IBM's Social Business Play: 15 Reasons Why the Time Is Right

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IBM's Social Business Play: 15 Reasons Why the Time Is Right

by Darryl K. Taft

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According to predictions from IDC, the market for worldwide social platforms will triple from $630 million in 2011 to $1.8 billion by 2014; this year it will grow 33 percent from 2010. With the mobile workforce expected to reach more than 1.19 billion by 2013, social platforms will enable these workers to be effective, and to collaborate and innovate—important requirements for a successful company.

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LotusLive Symphony

What sets LotusLive Symphony apart is the ability to help users co-edit documents in real time or work privately, store and share documents in LotusLive, comment, chat and manage revisions with other authors in real time, and assign and manage sections and tasks across multiple authors.

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Social Business on Mobile Devices

IBM said it is delivering software on the most successful mobile devices, including tablets like Apples iPad, and smartphones like the iPhone, the various Google Android-based offerings, RIM's BlackBerry and Nokia devices.

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IBM Is a Social Business

As the largest consumer of social technologies, IBM is a case study for this transformation into a social business. IBM takes social networking seriously-for developing products and services; enabling sellers to find and stay connected with clients; training the next generation of leaders; and building awareness of a Smarter Planet among clients, influencers and other communities.

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Large Social Footprint

IBM has 17,000 individual blogs.

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IBM has 1 million daily page views of internal wikis, which are internal information-storing Websites.

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IBM has 70,000 employee profiles in SocialBlue, the companys initial social-networking initiative before the adoption of Connections.

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Video and Audio

IBM has seen 15,000,000 downloads of employee-generated videos/podcasts.

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In the first half of 2010, IBM employees participated in more than 126 million minutes of LotusLive meetings, IBM's software for conducting online meetings.

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There are more than 400,000 Sametime instant-messaging users, resulting in 40 million to 50 million IMs per day.

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First Day on the Job

IBM relies on social media for leadership development from an employee's first day on the job. IBM's Succeeding@IBM makes new hires part of a social group for six to 12 months so they can get up-to-speed more quickly with other new hires. They network and acclimate more quickly.

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HR Goes Social

IBM's recent study of 700 global chief human resource officers found that financial outperformers are 57 percent more likely than underperformers to use collaborative and social-networking tools to enable global teams to work more effectively together. The study also showed that 21 percent of companies have recently increased the amount they invest in the collaboration tools and analytics despite the economic downturn.

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Collaborative Teams

Today, more than 130 communities of IBM professionals around the globe are collaborating virtually. This has reduced the time it would have taken to complete projects by 30 percent, increased re-use of "software assets" by 50 percent and cut component costs by 33 percent.

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Deep History

IBM's social-media activity dates back to the 1970s, when its mainframe programmers started online discussion forums on the System 370 consoles. Today, IBM views itself as one of the most prolific users of social networking in the industry.

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