Tag Archives: collaboration

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.

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

Complete Listing of My Enterprise 2.0 Innovate 2012 Notes

I was pleased to attend Enterprise 2.0 Innovate on the West Coast for the first time. It occurred November 12 – 15 in the Santa Clara Convention Center. Here my notes from this year’s Enterprise 2.0 2012 conference in Boston. Here is a complete listing of my notes from the event.

Enterprise 2.0 Innovate 2012 Notes: The Right Way to Select Emerging Technologies for the Enterprise – Part One

Enterprise 2.0 Innovate 2012 Notes: The Right Way to Select Emerging Technologies for the Enterprise – Part Two

Enterprise 2.0 Innovate 2012 Notes: Living the Hybrid Enterprise

Enterprise 2.0 Innovate 2012 Notes: Tuesday Keynote

Enterprise 2.0 Innovate 2012 Notes: From Project Portfolio to Innovation Funnel

Enterprise 2.0 Innovate 2012 Notes: Wednesday Keynote

Enterprise 2.0 Innovate Notes: 2012 Preventing IT Sprawl

Enterprise 2.0 Innovate 2012 Notes: Tools and Techniques for Visualizing Big Data

Enterprise 2.0 Innovate 2012 Notes: Beyond Adoption

Enterprise 2.0 Innovate Notes: Big Data: Everyone’s Challenge

Enterprise 2.0 Innovate Notes: Open Innovation

Enterprise 2.0 Innovate Notes: Bringing SaaS Innovation to the Enterprise

Enterprise 2.0 Innovate Notes: Beyond Team Member Engagement

Here are the E 2 Innovate Notes from my Merced Group Partner, Catherine Shinners, who covered additional sessions.

E2Innovate: Innovation Inside and Out

E2Innovate: A Collaborative Enterprise: Thoughtworks Leads the Way

Enterprise 2.0 Innovate: Beyond Adoption to Social Process Transformation

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

With the latest release, IBM Connections 4.0 continues its movement from providing a suite of applications to becoming a comprehensive social business platform with tighter integration.

Suzanne Livingston, Senior Product Manager, IBM Social Software

I recently 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). Suzanne and I discussed several enhanced capabilities within Connections 4.0.

First, IBM expanded Activity Streams to include 3rd party applications and “embedded experiences”, a new OpenSocial API to allow for tight integration with other special purpose business applications.

This feature allows the user to not only receive updates from a variety of enterprise apps through the Connections Activity Stream, but also it allows them to take action (e.g., approvals, changes) on these updates directly without going to the originating app.

The Activity Stream is the event listing (“for example, Bill commented on your request for approval”) and the embedded experience is the mini-view that lets you interact with the app. Both the Activity Stream and the Embedded Apps enable 3rd party integration.

Connections 4.0 aggregates Activity Streams that are customized for your context and you can further enhance this contextualization through following or unfollowing items, groups, people, etc. This filtering allows for more relevant content and reduces the potential for fire hosing the user.

I think this is huge and a potentially transformative step toward better enabling the connected enterprise. Connections can become the hub of this connected enterprise, by not only introducing more social features into enterprise apps, but also by establishing greater integration between the apps, the tasks, and the people within the enterprise.

Suzanne said that this is part of IBM’s goal to transform business processes and I certainly agree with this direction.

This embedded experience feature is built on Open Social, a set of standards that IBM and other firms such as Jive Software, Atlassian, Microsoft, and Google have collaboratively developed or utilized.

IBM has turned its contribution into the Open Social Foundation, allowing third-party vendors to make better use of the embedded feature capabilities within Connections for even more robust integrations.

SugarCRM, the leading open source CRM, is one example of a firm that has taken this step. Suzanne said that we will continue to see even tighter integrations moving forward.

AppFusions is actively working on such integrations with Immersive for Atlassian, for IBM Connections, integrating the “Atlassian Suite” to bring business and engineering users and functional system access together.

In IBM Connections – Coming Q1, 2013 firm.

With a target release at IBM Connect 2013, AppFusions will unveil native integration with Atlassian JIRA (issue tracking), Confluence (enterprise wiki), Fisheye (source code viewer, etc.), Crucible (peer code reviews), Stash (enterprise Git), and Bamboo (continuous integration server).

Suzanne next covered upgrades to email usage within Connections 4.0. Now you can work on your email within Connections, without having to go to the email client. They have this feature for both IBM Domino and MS Exchange (Outlook), hitting the vast majority of business email.

Not only can you respond to emails within Connections, but you can also easily share social content. In addition, access to calendaring is provided. This gives you access to the major collaborative capabilities within one environment.

You can have this email access anywhere within Connections and “click to share” updates within your Activity Stream, including adding hashtags and images with these updates.

You can then look for trending topics within related hashtags to follow the flow of relevant conversations by those people you are interested in.

You can also drill down through filters to see more detail and obtain greater focus.

Connections 4.0 also provides expanded metrics. There are now tools to make use of available analytic data and create custom reports. For example, you can track adoption across the enterprise and create reports on this activity.

There are many use cases for this new capability.You could use Connections to roll out a new HR policy and then track who reads it, who shared it, and what they said about it to get a better picture of how it is being received.

Communities are becoming a major use case for Connections and these analytic capabilities are proving very useful to community managers. They can see the most valued content, the top contributors, and other ways the community is performing. They can make adjustments to the community interface and track responses to these changes.

To further support communities, Connections is making it easier to tie different communities together, even those in separate spaces, or inside and outside the enterprise. This latter feature is important as McKinsey has shown that higher enterprise operating margins correlated with the “a willingness to allow the formation of working teams comprising both in-house employees and individuals outside the organization.”

Now one central community can be used to track what is going on in several related communities, becoming the hub for connected conversations. Activity Streams with embedded experiences can be used to facilitate these cross-community conversations.

Suzanne said they are also facilitating the use of public domain content within the communities. She gave an example of using a blog post, such as this one, to spark a conversation within a community.

  • The community manager can ask for responses to the post or comments on it from the community.
  • The manager can also use the post content to spark conversations about product improvements or enhancements to customer service.
  • The community’s reaction can then go directly back into the blog as a response to the post.

They are also allowing for other public domain content from such sources as LinkedIn or Quora, as well as other internal communities, to used by the community.

Connections 4.0 also includes mobile support for iOS, Andriod, and Blackberry. It provides devices specific enhancements such as using the browsing capabilities specific to tablets versus smart phones.

In addition, you can add geolocation to your status updates directly from your mobile device and even upload photos for your network or communities to view.

Collectively, these enhancements are making Connections into a hub for the connected, social enterprise and should greatly extend its adoption and use.

IBM’s 2012 CEO Survey revealed that 57 percent of CEO’s identified social business as a top priority and more than 73 percent are making significant investments to draw insights into available data. The new capabilities within Connections support both of these findings.