At its Lotusphere 2011 conference IBM's overall theme is Social Business and the systems giant is putting its collective might behind helping businesses get more social.
Fla. - Move over Facebook, you might know
consumers, but IBM knows business. And Big
Blue has made a big push to define and capitalize on the market for "social
not only has IBM made social business the
thrust of its new strategy to help its customers and partners leverage social
networking and social paradigms to their benefit, but IBM
itself has become a social business, in that it eats its own dog food of social
solutions coming out of its Lotus division.
an interview with eWEEK at the Lotusphere
2011 conference here, Mike Rhodin, senior vice president of IBM's
Software Solutions Group, said, "We've all seen the Facebook effect, even
before the movie. But think of that situation at work for a community or a
business as opposed to an individual."
said just as in the early days of the Internet when companies were trying to
figure out how to take advantage of the opportunity and to leverage content to
do business, today IBM and others are trying
to figure out how to leverage social networking and collaboration to become
better social businesses.
going to follow the same pattern and this will change the way people operate,"
Rhodin said. Jon Iwata, senior vice president of IBM
marketing and communications, echoed Rhodin's sentiments.
in 1995 when the World Wide Web burst on the scene; in the early days the Internet
was about owning content" Iwata said. "Then we declared the Internet would be
ready for business. We made a market - e-business. Today we have another
opportunity to lead."
will give way to a new class of global opportunities that allows organizations
to flatten and people to share responsibilities," Rhodin said. "It enables
companies to globalize innovation. Product designers are collaborating globally
to do new products and designs."
said hardly any of IBM's products are built
by developers or talent in fewer than three geographies working together, so
the ability to collaborate and work socially is even more important. It also
has an impact on the so-called "talent war" and competition for knowledge
workers, because rather than allowing departing workers to "walk out the door
with IP between their ears, if we're using social networking technologies the
IP can be part of a social network."
Lotusphere, IBM announced a new initiative
to help organizations bring social business to the broadest support for smartphonesand
through flexible cloud delivery models. IBM
also introduced new software and services that will help global organizations
integrate social collaboration into their business processes to accelerate
collaboration, deepen customer relationships, generate new ideas faster, and
enable a more effective workforce.
a big company; we don't do consumer," Rhodin said. "We do enterprise plays.
This is about social business for the enterprise. But there are things in Lotus
for the consumer space."
Rhodin said, "It's not about going out and doing your business on Facebook.
Facebook is just a tool. This is a new way to engage your employees, customers
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.