IBM Announces New Software, Cloud Services for Social Business
Following its $1.3 billion acquisition of Kenexa in December, IBM on Jan. 28 announced a new Web-based social networking environment that is expected to integrate its enterprise social networking platform with Kenexa's recruiting, on-boarding, learning and performance management solutions. The IBM Employee Experience Suite will help HR leaders attract, empower and motivate talent to address skill and resource gaps while enabling their workforces to deliver better results for clients. For example, employees can use social networking, e-meeting and instant messaging capabilities to access applications and interactive rich media, such as videos, resulting in improved collaboration and greater teaming across globally distributed teams. The suite will integrate with Kenexa's applicant tracking system; this will help HR leaders more swiftly educate existing employees and identify prospective talent. HR leaders will be able to set up a recruiting site, use it to bring employees onboard, present training options, administer surveys to employees and manage performance. Prospective employees can view the HR data on the broadest range of mobile devices, helping HR departments reach an increasingly social-savvy and mobile workforce. "The combination of Kenexa and IBM shows great promise to change how HR attracts, retains and trains talent," Ross Grossman, vice president, human resources, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, said in a statement. "In biotechnology, competition for top talent is fierce. We're excited about the potential to better attract talented people who fit our company culture and can really impact our business performance."Meanwhile, the rise of the social-savvy, empowered consumer has prompted organizations around the globe to use social business and analytics capabilities to improve the customer experience. IBM today announced new capabilities that allow marketing teams to easily design, test and optimize sophisticated advertising campaigns.For example, a new Social Media Publisher capability in IBM's Web experience software allows CMOs to push content such as ad campaigns or promotions to leading social networks with one simple click and without involving already-resource-strapped specialized IT teams. These new features will further strengthen IBM's smarter commerce portfolio, Big Blue officials said. Moreover, with this announcement, IBM is introducing the next version of its social networking platform, IBM Connections. The new software will further enable users to access and analyze big data from inside and outside the organization, including data from Facebook, Twitter, audio and video. Available in March 2013, IBM Connections 4.5 will include embedded document management capabilities so that members of a network can access, analyze and act on wide ranges of data types in the context of their work to improve decision making and business results. IBM Connections' Content Manager feature will allow teams and communities to harness an organization's collective intelligence to solve business problems, increase productivity and drive profit. IBM Connections clients have access to new social features in the cloud, including blogging and ideation in communities. In addition, IBM Connections will incorporate enhanced integration of social capabilities in the Microsoft Outlook client, allowing users to access their social data, such as profiles, files and communities directly in Microsoft Outlook. In December, IBM expanded its social business platform to include social document editing on-premises and in the cloud. The recently released IBM Docs, available on-premises and as part of the IBM SmartCloud for Social Business, allows browser users to simultaneously collaborate on word processing, spreadsheet and presentation documents to improve productivity. IBM also announced that it expects to ship IBM Notes and Domino Social Edition 9 in March 2013. IBM Notes and Domino 9 will be the industry's first truly social email client, and they will deliver a social experience to users, whether using a browser or on the broadest range of mobile devices. More than half the Fortune 500 organizations use IBM Notes and Domino. IBM mobile capabilities include the management and support of a variety of platforms, including Apple (iOS 6), Android, Microsoft Windows operating system, including Windows and BlackBerry smartphones (including BlackBerry 10).