Tag Archives: IBM

Any Organization, Any Industry – The Vegas Casino Story

Every industry has it’s own unique issues within their collaboration story. And the story doesn’t end when your organization buys an enterprise collaboration platform like IBM Connections.

Why? Because, no doubt, you use many tools in your work day to organize and share data, keep track of clients and leads, manage issues or a git repository, etc. Think about it – all these tools to get things done and collaborate with data, processes, and people in your organization, and all of it in different systems that don’t talk with each other. Collaboration? Hmm – more like two steps forward, one step backward given all those silo’d systems!

Maybe you have a fragmented email culture as well – which creates churn, politics, and other linear work models and inefficiencies. Perhaps all your silo’d tools prevent cross-enterprise engagement and lead to miscommunications and confusions?

IBM Connections “Integrated” by AppFusions – a platform to bring all your systems together in unlimited contextual communities – is the solution to your problems.  It’s time to stop wasting time, bouncing all over the place! It’s time to work smarter and faster, drive attention to key content in context, and reduce data and process duplication efforts. It’s time to streamline your workflow. Finally, a collaboration solution that “just works” – 24/7 for you.

In the spirit of this month’s IBM InterConnect in Las Vegas (see you there!), let’s think about IBM Connections “Integrated” – in a real-life scenario … Meet Vincent, a Las Vegas native.

Photo: www.westgatedestinations.com
Photo: www.westgatedestinations.com

Hello, I am Vincent.

I run a large Vegas casino hotel with high rotating traffic, which results in a very high volume of documentation – from employee data to guest information to incident reporting to housekeeping management records… yeah, it’s A LOT.

For years, given the diversity of our workforce, data was tracked via our central Facilities office that doubled as HR. They use a number of systems to get their job done. Over time, however, Facilities began to balk at the enormous amount of documentation, the many incident and record tracking systems, and the different levels of expertise required for HR.

HR was spun-out as a separate department, but we decided to move all our data records into Dropbox, categorized by different types. We also deployed JIRA ServiceDesk for incident tracking, and records associated with incidents were attached to the logged incidents. This helped a great deal, but still, it’s a never ending chase.

The HR spin-out was a good thing, but it brought to light other issues, of lacking real-time community communications, relationship development, and ongoing collaboration. While the data tracking and records issues were solved partly, we ended up with more systems and no central place for the many types of communities the casino needed (internally and externally)…

Enter IBM Connections integrated with Dropbox and JIRA ServiceDesk. We are thrilled with the new system since now everyone is looking at other ways to improve our work processes via integrations into the IBM Connections system. The good thing is everyone is aligned, in one home – the silo’d system is gone.  

The journey is just beginning – we hope to also build communities within Connections for our external customers that are regulars. By connecting with those customers closer, we can grow our relationships and they will come back more often. We are also excited about the IBM Connections integration with Salesforce – it’s about time we had access to our CRM within our HR and Account Management communities!

Thanks for reading! Vincent’s Vegas casino story is one of hundreds … unsure how your industry or organization would benefit from IBM Connections “Integrated?” Contact us at info@appfusions.com, and we’ll help you connect the dots!

Related links:

Again, if you like what you find here, please join the conversation through our comment fields!

Rock on,

The AppFusions team

Post by Rosalie Plofchan, Marketing Manager of AppFusions

Why IBM Connections + “Pink” + AppSpokes are perfect for each other

One of the biggest stories at last week’s IBM Connect is IBM Connections Pink. According to its creator at IBM, Pink is not an IBM Connections’ release, but a vision.

There were several sessions on Pink. I went to one led by CTO and Director of IBM Collaborations Solutions Software Development, Jason Gary, and another by Pink’s lead architect and developer, Andre Hagemeier.

Here is why I think Pink and AppSpokes are made for each other. (AppSpokes in AppFusions’ growing family of deep integration solutions for IBM Connections cloud and on-premise systems – PDF brief here).

First of all both emphasize an exceptional user experience as the #1 objective.

People are at the heart of the digital workplace – past, current and future.

IBM Connections “Pink” promises to provide a customizable UI for IBM Connections using “Muse” (another technology built for IBM Connections) for customer experiences, which allows for tenant-specific javascript code to be injected into IBM Connections. UI customization can be added to the App Registry, a central repository for all types of IBM Connections’ platform extensions (including IBM Verse extensions).

AppSpokes’ extensibility solutions, by AppFusions, also have been created with an end-to-end emphasis of the user experience in mind. Though the AppFusions’ team are firm believers of the API economy, we are also pragmatic.

AppFusions’ CEO, Ellen Feaheny, said it very simply: “APIs are not enough!” in her IBM Connect 2017 session, “Confront the Madness! All Your Tools and Systems of Record Integrated Natively in IBM Connections“. AppSpokes integrations provide a natively integrated user experience – and all the underlying integration “connectivity” technology – so everything “Just works!” in cloud or on-premise IBM Connections environments.

IBMConnectionsIntegrated


Second, both the Pink and AppSpokes teams realize that HOW YOU BUILD software is at least as important as WHAT YOU BUILD.
IBMConnectionsPinkTechnologiesAgain, AppSpokes is aligned with Pink: rapid agile development, open source technology, micro-service based architecture, multi-tenant services, single code base for cloud and on-premise environments, and containerized deployments are just a few examples of our shared vision and practices.

If you listened to the Pink sessions and the AppFusions’ sessions at IBM Connect 2017, you will agree that the people behind the visions and the work efforts too are risk-takers that are leading the tribes (as Seth Godin so poignantly describes!)


Last but not least, both Pink and AppSpokes are ultimately about strategy. That is, the customer platform experience strategy, not just IBM’s or AppFusions’ strategy.

PinkHow
Strategy – people first. Build the HOW with the WHO.

Both believe extensibility is a core part of a lasting strategy for digital collaboration in the enterprises. Both embrace open ecosystems with partners in mind.


IBMConnectionsPinkAtAglance
It’s a foundational strategy with “the people’s experience” at the heart.

With the motto of “Everything is an API”, Pink will allow both “Integrate In” and “Integrate Out” between your external applications and your enterprise social network.

The goal of AppSpokes is to power your IBM Connections environment, enabling powerful enterprise collaboration desktop with ready solutions, packaged yet extensible for easy deployments and enablement,UI-rich integrations, SSO, and capabilities through community and profile apps, activity streams, embedded experiences, menu items, macros and much more in IBM Connections (and soon IBM Verse).

AppSpokes implements “integrate in and out” designs – bringing your external applications inside IBM Connections so you can work from one platform, with unlimited contextual communities. For example, in the JIRA in IBM Connections integration, not only can you create, comment, and transition a JIRA issue in-context within your IBM Connections community, you can also link back to IBM Connections from your JIRA issue or task, among other.


At the closing session of IBM Connect 2017, composer Eric Whitacre showed us how the collaboration of thousands of singers across the globe can create the most beautiful music that lifts our spirit, touches our heart, and changes our view.

Like that! Let’s apply that viral tribe building joyful notion to IBM Connections’ extensibility, growth, and delight!

IBM Connect was a fabulous conference – the beginning of a new era – this year. The AppFusions’ team greatly looks forward to our continued work with the IBM Connections’ team, IBM partners, and of course and NOT least: IBM customers, to bring the richest and best experiences – IBM Connections (Pink) “Integrated” – to you!

EricWhitacre
Eric Whitacre conducting his virtual choir – a bold, unique, and beautiful “tribe” that he and his team created.

 

Social Connections 8, AppSpokes, Atlassian Confluence in IBM Connections

Last week, 4 of us from the AppFusions team traveled to Boston to participate in the IBM Connections user group called Social Connections 8.

Here’s a “storify” slideshow that captures some of the essence, as well as this quote by Simon Vaughan:

It was a great conference that I would highly recommend, if interested in getting up front, close, and personal with “who’s who” in the IBM Connections’ ecosystem. This includes the many folks that work daily to make IBM Connections’ customers successful: IBM developers, PMs, and IBM Collaboration Services’ (ICS) management — they were all there!

In addition, the conference was attended by a passionate group of customer end users and administrators, and dozens of expert consulting implementors from across the globe.

With a packed schedule, it was an exciting two days and we are grateful for attending!

Boston Science Museum Dragon – Gala Reception 4/16/2015

For our part, on Thursday afternoon, AppFusions’ Patrick Li and Ellen Feaheny presented about our new AppSpokes Framework for faster development and deployment of single code-based integration applications for cloud, on-premise, hosted, or hybrid IBM Connections environments. We’ll be sharing more on that soon enough; just getting going with some initial deployments.

Already from the conference, David Simpson, a full-on dragon slayer AppFusions’ developer, was inspired, and quickly integrated the IBM Connections functional header with Atlassian Confluence, bringing a native IBM Connections Cloud feel to Atlassian Confluence.

Here’s some of his results:

ConfluenceInIBMConnections1


David then took it another level and added the header integration into AppFusions’ Immersive for Atlassian Confluence, in IBM Connections, and with a bit of additional theming, he morphed the Confluence theme to mirror the currently applied IBM Connections look and feel/theme.

For example, this:

ConfluenceInIBMConnections


… which looks a whole lot like the default IBM Connections theme, as shown here:

ConfluenceNativeInIBMConnections

Power10Men
Harvard or MIT Crew doing a “Power10” on Charles River – 4/16/2015

AppFusions’ Technical PM and overall great human Danielle Zhu was also with us, and AppFusions’ “Boston-camp”spin-off wouldn’t have been the same without her!

AppFusions left the conference with more knowledge than we arrived with or brought too, which to me means success. Our plate runneth over on great IBM Connections’ integrations plans and fired-up-ness — going to be a great rest of the year! THANKS to the Social Connections planning team!

The “Next” Social Connections event is planned for October, 2015 in Stuttgart! If interested, email info@socialconnections.info.



IBM Brings Integration and Social Business to Messaging

I think that social business is the most significant transformation in business today and application integration is the backbone of this effort.  IBM has been making significant moves in social business for some time and has included application integration as a main part of its initiatives. See for example my post on: IBM Connections 4.0 Offers Expanded Social, Integration, and Analytic Capabilities and my coverage of IBM Connect 2013 on this blog. They were recently named by IDC the worldwide market share leader in social software for fourth consecutive year. Now IBM is extending its social business lead by bringing messaging into the social experience, turning email from a client application used only for messages to a core component of a platform that changes the ways people communicate across the enterprise.

Research from IBM supports this rising importance of social media. According to an IBM study, 82 percent of chief marketing officers (CMO) plan to increase their use of social media over the next three to five years. IBM’s 2012 CEO Study identified the same trend—while today only 16 percent of CEOs are using social business platforms to connect with customers, that number is poised to spike to 57 percent within the next three to five years. See my post on this blog on the 2011 study for similar trends.

I recently spoke with Scott Souder, Program Director, IBM Messaging & Collaboration Strategy , to learn about the news in email. Offered on- premises, in the IBM SmartCloud for Social Business, hybrid or on popular mobile devices, the new offering of IBM Notes and Domino 9.0 Social Edition helps business simplify and accelerate social business adoption in the marketplace, providing employees with a single access point for all of their collaboration tools—social media, email, group activities, blogs and more.

For companies using Microsoft Outlook, IBM also provides a new social connector that brings the capabilities of shared files, communities and other key social capabilities directly into the Outlook client to ensure social email can be a reality for virtually any business.

Scott said that the goal is make email available in multiple tools, Connections and Notes, and multiple devices: laptops, mobile devices, and tablets. There is seamless integration so you can work within whatever tools you want. IBM has also developed a updated interface for Notes mail with improvements to spacing, fonts, and colors to provide a 2013 look. Ease-of-use is second goal with the simplified interface, which provides numerous consumability and productivity enhancements in the release. A third goal is an increased focus on application integration built on Open Social 2.0. This integration can enable embedded experiences and allow content from other apps to be integrated with email.

A sample use case can be seen through an employee who is working on a new marketing project.  Using a single interface this employee can check email, as well as activity streams containing the latest work from each team member, share files with colleagues, view new blogs on topics relevant to the subject and more without ever leaving the context of where the employee chooses to work In addition, since the service includes a broad device platform support, each team member has access to the same content all through their mobile device of choice, whether it’s an iPhone, Android device, Windows Phone or the new BlackBerry 10.

Connections Mail can be used to triage incoming mail more effectively. IBM wants to take email both out of a silo and away from being a fire hose . Future plans include increased filtering and analytics, which should enhance a user’s ability to focus on “What’s important now?” IBM is making significant moves in big data. It plans to take this capability into the email space by using what is known about the email user to make assumptions in filtering email.  IBM is  also going beyond the accommodation of the multiple devices with BYOD – or even “BYOC” (“Bring Your Own Client”) – to  exploit choice and flexibility in multiple backend platforms upon which Domino runs.  These are all moves in the right direction as they reflect the rising need for increased integration on all levels.

Dion Hitchcliffe on Social Media

Last year was a big one for social business. This year is positioned to be even greater. Major players, such as IBM, who have invested in establishing a large presence in social business have done well. See for example our Complete Listing of IBM Connect 2013 Notes. AppFusions is pleased to be working with IBM and others in this space.  Dion Hitchcliffe covered this past year in his useful post, Sizing up social business for 2012

Dion notes that, “perhaps the most important development of the year was the maturation and accumulation of experience in how to make social business work in large enterprises.” I saw many examples of this at IBM Connect 2013. He goes on to summarize five major trends from 2012.

First there was the re-unification of social business.  He notes that 2011 the realization emerged that social media must be connected to daily work to have real impact. I agree and wrote about it at the time (see for example, Putting Social Media to Work). However, 2012 revealed that enterprises had created numerous social silos that fragmented their efforts and employees. Dion went on to add that a growing body of evidence clearly shows that when social business environments had most connection between them, the measurable business outcomes were substantially higher. We cannot agree more. As we have written many times on this blog, application integration is a major foundation of social business success (see for example, The Business Value of Application Connectors).

A second trend is the addition of other major players into the space. While IBM has long made major bets here, Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft have joined the field. As these vendors move into the space, integrating their various applications and those of their partners will become even more necessary. Third, the rise of interest in big data has found a natural home in social business. One of the benefits and challenges of the transparency offered by social business is the massive amounts of data automatically generated by its use. Those organizations that can turn the massive global conversations in social media into relevant insights will be the winners. Numerous software firms added social analytics and business intelligence features to their existing products, while a great many new startups received funding in this space.

A fourth trend in 2012 is the continued rise of mobile. Dion feels mobile hampered social business projects more than it helped them. He writes that accommodating mobile requirements was a distraction to social business efforts in progress and that enterprise mobile apps did not compare well to their consumer side counterparts. However, he projects that the situation will improve. Mobile is a natural for social business. Companies and vendors now have to get it right.

The fifth and last trend he discussed was merger of social business with customer experience. He writes that a “new view has arisen to merge and combine the traditional and social customer experiences into something more holistic, natural, and expected by today’s consumer.” Application integration is critical here to connect the various customer-facing apps with the back office systems of record to create a seamless experience for both the customer service agent and the customer.

A theme running through many of these trends is the need for integration to realize the benefits of social business. A significant foundation for these benefits is found through establishing connectivity between the rising number of new tools and the established ones. Our goal at AppFusions is to build ready-to-deploy, reasonably priced connectors to solve the most common Enterprise system-to-system data and process integration problems. In other words we ant to provide tools to make social business work.

Highlights of IDC’s Worldwide Enterprise Social Software 2012 Vendor Analysis

IDC has released its Worldwide Enterprise Social Software 2012 Vendor Analysis. I received a copy thanks to Igloo Software. Companies covered included: BlueKiwi Inc, Cisco Systems, Inc., harmon.ie, IBM, IGLOO Inc., Jive Software, Moxie Software, Inc., Mzinga Inc, NewsGator Technologies Inc, Oracle Corporation, Salesforce.com, Inc., SAP AG, Socialcast, Inc., Socialtext Inc., Telligent Systems Inc., tibbr, VMware, Inc., Yammer, Inc. The reports evaluates and compares these vendors. In the post I will look at the cross industry movements that IDC offers.

IDC concludes that the “increasing sophistication of use cases demonstrates that the market for enterprise social software is maturing quickly. Organizations are looking to engage internal users and customers in an ongoing conversation, inside and outside the firewall. As usage increases in breadth and depth, activity streams, discussion forums, blogs, and wikis are becoming assumed functionality of enterprise social software to facilitate collaboration in real time and in context.” I would certainly agree with this assessment.

Application integration is increasingly becoming a success factor. IDC notes that “Customers are demanding broader and more specific collaboration scenarios that tie together internal and external constituents, deliver sophisticated insight into user behavior on the network, and extend seamlessly across mobile form factors.” These seamless extensions and the connection of internal and external constituents requires comprehensive integration that is designed to address business objectives.

Their key success criteria include: the ability to extend activity streams, blogs, and wikis to a broad range of stakeholders. The optimization of the mobile experience, comprehensive analytics that can “perform behavioral and predictive analysis on data generated by the network,” a scalable platform that can extend to customers, and partners, as well as handle different roles, company sizes and industries, and “prepackaged integrations with collaboration tools and major enterprise application vendors delivered via the cloud.”

We certainly agree with all of these factors, especially the prepackaged integrations. This is the goal of AppFusions and its suite of prepackaged integrations. For example, we have a number of integrations of Altassian’s issue tracking tool, JIRA, with a variety of collaboration platforms such as IBM Connections, JiveConfluenceAlfresco, Box.com, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.

IDC notes that such social tools as activity streams and blogs are becoming required functionality within the enterprise. As social tools mature beyond initial marketing applications, use cases have grown into such areas as customer experience, sales enablement, digital commerce, socialytics, innovation management, and enterprise social networks.

The latter use case provides a means to find relevant information and people through connecting people, data, and systems in an overarching system. Collaborative workspaces are the outcome and the foundation for the connected enterprise.

Enterprise adoption of the new enterprise social software is on the rise. There has been as 40% year-over-year market growth. In this current survey 67% of organizations have implemented a corporate-sponsored enterprise social software solutions. While there are standalone solutions, many vendors have moved to more open and connected offerings through the use of APIs. This allows social software to be embedded within work processes, a topic I have covered before (for example, see Putting Social Media to Work and Giving Social Media a Good Job)

IDC concludes that “enterprise social software will eventually become the backbone of the ESN for a number of reasons.” This is being fueled by the recognition that connecting employees, customers, and partners is key to success. As McKinsey found, “higher operating margins (again, self-reported) than competitors correlated with a different set of factors: the ability to make decisions lower in the corporate hierarchy and a willingness to allow the formation of working teams comprising both in-house employees and individuals outside the organization.” Collaborative technologies create more agile organizations and these companies achieve higher profits.

In 2012 IDC expects to see enterprise applications and other collaborative applications being upgraded to include social functionality or becoming integrated with enterprise social software solutions in a complementary fashion.

It is an exciting time and we are pleased to be part of it thorough application integrations.

Highlights from the 2011 IBM Global CMO Study


IBM has released their 2011 IBM CMO Study They interviewed more than 1,700 of the world’s most prominent Chief Marketing Officers – face to face – to find out what they feel is important for their success. These executives control many billions in marketing expenditures. IBM found that these CMOs “painted a picture of a marketing landscape in the midst of major changes.  At the same time that the average CMO is trying to figure out how the tsunami of social media – blogs, Twitter – is impacting the company brand, he or she is being asked by the boss – the CEO – to demonstrate the return on investment of marketing activities.”

IBM reported that while Investments in IT have long been the domain of the CIO, this is changing as CMOs increasingly impact IT investments in our changing social and digital world. For example IBM found that 82 percent of CMOs say they plan to increase their use of social media over the next three to five years. By 2017, the CMO will have greater control of the IT budget than the CIO, according to Gartner. Marketing budgets will grow 7-8 percent over the next 12 months, which is 2-3 times that of IT budgets. However, despite their growing reliance on technology and their soaring budgets, CMOs readily admit they lack the skills that IT requires.  According to the IBM CMO Study, while 79 percent of CMOs expect high levels of complexity in their job over the next five years, only 48 percent feel prepared to deal with it.

They conclude that given the business realignment between marketing and technology, the CMO and CIO can no longer afford to operate on separate stages. To succeed, they’ll have to forge a shared agenda to deliver business results through innovation and efficiency. Both sides need each other as never before. This alignment between business and IT has always been essential but it is even more so now.

The study found fours key trends: data explosion, social platforms, channel and device choices, and shifting demographics. The world generates 2.5 quintrillon bytes of data daily. Over 90% of the world’s data has been generated in the past two years. CMOs struggle to get meaningful insights from all this data. Social platforms have put customers in the driver’s seat and require that marketing efforts become two-way communication.  The growing number of devices from smart phones to tablets is leading to the rise of mobile commerce. The revenue from this mobile commerce should rise to $31 billion by 2016. Finally, shifting demographics are occurring around the world, from the expanding middle class in India to the rising proportion of Hispanics in the US. All four of the trends have a significant impact on the CMOs job.

To meet these changing demands, IBM has announced two web experience software suites, the IBM Customer Experience Suite and the IBM Intranet Experience Suite. The two software suites help CMOs and CIOs, respectively, better reach and engage with their audiences.

 The new IBM Customer Experience Suite provides CMOs with the ability to manage and integrate all types of data on their web sites and then analyze it for deeper insight into customer buying patterns and sentiment. Web data has evolved today to include social media, videos, and web-based forms, as well as traditional enterprise data such as financial, customer and order data, and transactions.  The software suite pulls together IBM’s enterprise portal, web content management, forms, and enterprise social networking software into a single view.

The new IBM Intranet Experience software brings the power of social and analytics capabilities to CIOs and lines of business employees to help organizations innovate and evolve their internal operations and communications. This solution pulls together company information and data, personalized content and news, and social media and analytics, enabling employees to connect, collaborate and access information at anytime, from anywhere. This is essential as according to IDC, employees typically see up to a 30 percent increase in productivity using social tools internally to complete their work. With unlimited access to any type of information on the Web, consumers expect this same level of information availability in their professional lives.

I like the IBM approach to social business as it includes both internal employee aspects and external customer aspects, as well as the integration of the two. In the changing digital world this integration is critical for success.

AppFusions exhibited new solutions at IBM Connect 2013 in January. We covered the event on this blog  Here is a link to the summary of our IBM 2013 coverage. 

 

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.