Just ahead of Lotusphere 2012, which is expected to be a showcase for social business, IBM announced a set of new programs and services that expand Big Blue's social business strategy.
Ahead of its Lotusphere 2012 conference, IBM announced a
series of new programs, services and partnerships to continue to push forward
the company's social business strategy.
IBM launched its social business play in a big
way at Lotusphere 2011, delivering new software and services to lay the
foundation for its enterprise customers to take advantage of social networking
and media to become truly social businesses. Now, with a Jan. 11 announcement,
IBM has introduced a set of new efforts-including consulting opportunities,
educational programs and workshops-to expand on its social business initiative.
"The opportunity to transform into
a social business can be stunted without a focus on engagement, culture change
and policy," said Alistair Rennie, general manager of Social Business at
IBM, in a statement."Social
technologies, when combined with the right skills and culture, can truly unlock
the potential of people within the organization to collaborate, innovate, make
smarter business decisions and ultimately drive their bottom line."
With its Lotus software, IBM has a
legacy of social software products and is poised to tap further into the
lucrative market for social business software and services. According to
Forrester Research, the market opportunity for social business software is
expected to grow at a rate of 61 percent through 2016, reaching $6.4 billion,
compared with $600 million last year.
Indeed, in June 2011, market research
firm IDC ranked IBM No. 1 in worldwide market share for social platform
software for 2009 and 2010. Also according to IDC, the worldwide revenue for
the social platforms software market was more than $500 million in 2010,
representing growth of 31.9 percent. The market opportunity for social
platforms is expected to grow by a factor of nearly 2 billion worldwide by
2014, IDC said.
With this latest move, IBM is investing
in its clients and business partners to develop the skills, technical support
and industry resources that will allow them to effectively adopt social
networking capabilities to transform their business operations, the company
said. This includes introducing new technical workshops designed to improve
skills and consulting offerings to help develop a business culture that fosters
open collaboration and sharing among employees, clients and business partners.
The new IBM social business initiatives
Strategic consulting from IBM Global
Business Services to help organizations better understand their current
adoption of social business tools for both internal and external purposes
and to help articulate how social business accelerates and alleviates
Global educational and mentorship programs for clients and business partners on how to become effective community
managers, the fastest growing job in social, while increasing employee
engagement over top, line-of-business communities on the social software
Technical certification programs that help
customers and business partners validate and demonstrate their skills
through assessment exams and training resources so they can plan for and
perform the installation, configuration and day-to-day tasks associated
with ensuring the smooth and efficient operation of social software
Social Business Agenda workshops at IBM's
Virtual Innovation Center providing immediate access to discussionforums focused on the
benefits of becoming a social business, providing clients and business
partners with case study examples of successful social businesses, and
helping them to develop an agenda for driving social adoption.
IBM also announced a partnership with
The Dachis Group, a large social business consultancy, to help organizations
quickly drive adoption success through a social business adoption quick start
workshop. The workshop combines IBM services for the implementation of social
business solutions for enterprises with additional services from The Dachis
Group and focuses on the use of social business technology while fostering
cultural skills and engagement, IBM said.
"You can really see a growth of
maturity in the marketplace that IBM helped create," said Sandy Carter,
vice president of Social Business Evangelism and Sales at IBM, in an interview
with eWEEK's sister publication ChannelInsider. Carter was referring to
IBM's major push into the space at Lotusphere 2011.
Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.