A Marriage of Social and the Cloud: New Report Cites IBM as a Leader in Cloud Strategy
Colleen Burns 120000C4RP firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  social forrester_research forrester cloud_computing bethann_cregg
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Wedding bells are ringing: we're witness to the marriage of social networking and cloud computing. New research from Forrester Research shows online collaboration tools are increasingly becoming a key part of enterprise deployments. IBM was among the select companies that Forrester Research, Inc. invited to participate in the August, 2012 report: “The Forrester Wave™: Cloud Strategies of Online Collaboration Software Vendors, 3Q 2012”. In this evaluation, IBM SmartCloud for Social Business was cited as a leader. Forrester also cites that 56 percent of application decision makers say they are currently using or plan to use cloud based collaboration tools.
This market has seen an incredible uptick in adoption over the course of the last few years. What started as a delivery model that most assumed would be targeted to small and medium sized business looking to improve collaboration and grow has expanded its potential and reach to include even the largest of globally integrated enterprises.
It is an exciting time to see the reach and flexibility of cloud collaboration solutions. Two organizations that are reinforcing cloud and social's potential are the Ricoh Group, an international supplier of office and industrial equipment, and Centrax TCL, a SMB in the United Kingdom specializing in compressor and turbine aerofoils.
Conducting business in more than 200 countries, the Ricoh Group generates more than half of its sales from outside Japan and has become a highly trusted name by helping customers improve productivity and create knowledge. It aims to continue growing and seeks at least 25 percent of its fiscal year 2013 sales from new business areas.
Ricoh was looking to improve the quality and breadth of its offerings, providing total solutions tailored to each customer's environment and operations. The company turned collaboration solutions in the cloud to enhance productivity and innovation in its Business Development Center. Results show greater efficiency in product planning and a new work style based on lateral information sharing that may reduce staff hours needed to create new release information by as much as 20 percent.
Watch more on YouTube about Ricoh's social journey in the cloud:
Now turn to Centrax TCL. As a result of adopting a hybrid cloud collaboration environment, the company has been able to quickly and cost effectively provision email, calendaring and instant messaging capabilities to 160 direct factory employees. This has allowed Centrax TCL's entire workforce to communicate and share ideas online and has resulted in enhanced employee engagement.
The solution is also helping Centrax TCL with its vision for growth. There are many new developments being planned within the company where email for factory employees is key for success. For example, the manufacturing planning system can automatically send email notifications to employees when a scrap threshold is reached, therefore ensuring a streamlined process and minimizing waste. This also helps with managing orders and vendor approvals. Centrax TCL is also investigating the use of electronic payslips that will have a significant saving on paper and other related processes.
These two examples not only reinforce cloud + social's potential, but shows their flexibility for organizations of all shapes, sizes and industries.