After defining the need for enterprises to become social businesses, IBM also provides a set of tools and best practices to help companies evolve to social businesses.
Fla.-Having outlined its vision of a social
business and indicating what IBM is doing to
become one, Big Blue also has introduced tools and best practices to help other
enterprises follow suit.
its Lotusphere 2011 conference here, IBM
unveiled its framework for how the next generation of socially enabled
applications will be developed, and introduced new software and programs to
make that vision a reality. Ideally, IBM
said the next generation of collaborative systems, or systems of systems,
should be based on open standards. Open standards will help developers create
applications faster and help IBM business
partners find developers with the skills necessary to create social business
applications. And at Lotusphere, IBM
demonstrated how the next version of IBM's
social business portfolio will benefit from its open standards-based
Realizing that software developers are key to any new initiative, as apps
are needed to help flesh out an ecosystem, IBM
has already moved to help software developers create their own social software.
The company has introduced the IBM Social
Business Toolkit, which is a standards-based set of APIs and tutorials for
business partners and developers to help them to bring together a variety of
social feeds, real-time communication services, workflows and critical business
information in order to speed decision making and drive competitive
differentiation, said Jeff Schick, vice president of social software at IBM,
in an interview with eWEEK.
Along with the Domino XPages and Open NTF Toolkit (available on
OpenNTF.org), software developers can save time by designing applications once
that run on multiple devices, and supplement legacy mail and file sharing
solutions from Microsoft and other vendors.
Moreover, Schick said IBM is reinventing
the inbox with "Activity Steam"-a new feature that allows users to
see content from Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, SAP,
Salesforce and other third-party services alongside their company's content.
Whether it's a Coremetrics report from a sales analyst prompting a team meeting
or other business systems on premises or in the cloud, a single sign-on allows
a user to view and interact with the Activity Stream from one central location,
IBM said in a press release. IBM
is looking to integrate the Activity Stream into the next version of IBM's
social collaboration portfolio accessible from all market-leading mobile
devices, including tablets, Schick said.
IBM also announced new software and programs
for organizations using Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft SharePoint yet still
wishing to become a social business. The next version of IBM
Connections is expected to include a connector to Microsoft Outlook and full
integration of Microsoft SharePoint sites. The next version of Connections is
also expected to allow for the full integration of Microsoft Exchange-based
e-mail into a social platform enabling social mail.
In addition, the next version of Connections is expected to contain a
"ShareBox" feature that allows for the integration of OpenSocial
gadgets such as accessing a forum, posting content to an ERP system, posting
content to an Activity, or sending a quick e-mail so that a social business can
become more nimble and collaborate more broadly.
For example, the next version of IBM
Connections and Lotus Domino are planned to be OpenSocial containers allowing
the software to consume IBM gadgets or
gadgets coming from third parties, such as Twitter or LinkedIn.
Meanwhile, to continue the dialogue around social business, IBM
will host a Web-based Social Business Jam from Feb. 8-11, 2011, where thousands of leaders from around
the world will pool their knowledge and experiences to examine the next
generation of business. Social Business Jam participants will cooperatively
explore the value of social technology in business, its challenges and the
management system required to drive a social transformation resulting in a
blueprint for organizations to help them become a social business. To register,