IBM Announces New Software, Cloud Services for Social Business

At its IBM Connect 2013 social business event, IBM announced a bunch of new software and cloud services that will enable enterprises to transform into social businesses.

ORLANDO, Fla. — IBM has announced new software and cloud-based services to help business leaders, such as chief marketing officers and chief human resource officers, further transform their organizations into social businesses.

The new offerings, announced Jan. 28 at IBM Connect 2013, will help business leaders integrate IBM's social networking and analytics technologies into their business processes to empower what IBM refers to as the 21st century workforce and transform client experiences.

The new social software offerings will help companies gain deeper insights into big data generated through the use of social networks. Organizations applying analytics to their data for competitive advantage are more likely to substantially outperform their industry peers, IBM officials said.

"IBM is revolutionizing front-office processes with the application of cognitive computing and advanced analytics," Alistair Rennie, general manager of social business at IBM, said in a statement. "Social business has transitioned from being an emerging idea to a fundamental platform that clients everywhere are using to change the way they empower their employees and engage their customers."

Today, leading organizations, including 61 percent of the Fortune 100, are licensed to use IBM's social business technologies to transform their front-office business operations, company officials said. This includes connecting employees globally to empower faster decision making and analyzing big data from sources such as Twitter, Facebook, blogs and public forums to react swiftly to customer trends and outpace competitors.

Just as social networking has flourished in the consumer realm, Forrester Research has identified social business as an emerging business category, with the social technology industry growing to $6.4 billion by 2016.

Increasingly, front-office leaders, such as chief human resource officers, are looking to form a smarter workforce to unlock human potential and unleash innovation. According to a recent IBM CEO study, 70 percent of companies surveyed cited human capital as the single biggest contributor to sustained economic value. At the same time, social media and predictive analytics have emerged as indispensable tools for CMOs, who are using technology to make the customer experience more intelligent, intuitive and individualized. IBM also conducted a CMO study, which showed that 82 percent of CMOs say they plan to increase their use of social media over the next three to five years to communicate with their clients.

IBM's new software and cloud-based services include a new Web-based social networking environment that provides HR leaders with a better way to recruit and bring new employees onboard, while giving employees access to digital media and data in real time, enabling faster decision making.

IBM also announced software to help marketing teams design sophisticated advertising campaigns and quickly publish those campaigns to leading social networks, resulting in a consistent customer experience through every online channel.

In addition, IBM announced the next release of its industry-leading social networking platform will further enable users to access and analyze big data from inside and outside the organization, including via Facebook, Twitter, audio and video. IBM also plans to release the industry's first truly social email client, incorporating file sharing, activity streams and a simplified user interface. The technology, already in beta, will be the first major release of Notes and Domino in five years.