, SVP Social Business Planning, Edelman & Adjunct Professor SJSU; UC Berkeley; Peter Cardon, Associate Professor, Marshall School of Business University of Southern California; and Simon Vaughan, Deputy IT Director, IS, Cardiff University, UK.  Here are their Twitter handles: @SimplyS1mon, @petercardon, and @Britopian.

Michael Brito opened the session. He works for Edelman and teaches at several universities. Peter is a management communication professor at USC. They traditionally cover things like live presentations, writing, etc. Now they also cover social media. Simon is the IT Director at his institution.

Michael asked Peter why social media is not covered in many business schools. Peter said that in the past they taught one-to-many and one-to-one communication. Now they need to cover the many-to-many communication that social media brings. Many business schools only think of Web tools like Facebook and do not see the broader range of social media.

Simon added that schools assume that if they are using Twitter and Facebook they know social media. This is far from the case as there are so many uses of social media. You need to define social media and social business and be aware of all the possibilities.

Michael asked about using social media for learning, not just as a course subject. Peter said he has known for some time that collaborative learning is more effective. He tends to use public social media to support his classes. Peter just published a book, Business Communication: Developing Leaders for a Networked World.

Michael said he decided to get into teaching as he found that many people did not understand social business. He asked Simon to talk about barriers to adoption. Simon said there are both more formal uses connected to teaching and also informal communication across courses. You need to make sure the tools are being used for their proper purposes and enhance the learning experience. You need to get the faculty to consistently use social media in their classes so the students receive the same support across courses.

Simon said that gamification can help reward participation. They are using it at his university and it has helped. Michael said that he also incorporates gamification tools in his classes.  Some tools require coaching such as blogs and wikis, even for digital natives.  Students do not like to have to use multiple platforms. Michael also has a recent book, Smart Business, Social Business: A Playbook for Social Media in Your Organization. Peter said that last summer he tried a home-grown collaboration tool and it was challenging.

Simon said there is a real need to set up communities of practice around such topics as a green project or some other popular topic.  Their new COO is very much into social media. He is setting a good example. People also go into the tools to see what he is saying. Peter and Michael see differences in the way different types of students use the tools. Older students see the benefit of the tools more easily. The younger ones are more likely to use IM and form Facebook groups. Simon talked about the use of massive online courses that are becoming popular as a teaching channel.

Michael said the social business is seen in several places: business, IT, communication and asked what departments it should be in schools. Simon said it should be in all three of them and more. These tools are so important that they will be needed in many ways. Peter agreed and said you should compare it to where you teach writing. It should be everywhere. The slant will differ in each. Simon talked about social mentoring. Alumni can share experiences. Businesses can connect with students.

It was asked by an audience member how can they leverage their established online communication and learning track and introduce social elements?

Simon said if you can inject alerts from established apps into an activity tool you can get conversations started that will allow people to see the benefits of social tools. He added that students in the same course could collaborate better. They could ask students who already took the course, what it was like before they decide to take it or how best to benefit from it.  Simon said another benefit is accessing the social tools from mobile devices that all students carry all the time. It will be very beneficial if you can bring in mobile. I have seen this in a number of schools.

It was asked if professors are collaborating on research through social media.

Peter said that the internal social tools are useful in certain areas by staff. However, among professors they see little use. In most US institutions there is a lot of hierarchy and this slows down use. Simon said that you can lose control of content once it gets into public spaces. People are looking for more secure platforms for collaboration from trusted partners.

It was asked if the use of social tools raises performance.

Peter said yes. Students get to know each other and they more together more easily. He added that the level of higher order thinking has risen. It was ironic that once his school banned Facebook, students started to be late to class because they were doing Facebook before class, instead of while waiting for the professor to begin.

It was asked how students collaborate in online classes vs. in-person classes.

Simon said that the physical meeting is a necessary foundation to establish connection that can be carried over to virtual collaboration.  I would certainly agree.

 

 

IBM Connect 2013 Notes: Getting Social in the Cloud – Rebecca Bulsan

This is another in a series of my notes on IBM Connect 2013. I am very pleased to be back again after the last two years thanks to IBM’s support. Here is a summary of my notes for 2012 and 2011. These notes cover the Monday Press Session: Getting Social in the Cloud with Rebecca Buisan, Director of Product Management, IBM.

Rebecca began by saying that IBM’s large cloud presence is a well-kept secret. Forrester recently named IBM as number 1 in cloud collaboration, messaging, social, and file sharing. In the past year IBM’s cloud solutions grew by 80%. They have Saas, PaaS, and IaaS offerings. Kenexa is a cloud platform. All of this makes IBM one of the top ten cloud providers in terms of number of solutions (60) and customers. They are continuing to develop a portfolio of products and services.

There are many considerations to the cloud, including cost savings. It is as much a new business model as a technology that enables this business model. The main difference between a private cloud and on-premise apps is the business model of rent vs. own. It is very flexible as you can rent or own the hardware as well as the software.

IBM is developing many apps in a multi-tenant model. IBM Docs was developed a cloud app first. I discussed it in my notes on Ed Brill’s session. Eventually everything will be in some form of the cloud and this is why IBM has invested so heavily in it.

IBM can provide pre-built cloud based environments so deployments can happen almost instantly. It is committed to standards like OpenSocial. I have covered Open Social before on this blog (see OpenSocial Provides Standards to Help Put Social Software to Work). Wikipedia defines the OpenSocial Platform as a “public specification that defines a component hosting environment (container) and a set of common application programming interfaces (APIs) for web-based applications.” This effort is designed to give social tools the ability to work together, a wise move.

I also spoke earlier with IBM’s Suzanne Livingston, Senior Product Manager for Connections. She said that the common underlying theme in the recent moves for Connections is the movement from providing a suite of applications to having Connections becoming a comprehensive social business platform with tighter integration. One of the enablers of this tighter integration is the use of Connections with OpenSocial.

IBM recently did a study on the cloud and found that organizations – both big and small, across geographies and in virtually every industry – are embracing cloud as a way to reduce the complexity and costs associated with traditional IT approaches. Almost three-fourths of the leaders in their survey indicated their companies had piloted, adopted or substantially implemented cloud in their organizations – and 90 percent expect to have done so in three years. And the number of respondents whose companies have substantially implemented cloud is expected to grow from 13 percent today to 41 percent in three years.

IBM is also tying the cloud to mobile. The cloud and mobile can be very co-dependent.  This connection has an impact on user experience design. High expectations are set for mobile apps by those on the consumer web.

IBM Connect 2013 Notes: Weds Opening Session – AppThrowdown and Jane McGonigal (@avantgame)

 Updated Feb 2, 2013: Added full video of this session at the end of this post – enjoy, especially the rockstars – at the beginning and throughout! :)

(@jonathancoulton ‘s Code Monkey playback, the demos, and @avantgame ‘s VERY inspiring and insightful “gaming” talk are a “Don’t Miss” – see video below!)


This is another in a series of my notes on IBM Connect 2013. Here are my notes from 2011 and 2012I am very pleased to be back again after the last two years.  Kevin Cavanaugh, VP Strategy, Social Business and Nigel Beck, VP Business Development led the opening session.

Jonathan Coulton played a rockin’ session of “Code Monkey” to get us awake after last’s night events. (IBMConnect live play at bottom of post!)

Nigel said there will be five demos from IBM partners. These firms just did the work without having to talk to IBM. You can just go to the IBM site and get started.

There were 27 initial entries into the AppThrowdown. From those, 14 challengers presented at Monday’s throwdown sessions. Of those, five were voted in, to do a repeat performance at today’s Keynote event.

SugarCRMThe first demo was from SugarCRM. It provides CRM solutions. Clint Oram CTO and Co-Founder did the demo. Kevin mentioned that Clint has read every Stars Wars book.

SugarCRM is the currently fastest growing CRM app. It can turn every employee into a salesperson. Sugar CRM links to IBM Connections to use its capabilities to help with collaboration around sales. Activity streams, and OpenSocial embedded experiences support remote management of SugarCRM transactions, directly from IBM Connections, providing users with the easy and convenience of progressing the lead transaction right from within Connections. Or, Connections mobile!

WrikeAndrew Filev from Wrike did the next demo. Wrike does social project management. Wrike integrates with IBM Connections to become more social. I have covered them before (see for example Wrike Takes Project Management Mobile). Emails can be integrated into Wrike and Connections to become social objects with version control. So the team can become more efficient.

You can reach out to team members and assign tasks. Wrike is mobile enabled to extend its reach. The tasks get pushed into the activity stream in Connections to better monitor progress. Wrike is very scalable. One client has over 2,000 tasks on a project. You can look at resource availability to help fill the team.

Colin Goudie and David Simpson, Senior Developers at AppFusions led the next demo. Being part of the AppFusions team, I was very pleased to see this portion. AppFusions builds packaged software integrations that bring enterprise systems together.

AppFusionsColin and David showed integrations between Atlassian JIRA and IBM Connections. It uses OpenSocial gadgets, OAuth2 support for seamless interactions, real-time live-link activity streams, and embedded experiences. This integration is especially great in bridging the gap between business personnel and engineering/product management in a corporation.

(c) All rights reserved by malexander1219

With the Immersive for Atlassian JIRA, for IBM Connections, ANY user of IBM Connections can quickly log JIRA tickets from any part of the company, whether they have a JIRA account or not! (AppFusions also has integrations with Confluence and Stash, with IBM Connections – which they did not have time to demo!) These integrations are also supported by IBM Connections mobile, so you can also interact with JIRA, Confluence, etc. from your mobile device.

Next Colin and David showed a quick demo of IBM SameTime integrated with JIRA (issue tracker), Bamboo (continuous integration server), Fisheye (SVN source code manager), Stash (git repository manager), and Confluence (enterprise wiki). Directly from the Atlassian applications, Sametime presence is live for any user, any place a users name is shown. By right-clicking, users can launch a basic chat or even video chat, if your Sametime subscription supports this.

TrilogJohn Tripp from Trilog did the next demo. He is also an opera singer. He showed a demo integrating their project management app and Connections. You can start in Connections and go to their project app. You can use the Connections activity stream and have your project work get aggregated into a Connections community.

He showed a social gantt chart.  The work in their app appears in Connections to make use of its capabilities. You can update status in Connections and it will appear in their project app.

Russ Fradin from Dynamic Signal was next up. He does marathons. The tool does social CRM. He said that your employees can be your greatest advocates with Dynamic Signal. Their solution can manage the whole process giving employees some freedom and the company some level of control to strike a balance.

Dynamic SignalActivities in Dynamic Signal appear in the Connections activity stream. The company can present messages that it would like its employees to share on their Twitter and Facebook pages and other means. Employees can earn points for this activity. Others can see this and also share it.  Employees can share content that their company wants shared and get rewarded for it.

Kevin said there is an open app dev challenge coming up with $5,000 in prizes and there is another contest with same prize money. These are in OpenNTF.org. Jane McGonigal next spoke. Her recent book is, Reality is Broken, and it covers her topic in more depth. She said there are 1 billion gamers in the world who spend over an hour a day gaming online. She said this is good news. Over three hundred million minutes are spent each day on Angry Birds. The average Call of Duty player spends a work month a year playing. Many players called in sick when a new release came out.

Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the WorldIn contrast 71% of workers are not engaged in their work. This costs companies 300 million annually as well as lack of innovation. Gaming can be used to get the right engagement. The engagement economy is about unlocking the energy put into gaming. For example 100 million hours went into Wikipedia. This is only 7 days of the time spent on Call to Duty playing. If you can put this time to work on world problems or company challenges much can be done.  You want mass participation. Girls are catching up to boys in gaming hours and 92% of two year olds are playing games on their parents’ devices.

She showed ten positive emotions that people get from gaming. They are in order: creativity, contentment, awe and wonder, excitement, curiosity, pride, surprise, love, relief, and joy. These positive emotions have a great impact on how we solve problems. These positive emotions can overcome stress. There is science backing this up. She has a site – show me the science – to give access to the studies. For example, children who play games score higher on tests of creativity.

Gamers spend 80% of their time failing but they are willing to hang in there to succeed. Studies show that ADHD symptoms seen to disappear when people are gaming. Also cooperation is enhanced through collaborative gamers. Gamers with autism show higher social awareness when doing multi-player gamers. Gamers can outperform drugs on the treatment of depression. Games make us resilient and more likely to get going until you succeed.  She showed some great pictures of gamers in action and focused on their tasks.

She said that the opposite of play is not work but depression. If you can put play into work people will perform much better. She showed brain images of active gamers vs those watching them. The active players have much more active brain images.  This is especially true for the area, hippocampus, where new learning takes place. These changes are lasting.

One project turned to the game, Farmville, to transfer the participation in an actual city garden. They got a 400% increase in participation. I certainly agree that making work into play gets better results. People doing their passions do not retire. When I was developing training programs for businesses in the 80s, including IBM, I always tried to introduce a game aspect with simulation. This could occur in a computer-based game or a classroom situation.  It shortened the required training time and increased perform at the end of the experience and then again on the job.  This was especially true if you could bring the learning tools back to job to help with the work.


 Updated Feb 2, 2013: Added full video of this session below – enjoy, especially the rockstars – at the beginning and throughout! :)

Watch live streaming video from ibmsoftware at livestream.com

IBM Connect 2013 Notes: Reinventing the Inbox – Ed Brill

This is another in a series of my notes on IBM Connect 2013. I am very pleased to be back again after the last two years thanks to IBM’s support. Here is a summary of my notes for 2012 and 2011. These notes cover the Monday Press Session: Reinventing the Inbox with Ed Brill, Director, Social Business & Collaboration, IBM.

I first meet Ed Brill in person at the 2011 Lotusphere. He remembered our phone interview six year earlier when I was collecting cases for blog book. Here is that interview: Blog Cases from 2005: Ed Brill on IBM, Collaboration, and More.

Before I get into the session I want to mention, Ed’s excellent new book, Opting In: Lessons in Social Business from a Fortune 500 Product Manager. I had a chance to preview the first few chapters. As I wrote in response to this preview:

Opting In is an important book that takes social business beyond external marketing to provide practical guidance on how to drive significant business value through enhancing human interactions within the enterprise.

McKinsey’s research has demonstrated many quantified benefits here and Ed shows you how to realize them. I look forward to reading the rest of the book.

Ed runs product management for messaging, collaboration, and unification products. The two big new things this year are improvements to existing apps through Social Notes 9.0 and IBM docs.  Ed said that email has become dysfunctional and needs to be transformed.

Adding social capabilities will greatly increase its efficiency and I would certainly agree. Some of the content that used to be in broadcast emails has already moved to social apps for good reason. But there needs to be changes to email itself. This is happening in several ways.

There is embedded experience so that email alerts can come into other apps you are working on. You can respond to the email without leaving the other app. Another major change that is coming is to use analytics to prioritize your mail so the most relevant messages come to the top of the email inbox, replacing the simple chronological order that has been standard for some time.

There could be several different types of filters for this prioritization such as skills, team membership, location, or relevance to a project you are working on. Ed said that one challenge will be getting people to trust the prioritization.

Within IBM as an organization, Connections has replaced the portal as the first place people go. Now you can have mail within Connections so you do not have to leave it. There is also a discovery engine that teaches people how to use the new features. One capability I really like, is the ability to act on a message directly. For example, you might get a request from HR in an email that requires using an HR app. You can respond to the request directly in the email without having to go to the app.

I have covered IBM Connections in depth recently on this blog (see IBM Connections 4.0 Expands Its Social, Integration, and Analytic Capabilities). For this post I spoke with Suzanne Livingston, Senior Product Manager for Connections on the 4.0 release. I have covered Connections a number of times before (see for example, Review of IBM Connections 3.0 and IBM Connections: Analytics + Social).

Ed talked a bit about activity streams as they also have this embedded ability to respond to requests from apps. Email and activity streams are now two parallel communication channels. Activity streams are for public information, as many people can see them. Ed said they can be useful for discovering new information. Email remains the channel for private communication. It is still necessary but some of its uses have moved to better tools. Here is a list of features for Notes 9.0 from the IBM product page.

  • Provides an easy-to-use, single point of access to everything you need to get your work done quickly, including business applications, email, calendars, feeds, and more.
  • Lets you tailor your work environment with widgets that bring social communities that are important to your job, both within the enterprise and across the Internet, right into your peripheral view.
  • Enables you to work with people right at the point of context with social tools weaved into the work experience, allowing you to pivot to the tool you need, such as business cards, presence awareness, instant messaging, and more.
  • Helps you quickly locate the people and content you need through integrated access to social tools from IBM Connections and IBM Lotus Quickr® software, including profiles, activities, team places, and content libraries.
  • Offers advanced replication technology to enable you to work with email and applications even when disconnected from the network.

Sometimes changes to becoming more social can have unintended consequences. For example, Ed mentioned a CEO who started a blog to more directly communicate with his workforce and allow for two-way exchanges that email messages did not promote.  Employees were so pleased to have a communication channel with the CEO that many comment threads got pushed into topics unrelated to his post. So he set up a second app, called the Speaker’s Corner, to allow for these comments. This allowed his first blog to stay more on topic.

Ed said that Notes use remains very active. In fact, many clients who let their Notes licenses expire are coming back. The added social features are one driver of this re-engagement.

IBM Docs also has integrated social features. You can open a document and invite others to collaborate on it in real time. In
traditional word processing you designate a file name and place it in a file structure. It is document oriented. IBM Docs is more people oriented. You open a document and place in a location such as a team workspace within Connections, not an abstract file structure.

Then others can be invited into this workspace. I see this people orientation as a great improvement and one of the shortcomings of MS Word and SharePoint. IBM Docs can work in the cloud as IBM SmartCloud Docs is a cloud-based office productivity suite, which allows users to simultaneously collaborate on word processing, spreadsheet and presentation documents. Here is a sample screen is on the right.

Notes can also be in the cloud. IBM recently did a study on the cloud and found that organizations – both big and small, across geographies and in virtually every industry – are embracing cloud as a way to reduce the complexity and costs associated with traditional IT approaches. Almost three-fourths of the leaders in their survey indicated their companies had piloted, adopted or substantially implemented cloud in their organizations – and 90 percent expect to have done so in three years. And the number of respondents whose companies have substantially implemented cloud is expected to grow from 13 percent today to 41 percent in three years.

There is also extensive mobile support including client and client-less (HTTP, browser based) access options and seamless
network connectivity as you roam. There is optimized network utilization to reduce data transmission and connection costs. Notes Mobile Connect also supports a wide range of device types – mobile, desktop, laptop – for security-rich connection into business infrastructure. It is nice to see that Notes in alive and well and entering the social age. This move should ensure its longevity.

IBM Connect 2013 Notes: Tuesday Opening Session

This is another in a series of my notes on IBM Connect 2013. I am very pleased to be back again after the last two years. Here are my notes from 2011 and 2012. Bob Piccano, IBM General Manager led the opening session. The theme was the rise of social business – moving from liking to leading. These notes are real time so please forgive any typos.

Bob Piccano opened the session. He mentioned that this was the 20th year at this conference.   He has moved to a new post that includes leading the big data efforts across IBM.  He introduced Adam Klaber, Managing Partner, New Markets, who is working on big data among other things. IBM is moving from systems of transaction to systems of engagement. This has major transformation implications. I have written about this a bit (see for example, Integrating the Interactions with the Transactions and Integrating Transactions and Interactions: A Fable).

Adam said that customers are leading the conversations that define brands. Partners are interacting to accelerate business value. Employees are using social media in all aspects of the their lives, including work. Organizations are crowdsourcing ideas to bring better solutions.

Adam mentioned the four I’s: Interact, Inform, Integrate, and Innovate. Each builds on the other. This shift is enabled by technology supported social interactions. They are releasing a study on how companies are moving forward in social. Over half of the organizations are shifting their investments to social technology. They are also looking at the cultural change. IBM is doing more than technology but also helping with the social change. They have formed a cross-disciplinary group on front office transformation and a center of competence in this space. He moved to client examples in healthcare, retail, and government. He began with healthcare.

All of these cases make use of IBM Connections. I have covered IBM Connections in depth recently (see IBM Connections 4.0 Expands Its Social, Integration, and Analytic Capabilities). For this post I spoke with Suzanne Livingston, Senior Product Manager for Connections on the 4.0 release. I have covered Connections a number of times before (see for example, Review of IBM Connections 3.0 and IBM Connections: Analytics + Social).

Dan Pelino came out to discuss healthcare and the other cases. There is now a huge increase of people getting healthcare benefits in the US.  Thirty million new people are coming into the system. It is the largest single change for any industry. It will change everything including the use of technology.

Dan began with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. I was a subscriber of this Blue Cross for years when I lived in Cambridge until I recently moved back to New Orleans. Bill Fandrich, the CIO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts spoke. They have been dealing with universal coverage since 2006 when Massachusetts passed the first laws in this area. When they started today’s smart phones were not in the market, yet these devices are now the primary ways members access their benefits.

There is now a new paradigm, out pacing Moore’s law on change with growth of over 45% per year. The real question is whether they are getting insights from the massive amounts of data or is this just an expense. There is now coverage for 411,000 uninsured residents and only 1.9% remain uninsured. Blue Cross is the glue that connects members and providers. They look at all the touch points in the process.  They keep a 360 view of their members to provide better care at less cost. They want to provide more personalized health care. I have received calls on some of the issues he raised.

Next, Maree Foti, HR manager at David Jones, a department store in Australia, spoke. They have 36 stores with 8,000 employees. They are the oldest department store still on their original name.  They started a working group to have more two-way communication with employees. They needed a platform with two-communication, anywhere, anytime while complimenting existing infrastructure. They started a pilot of IBM Connections with 1,000 employees. They have 65% take up in three months. There are also behavioral changes.

Usage is strong with 64% accessing the system several times a week. More than 55% believe it will enhance two-way communication. The top three benefits: increased knowledge of the firm, more direct link to leadership team, and a greater sense of community and collaboration. Her three top tips: bring the platform to life for users, focus on content, content, content; and engage champions at all levels of the business.  Moving forward their focus is changing to find ways to obtain business benefits. They want to create a platform for social business.

Dan next introduced the government example. Municipalities affect how we live so better participation in good for everyone. Jeff Rhoda, General Manager, IBM spoke. We are all touched by government. The issues that have been discussed all apply to government: big data, collaboration, analytics, cloud, and mobile. For example, police can use analytics to predict where crimes will occur to prevent them before they happen. I have seen the TV commercial about this.

Dan introduced Mike Van Milligen from the city of Dubuque to discuss how they engaged citizens to help with local challenges. They have come back from population loss and economic downturn to create a growing community that is sustainable. They use smarter technologies to give new information to citizens and business to save money. If you give people the right information, they will make smarter decisions. Water was the first example. Thee hundred volunteer households were given a portal looking at water use. It resulted in a 7% reduction in water use and 800% increase in water leak detection. The also did a smarter electricity study with over 1,000 participants. They received a 4 – 7% cost savings in electricity. Over 70% took actions to converse electricity. The state officials in Iowa are looking at these projects for state-wide use. Next, they are wrapping up a smarter travel study. They are developing better bus routes.

Mike said the lessons include:

  • Incremental change is best
  • Synthesize and analyze large amounts of data from unrelated and unstructured sources
  • Reach people on through multiple channels

They are focused in creating a sustainable model for cites under 200,000 people where 40% of the US population lives. They revamped their riverfront. They have a population of 60,000 but 3 million live within a 100 miles.

Dan concluded the three part case examples and Bob came back to wrap up the morning session. He began an architectural discussion with systems of record. There are now machine-to-machine interactions. At the top end of the stack you have systems of engagement.  A big data platform links the two. Content is curated and made useful for analytics and subsequent decisions. They are releasing a new version of IBM Social Analytics, formerly known as Cognos. It will be available on a SaaS model. The platform allows big data to be used at the point of impact.  There is interaction data, attitudinal data, behavioral data, and more.  An airline manufacturer saved 36 million in shorter service calls, another client process 17 billion bits of data on a daily basis. They have now 300 business partners in this space and have released their Stored IQ product.

 

IBM Connect 2013 Notes: Creating a Smarter Workforce – Panel

This is another in a series of my notes on IBM Connect 2013. I am very pleased to be back again after the last two years thanks to IBM’s support. Here is a summary of my notes for 2012 and 2011. These notes cover the Monday Press Session: Creating a Smarter Workforce with Rudy Karsan, CEO, Kenexa, an IBM Company; Jonathan Ferrar, VP Strategy & Product Management, Smarter Workforce, IBM; and Tim Geisert, CMO, Kenexa, an IBM Company.

It was asked why Kenexa decided to be acquired.

Rudy mentioned the opportunity to change the world with IBM support. The IBM name and capabilities allows them to go beyond what they could do on their own.

It was asked about the recruiting process. 

Rudy mentioned KSA (knowledge skills, and attributes).  These dimensions are the traditional ones used by HR. Now a fourth dimension is culture. As an example, for culture issues, they can look at all the data points to see predictive factors for profitability and then what is driver of these sales. For example, at AMC movie theaters it was popcorn sales and the manager was the major driver of popcorn sales. So they can look at how the manager can drive sales to spread the activities of the successful ones.

Home Depot ran three tests for their on-the-ground store personnel. One was the IBM-Kenexa model and it led to significant increases in revenues per sales person. The approach of the sales people was a driver here. The big data also said that the number one driver of turnover was the length of commute of the employee.  It took a big data look to discover this, even though it makes sense. How you handle this is tricky so you are not discriminatory and subject to law suits. One approach is to raise the commuting issue and let recruits self-select.

The benefit for the employee is having a better chance to find a meaningful job. This discussion has helped people find work that is meaningful to them. Many people are unsure about what they want to do. The tools can help with channeling into the right work and then succeeding. The tools are not perfect but predictors.

It was asked about the fact that people do not always give honest answers to interviews.

Rudy said there are authentication steps but it is not precise. The tools are to help people make better decisions, not eliminate people and make decisions for them. Their model can predict which people will stay at up to 95% reliability. This helps with workforce planning. It also helps identify issues before they happen and make corrections.

A case example was given where a company was having trouble filling some key jobs.

Kenexa came in and interviewed. They found that this was seen more as a transition job.  So they needed to find people who wanted a transition job.  They filled the jobs in 6 weeks that had been open for 6 months. The people are still with the company in different positions.

Behavioral science has changed in the last 15 years. If you can provide people with more awareness about the job, the more likely they are to stay. You need to better empower people to make decisions. They are introducing not just smarter HR but smarter workforce. We are helping people better self-manage their own tools.

Social learning with Connections and Kenexa was the next topic. 

Rather than connecting people in a room, a company used Connections for virtual social learning around product development. It led to more collaboration and brought a new product to market sooner. This occurred because it tapped into a wider portion of the company so there was some crowd sourcing.

It was asked does data only give you correlation or can you find causation?

The big data science can look at what likely causes the correlation. Then you can move to validation to find causation.

Rudy said at the end of the day the smarter workforce is about the individual.

People do want to be better.  However, they distrust corporations since they see them only interested in profits.  These tools do help people become more engaged because they feel more connected to the company.

IBM Connect 2013 Notes: Four Major Trends Shaping Social Business in 2013

This is another in a series of my notes on IBM Connect 2013. I am very pleased to be back again after the last two years. Here is a summary of my notes for 2012 and 2011. These notes cover the Monday Session: Four Major Trends Shaping Social Business in 2013 and Beyond with Beverly Macy, CEO of Gravity Summit LLC & Huffington Post Columnist; Mark Fidelman, CEO of Evolve! & Forbes.com Columnist; and Sandy Carter, VP, Social Business Sales.  Here is my review of Mark’s new book, Socialized.

Mark said that being precise is hard these days but trends can be seen. Mark reviewed the four trends they will discuss. He then asked Sandy how marketing in the social age is different. She said that IBM sees social moving beyond marketing. For example, one firm is using social to capture ideas from a retiring employees. IBM is leveraging influencers on Twitter and other social media to help with their messages.

Mark asked Beverly if we still need a CIO? She said yes. In fact, the cloud will be bringing more work back into IT. Many companies are having trouble dealing with the idea that social will effect all areas. There is a lot to manage. How will different departments engage with each other? How does a tweet that needs answering get routed to the right people within the enterprise? What are the legal aspects? Are you allowed to tweet about your work on the weekend?

Mark asked Sandy about influence marketing. She said that 20% of your customers influence your other customers and 15% of your employees influence what everyone else thinks about the company. Word of mouth is more trusted than traditional marketing. Over 90% of people trust their friends. She gave the example of Mark as influencer. If she can get him excited about an IBM idea or product, he might tweet to thousands of people.

Mark asked Beverly if firms should get rid of traditional marketing. She said no. Traditional marketing still works. Influencer marketing is an amplifier. Traditional marketing should not be abandoned but still need the influencer marketing.

Sandy said they worked with an investment bank and identified their influencers. They built a relationship with an influencer and got him to recommend their offerings. Beverly said that social has come into traditional marketing like Twitter hashtags on TV ads. Sandy said there are three groups to reach; digital natives, digital immigrants, and those who use traditional means. Now you need to reach all three but over time everyone will be digital natives.

Mark asked Beverly about how big data can help sales. She said that big data have been around a while but what is new is the social data. It provides context to traditional big data. She said that predictive analytics will become much better at focusing sales.

Mark wondered why more people are not on Twitter. Beverly said you still have a lot of non-digital people in sales.  Sandy said that sales analytics can be very useful on Twitter. Sentiment analysis is useful. Are findings a trend or a fad? One European energy drink company saw their image shrink. Michelle Obama had said that energy drinks are a source of childhood obesity. This will be a trend that may last since she has great influence.

The Obama campaign used predictive analytics. They interviewed likely voters and profiled them. The tested messages at the door and on the phone and fine tuned them. They also used influencers. There is much more. Sandy said the Obama campaign used mobile very well and 68% of social is done on mobile.

Beverly said that people do not take smoke breaks any more but they take Facebook breaks on their own smart phone.  She gave the example of a person getting a coupon for a store as they walk pass it. Some people may find this spooky but they can opt out. Others will find it useful.

Sandy said that on a clothes store has an automated tracker on the cloths hanger that says how many people liked the item. In Asia they have pictures of the product on the subways. You can take your phone and take a picture of the product and order it and/or recommend it.

Beverly said there was dating service that would cause your phone to go off when you walked by someone else on the service with a similar profile. They had to turn it off because it caught too many married people who were secretly on the dating service.

Mark told the story about a father who discovered his daughter was pregnant because she was getting baby ads from Target based on their analytics. Sandy said that younger people see less separation between work and their personal life so there will be less issues about privacy. Beverly said security will also get better even as the concerns might decrease.

Sandy said 57% of social business efforts fail because of adoption issues. So they worked with clients to create ten steps to succeed in adoption. Changing culture is one. Another is how to get buy-in. Then how do you sustain engagement? Gamification can help. One company used gamification to bring back customers who had gone to a competitor.

Beverly said the hard part is changing entrenched old school culture to accept social. This is as big as Six Sigma as a transformation.

Mark asked Beverly if most CEOs will need to be social within five years? Beverly said boards will be looking at the digital footprint of candidates to evaluate them. To succeed CEOs will have to become social. They will need help. Beverly said that this can be a role for the CIO and enable them to become more strategic.

Sandy talked about the IBM Social Business Agenda. It includes:

Align organizational goals and culture

Gain social trust

Engage through experiences

Network your business processes

Design for reputation and risk management

Analyze your data

Mark asked what can companies to do with the skill gaps in social? Beverly said it starts with education. They need to become strategic. Companies have to make a commitment. She is concerned that there will be a major skills gap and not enough people with the right skills. Companies are going to start hiring but they may not find enough skilled people. Also, companies will look more at individual’s Klout score to rate them and determine how much service they get.

Mark about what to do with people who say they will not go social. Sandy said that some companies have used gamification to move the resisters. Mark asked about the difference in cultures between IBM and Apple. Beverly compared that Coke has never had a spokesperson and Pepsi is very personality driven. Either strategy can work. Apple is now suffering from being icon driven and the lost of their icon. Sandy said the employees are the best marketers. You need employee engagement to get client engagement. IBM has been very open to letting their employees speak for the firm. I wrote about this issue last year (see Why Apple Needs to be More Like IBM), as did Mark (see Why Every Company Needs To Be More Like IBM And Less Like Apple).

IBM Connect 2013 Notes: Monday Morning Press Q&A

This is another in a series of my notes on IBM Connect 2013. I am very pleased to be back again after the last two years thanks to IBM’s support. Here is a summary of my notes for 2012 and 2011. These notes are real time so please forgive any typos.

These notes cover the Monday morning press Q&A with Mike Rhodin, IBM Senior Vice President, Software Solutions Group; Alistair Rennie, IBM General Manager, Social Business; Craig Hayman, General Manager Industry Solutions, and Rudy Karsen, CEO, Kenexa – an IBM company.

Mike began by talking about big data. Traditional data processing had a set order. Now we need to be more flexible and adaptive based on what we learn from analytics looking at big data. This capability has to be woven into everything that is done in the workplace. Supporting employee engagement is key as it leads to better customer experiences and increased revenue. Computers need to be taught rather than programmed so they can continue to learn, like Watson.

Alistair continued with more social business opportunities. IBM found that 82% of CMOs plan to increase spending on social media. IDC has ranked IBM as number 1 in the social business market for the past three years. They now have an employee experience suite to go along with their customer experience suite. The next release of Connections will have greater integration with enterprise content, as well as content outside the enterprise at sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Rudy and Craig joined the group as it was open to questions:

The first one was on roles within IBM.

Senior VP ranks above General Manager.  Mike has four General managers reporting to him including Alistair and Craig.

It was next asked about learning, OutStart, and Kenexa which also led to their acquisition strategy.  

I like that a Boston based firm worked with OutStart on their blog before the Kenexa acquisition. IBM sees great capability here to integrate into their efforts. They had already started work in this area even before the acquisition. Connections will connect with the Kenexa 2x platform.

Rudy explained how their survey capability can be used for talent management. First they survey to find key managers. Then they use these characteristics to develop an assessment model for all potential managers. He      said the survey business is evolving.  On one hand it is getting less complex and on the other big data makes things complicated.

Mike said that social and analytics are interconnected. This is part of the excitement of the Kenexa acquisition. Mike said there will be more acquisitions in his Solutions Group. They are looking a lot at front office digitalization. Here are more of Mike’s ideas on acquisitions and convergence.

Craig gave an example of how the capabilities of different firms they are acquired are interwoven. Mike said they are looking to provide a single integrated solution. Customers often have to go to many different vendors to solve their business problems. IBM wants to provide total solutions. They also want these solutions to be flexible and draw on many options, including those from other vendors or open source.

It was asked about how stricter privacy laws in Europe affect the analytics.

Rudy said they use different capabilities to adapt to country laws. They also centralize the data to keep individual data private. Craig said that all of their acquisitions are in the leadership quadrants in their space. Mike said they have been very careful in their acquisitions. They do not want to give up best of breed to have integrations.

It was asked about the competitive landscape in the social space.

There are start-ups such as Jive, Yammer, Box that have gained mind-share. Mike said many of these companies offer a “freemium” model to gain market share. IBM has ranked number one in revenue for the past several years. Many of these tools are standalone tools. IBM is building an integrated platform and they are unique in this goal. Craig added that many IBM partners are building Connections integrations.   AppFusions is one of these with integrations with Atlassin JIRA with Connections and SameTime.

It was asked about the fit of IBM products and Connections for smaller organizations.

Craig gave an example, the marketing center that was shown this morning. The marketing center runs in the cloud. There is no software and hardware to install. This makes it easier for small businesses. IBM is making money in this business. Mike said this is the key metric of success.