IBM Connect 2013 Notes: Opening Session

Updated Feb 2/2/2013: Added recorded video at bottom of post, if you want to see it in complete!


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

Alistair Rennie, IBM General Manager led the opening session which began with a very loud and good rock band. They said this was the earliest performance in 30 years. The band was They Might Be Giants.

Alistar asked if we were awake after the performance.  This is the twentieth year of Lotusphere.   In the next 20 years IBM is going to focus on how to empower people.  I was at the 2000 Lotusphere with a client presenting one of the first SameTime and Quickplace implementations with Ryder.

He then introduced the actor, Joseph Gordon Levitt who started a web site, HitRecord.org, to promote creativity. You can upload music and videos. Then anyone can download it and build on the creation. This is to promote collaboration.  One of the videos was A man with a turnip for his head.   The moral was live with what you have and do not try to hide it.

They have created a positive community around the site.  This is counter to what happens sometimes in Hollywood.   It was started by Joseph and his brother it started slow and positive.   He rewarded good work, rather than trash stuff.   It makes people feel good and willing to put their art on the site.   He also said much creativity is built on past work.   So people need to let go of their sense of ownership, at HitRecord.org when you upload material,  you give others the non-exclusive right to build on it.   For example, “A man with a turnip for his head” was a poem.   Gary Oldman read the poem and they took audio and put it on the site.

Then he requested the community to make illustrations, then another request was made for an animated film based on the narrative and the winning illustration. Then he asked for music and that was added. 29 different people contributed and they contribute the profits to this group.  They have about 150,000 members. At each step members vote on everything, including how much each contributor should get.

Alistair took a video of the crowd to contribute to HitRecord.org. He said “The site is a great living laboratory for collaboration”.  He then talked about being a member of bike riding community. There is an online community to support their efforts and other riding groups. Looking at what others are doing, encouraging them to start performing better. Community plus competition can drive performance.  Getting everyone involved is key. Connection is key. I would add that application integration is an important part of this connection.

The IBM Social Business Platform is now licensed by 60% of the Fortune 500. This platform was featured next. Sandy Carter and Jeff Schick demonstrated the social platform. Sandy said that social is a life style change.  So IBM did both technology and a methodology.   Now they have introduced a best practice adoption program.

Luis Benitez showed how a sales manager can be supported to run his team. He built a sales hub for his sales team community using out-of-the-box capabilities. Their content “gets social” to obtain the collective wisdom of their group. There is multi-way video for conversations available for laptops and tablets.

Next, an interactive table top by Foresee, where you can see and manipulate the content through multiple means including drawing on the table. You can drag people into the team and then provide them with guidance.

Luis next showed Notes 9.0 Social Edition that combines mail with social. Email messages can be made social. File Sync allows you to integrate with iPad, Mac, Windows, etc. IBM Docs will allow multiple users to edit docs at the same time.

Sandy said that an IBM study found 57% of CEOs believe social is a key driver. One senior exec said social revealed one company’s culture. Connections will have another release, as will SameTime.  Everything will be available in the Cloud. They also have Adoption Services & Strategies along with Customer Council.

Bosch’s use of social was the next topic. Their CIO spoke. Bosch offers automotive, industrial, and consumer products. I had a Bosch dishwasher, washer, and dryer recently and they were the best examples of those appliances I have owned.  They promote collaboration and diversity through a social business strategy. IBM Connections is their platform for this company wide collaboration. They started with pilots, but will open it to everyone soon. Community managers are key to success for this to work.

Craig Hayman next spoke about Steam-punk, a new trend. They found this using social analytics. Customer experience is more important than ever before. You need to turn them into advocates by listening for what they want and then acting on it. For example, 50% of customers are using mobile devices in stores. Social analytics were demonstrated using a climbing gear company, Greenwell Sports, case example. I am very familiar with this space as my daughter is the Editor of Alpinist Magazine. There is a lot of gear talk in this space and much discussion on the Web. The firm using Facebook, Twitter, and other means to link back to the right gear on their site. It has resulted in huge increases in sales. They built a community around canyoneering with Connections.

ING is a company that looks at where abandonment occurs and built in remedies. Expedia and Shop.ca, did the same thing. Jeff Bowman from Caterpillar next spoke. Now customers often start online. This undermines their traditional face-to-face selling approach. So now they are adding social online to remain competitive.

Social recruiting was next covered to demonstrate some of the Kenexa capabilities. The applicant starts with an assessment. Then analytics are used to find the best match. Once selected an on-boarding portal streamlines the process. There are collaborative social learning experiences to share expertise. The many resources that are available are easy to find.  Questions can have a video context to better explain what is needed and get better answers.

Mike Rhodin spoke next. He said it is the 11th time he has spoken here. Introducing Neil Armstrong was his best experience.  IBM now works as social enterprise. I have interviewed Mike on a number of occasions and really appreciate his big picture thinking. He said that big data is allowing us to see patterns that were not thought of before. This is allowing businesses to transform and re-invent themselves. They can target individuals rather than simply segments. Mike said that analytics is key and I could not agree more. Social opens up content to be mined through analytics. Mike said analytics is the new language of business and IBM is investing heavily here.

I am about to run out of power so I will post now.  More later.


Updated Feb 2/2/2013: Here’s the video of the Opening Session – Day 1!

Watch live streaming video from ibmsoftware at livestream.com

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