Louis Richardson 120000HRWE firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  social-business | 2 Comments | 2,826 Visits
I recently responded to an email question: "Why does an organization need a system like IBM Connections when they can use Facebook, Twitter, Google+ which are FREE ?"
Here is my response...and I welcome feedback and additional points as comm
There is no reason a company cannot use free social systems like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. In fact, I would tell most organizations that they should consider using these social media tools...for specific purposes.
Here are a couple of questions to consider:
What is being shared and who owns the conversation?
What if the "free" landscape changes?
Yammer is one of the "free" social tools that have been adopted by some organizations. It's cloud based and they make it easy to jump into sharing the conversation. The problem is that once you want to do anything "business" oriented, like integration, managing users, etc. you have to pay. Then along comes Microsoft who just announced they are acquiring Yammer. Now the whole model and architecture is probably going to change. If your business was relying on Yammer, now your business is about to change to whatever Microsoft decides it's going to be. And by the way, your Yammer conversations are now owned by Microsoft.
I know "control" and "manage" don't seem to be very "social". We normally think of "social" as free spirited and unbounded...which it is. But as one considers using social for business you're going to be faced with some decisions. How are you going to integrate this into your business processes? If social is just another thing to do, it's going to fail. It needs to be integrated into your business applications - CRM, ERP, Portal, Intranet, etc. How are you going to do that with a free social tool you don't control? And what if you have compliance needs? How can you manage, track and report on the myriad of social conversations spread across a variety of free social tools? I had a person approach me regarding a concern they had. Their CEO was fired because of misconduct, yet 6 months later, his LinkedIn profile still listed him as CEO of their company. They wanted to know how to make him take that off. The answer, they can't. They don't own LinkedIn or his data. So without some unprecedented legal battle, it's not easy to do something as simple as having invalid data removed.
I use free social tools, like Twitter, LinkedIn, Slideshare, YouTube, etc. But I use them for the specific purposes. I post videos and presentations that are external facing (for customers). I tweet about news and ideas I have. But I don't tweet that I'm going to see a specific customer. Why? Because my competition follows my Twitter account and could then make a sales call on the same client. I do post my sales appointments on my Connections status updates, because I often get some very helpful and relevant feedback from my IBM network.
I wouldn't use the public social networks to inquire about customer references. Nor would I want the responses to be public. But I do need that type of information on a regular basis and Connections helps facilitate that.
So it's not a matter of "if" companies should use free social tools. The answer is "yes". The question is "why" and "when" should companies use free social tools. And the answer to that question will likely point out that most companies need a social network that they can own and leverage for their business use. That's why companies use Connections. It's the difference of being "social" and being a "social business"
Martha Mealy 120000F9TQ email@example.com | | Tags:  leadership social-software market-share | 0 Comments | 1,191 Visits
IDC published their annual assessment of the market share leaders in the social software platform marketplace. IBM ranked #1 again for the third year!
"Despite the clamor around Facebook, the No. 1 social networking site, the real king of the social networking sector is International Business Machines Corp..." --International Business Times
"IBM’s social enterprise software revenue grew faster than any competitor, and nearly twice as fast as the market overall. This is a considerable feat, given that the market for business social software grew almost 40 percent between 2010 and 2011." --CMSWire
Read more about this report and our leadership in this space here:
Infographic: IBM is the Social Business Leader
IBM Press Release: IBM Named Worldwide Marketshare Leader in Social Software for Business