IBM Tops Social Business Software Market Four Years in a Row

IBM announced that IDC has ranked it number one in social business software.

IBM announced that for the fourth consecutive year, market research firm IDC has ranked IBM number one in worldwide market share for enterprise social software.

According to IDC, the worldwide enterprise social market segment reached 1 billion in 2012, representing growth of 25 percent over 2011.

"Businesses today are operating in the social age where innovation, speed and exceptional client experiences are critical," said Alistair Rennie, general manager of social business at IBM, in a statement. "Our social business platform is accelerating that transformation and helping change the way leaders are working."

IBM noted that social networking adoption continues to soar in the enterprise as businesses look to transform their organizations into a smarter enterprise that is capable of empowering a global workforce and transforming client experiences. As this demand grows, organizations are looking to introduce social capabilities into all key areas, from marketing and research innovation to sales and human resources. The challenge is that many lack the ability to capture and share the unique insights from each employee and use it to help drive real value to the business.

IBM's social business software and services pair social networking capabilities with analytics that help companies engage all key stakeholders, whether an employee, customer or partners, in order to accelerate innovation and deliver results. More than 60 percent of Fortune 100 companies have licensed IBM's solutions for social business, including eight of the top 10 retailers and banks.

IBM's social networking platform, IBM Connections, allows for instant collaboration with one click and the ability to build social communities both inside and outside the organization. As a result, Connections helps organizations increase customer loyalty and speed business results. IBM Connections is available both on premise and in the IBM SmartCloud for Social Business. IBM currently has three IBM SmartCloud for Social Business facilities based in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific.

Leading IBM social business clients include Prudential Insurance, Fluor Corporation, Lowe's Home Improvement, LeasePlan and Electrolux.

At an event in January, Big Blue explained how IBM's Lotus legacy has evolved into a new company focus on delivering software that helps organizations better collaborate and become more social enterprises.

At the IBM Connect 2013 conference in Orlando, Fla., IBM pulled off the transformation from using its Lotus brand to herald its set of technologies that enable enterprise users to better work together and innovate based on that collaborative process.

At the conference, established companies like Bosch and Caterpillar talked about establishing social business strategies, as did Australian retailer David Jones, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and the City of Dubuque, Iowa.

During a keynote presentation at the conference, Gerd Friedrich, CIO of information systems and services at Bosch, said Bosch has implemented a social network inside the company based on IBM software to help with collaboration, communication and ideation. The vision for the project is to also feature an external focus with customers and partners, he said.

Jeff Bowman, head of global e-business at Caterpillar, said his company is just getting started with e-business and social media.

"We're using it because we're focused on growing loyalty in the customers that we have," Bowman said.

Craig Hayman, general manager of industry solutions at IBM Software, said one of his key goals in this social strategy is to enable both IBM and its customers to have better relationships with customers.

"Providing an effective customer experience is all about perception—from awareness to customer loyalty," he said. "Customer experience is more important today than ever before."