The postings on this site solely reflect the personal views of each author and do not necessarily represent the views, positions, strategies or opinions of IBM or IBM management. IBM reserves the right to remove content deemed inappropriate.
Happy Social Media Day: IBM's social business transformation journey
Happy Social Media Day!Today is the day "we acknowledge and celebrate the revolution of media becoming
social. A day that honors the technological and societal advancements
that have allowed us to have a dialogue, to connect and to engage not
only the creators of media, but perhaps more importantly, one another."
As IBM Software Social Media Strategist, it's a true joy to work for a company who "gets" social media in the deepest possible ways--not only because it innovates creative social technologies and services, but also because it lives and breathes social as its business life force. During speaking engagements, I'm repeatedly asked about IBM's use, experience, and history in social media and social business. (Quick side note: See IBM SVP Mike Rhodin's blog entry on "Beyond Collaboration: Becoming a Social Business" for distinctions between social media and social business). In honor of social media day, I'm going to take a moment to document some of the factoids I often share:
As the largest consumer of social technologies, IBM is a role model and case study for the transformation into a social business, on all fronts - technology, policy and practice.
IBM has robust social media initiatives focused on enabling all IBMers to participate in social media.
Social Business @ IBM site for educating and enabling IBMers in external social media participation
Business @ IBM is an internal site with interactive, educational and social
programs that are vital to IBM's social business transformation.
is a resource for IBMers that aims to educate them about social media
and various social initiatives taking place internally while enabling
them to participate.
We host modules that provide the IBMer with an introduction to the social web.
learn how to use social computing tools to foster collaboration,
disseminate and consume news, develop networks, forge closer
relationships, and build credibility.
As a result, they're better informed and prepared to take action.
making these types of tools and information available, we're changing
how the IBMer approaches social and, twofold, changing our culture.
Expertise Locator for finding IBMers and connecting with them on their blogs, LinkedIn, Twitter, and more.
People get to know IBM through our consultants, speakers, sales people and researchers.
Within our walls, we have huge stores of accrued expertise embodied in several Nobel laureates and thousands of doctors.
working to best utilize our most important asset, our people, helping
to identify their strengths and expertise and then connecting them with
potential customers, partners and the knowledge seeking public visiting
How does it work? When visiting ibm.com, finding an
expert can be done through a Google search. For example, if someone is
looking for expertise in smarter, they would type, "IBM smarter
computing" into the search bar, and find a page that would have widgets
showing how to connect with an IBM expert. Experts can opt for people to contact them by
phone, LinkedIn, Twitter, their blogs, live chats or another channel.
The result, an IBM brand experience where actual IBMers are helping the
public make better decisions about how to make the planet smarter.
For 15 years, IBM has used social software to foster collaboration among 400,000 geographically-dispersed employees -- long before Generation Y became fixated with social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace.
In 1997, IBM recommended that its employees get out onto the Internet – at a time when many companies were seeking to restrict their employees’ Internet access.
In 2005, the company made a strategic decision to embrace the blogosphere and to encourage IBMers to participate.
In early 2008, IBM introduced social computing guidelines to encompass virtual worlds and sharing of rich media. Later that year, IBM opened its IBM Center for Social Software to help IBM's global network of Researchers collaborate with corporate residents, university students and faculty, creating the industry's premier incubator for the research, development and testing of social software that is "fit for business".
According to Gartner, in 2010, only five percent of organizations took advantage of social/collaborative customer action to improve service processes. IBM sees social media morphing into what we view as a key requirement for "social business" -- as tools for organizational productivity and culture change, for engaging with diverse constituencies of clients and experts, and for spurring revenue growth and innovation for our global workforce.
IBM's social media activity dates back to the 1970's 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 with one of the largest corporate-wide communities on social media sites.
Some examples of IBM’s internal social media footprint today include:
17,000 individual blogs
1 million daily page views of internal wikis, internal information storing websites
400,000 employee profiles on IBM Connections, IBM's initial social networking initiative that allows employees to share status updates, collaborate on wikis, blogs and activity, share files.
15,000,000 downloads of employee-generated videos/podcasts
20 million minutes of LotusLive meetings every month with people both inside and outside the organization
More than 400k Sametime instant messaging users, resulting in 40-50 million instant messages per day
Social examples of IBM's external social media footprint today include:
Over 25,000 IBMers actively tweeting on Twitter and counting
Over 300,00 IBMers on Linkedin
Approx. 198,000 IBMers on Facebook
Our social business initiatives have had a profound impact on IBM's business processes and transformation, here are just a few examples:
Jams are a catalyst to speak innovation, creativity and excitement from a defined audience for tangible results.
"Jams have helped change our culture and the fundamental way we collaborate across our business," Sam Palmisano, Chairman and CEO, IBM
2011 is the ten-year anniversary of jamming at IBM. During that time, the company has conducted 50 Jams both internally and externally for clients.
WhirlWind: Mobile app store for IBM employees
In today’s business environment, IBM employees need access to business information anytime, anywhere. To meet that demand, IBM developed WhirlWind – an enterprise mobile app store that manages and distributes smartphone applications for IBM’s population of over 400,000 employees in 170 countries. Its purpose is to help employees unleash the power and potential of their smartphones as a productivity tool.
WhirlWind is available through the “mobile tab” on IBM’s intranet. After employees register, they can access the store directly from their mobile devices. They can easily search, browse and find mobile apps; view the most highly rated and newest apps; comment on their experiences with a particular app; and contribute their own apps.
Since late 2010, more than 28,000 employees registered – over 85 percent of those with corporate managed or company-issued BlackBerrys – and more than 500 apps contributed.
IBM Human Resources utilizes social media for tech-enabled recruiting, employee education, sales training and leadership development.
For example, 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 6-12 months so they can get up to speed more quickly with other new hires, they network and acclimate more quickly
IBM's recent study of 700 Global Chief Human Resource Officers found that financial outperformers (as measured by EBIDTA) are 57 percent more likely than underperformers to use collaborative and social networking tools to enable global teams to work more effectively together and 21 percent of companies have recently increased the amount they invest in the collaboration tools and analytics despite the economic downturn.
Global Collaboration and Development
Generation Open -- Built around social business tools, processes and management systems, GenO creates instant communities of global teams to collaborate on projects and products.
Project managers, team leaders, consultants and IT architects post projects; people who are in-between assignments or have free time opt into these projects to add their talents and expand their skills.
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.
How IBM is helping Small Medium Businesses embrace social media
businesses know that creating an online presence can heighten awareness
and ultimately bring in new business. What’s often ignored, however, is
that without a clear plan and direction in place before a company
begins using social media, it can easily fail.
IBM has programs
to help non-profits and our business partners, who at 100,000 strong are
traditionally small businesses, embrace social media. For example, IBM
hosts full day workshops, offers grants, provides toolkits and
incentives and free education for our business partners on establishing
and rolling out effective social media business plans.
have many other examples, such as IBM's TAP program (Technology
Adoption Program), a company-wide "open beta" where products are
developed through crowdsourcing, and where we've created some of IBM's
best-selling software products.
Below are some of our external videos on IBM Social Business.
My list of favorite links around IBM Social Business: