IBM Looks to Differentiate Itself From Others in Social Media
With its recent $1 billion acquisition of Kenexa, market leadership and thousands of customers, IBM is aggressively going after the emerging social business market to differentiate itself from others in this space. This is another example of how IBM is identifying higher-value growth opportunities, such as business analytics and Smarter Commerce, and building and acquiring capabilities across the company to go after them. IBM officials said they believe the rise of enterprise social networking is becoming the next IT battleground. And IBM is fielding competition from the likes of Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce.com, Google and others that are currently tapping this market or beginning to creep into it. Meanwhile, IBM said there is strong demand for Big Blue's social business platform in regulated industries, with 41 percent of Connections 4 beta participants in banking, finance and health care institutions.LeasePlan, a leading vehicle leasing and fleet management company, is using IBM's social software platform across the organization's 40 subsidiaries, in 30 countries and over 6,000 employees. With nearly 800 communities formed, 400 blogs and more than 800 forums, the platform has become an integral component to business operations for the organization, increasing efficiency, enhancing knowledge retention, increasing innovation, and helping to improve customer care and insight. "By collaborating with IBM, we've been able to transform our business processes," said Wim de Gier, senior global project manager for corporate strategy and development at LeasePlan, in a statement. "Our internal social network allows employees to find experts faster, leading to better customer service, superior workforce effectiveness, and enhanced product and service innovation. It's allowing us to transform our organization into a social business." To support the burgeoning demand for social business solutions in growth markets, in the fourth quarter of 2012, IBM will open two social business customer support centers to serve its Asia-Pacific and Latin American clients: one in Manila, the Philippines, and one in Sao Paolo, Brazil, to support the rapid adoption of social business tools in these growth markets. The Philippines and Brazil centers join a roster of IBM social business centers in North America, Dublin, Japan, China and India. IBM's growing business partner network of more than 39,000 business partners is bringing new capabilities to IBM's social platform every day in areas including gamification, video, compliance, project management and mobility. For example, Actiance provides compliance capabilities to thousands of organizations globally, SugarCRM helps sellers use social networking and analytics for effective selling, and Bunchball provides gamification capabilities to IBM Connections.
For example, Primerica, a leading distributor of financial products in North America, will use Connections and WebSphere Portal, to transform how its agents engage with its 2.3 million policy holders on the fly, to provide increased value for its customers. The company plans to use social business software to improve the overall client experience, drive competitive edge and stay on the forefront of innovation in the financial services industry.