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.

 

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