Five Minutes With... Larry Bowden
Colleen Burns 120000C4RP firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  social_business ics larry_bowden exception_web_experience colleen_burns
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By Colleen Burns, Influencer Relations
Five Minutes With… is a new blog series that is the equivalent of the old elevator pitch. Sure, it would have to be a tall building, but the ride is worth it!
I had the pleasure of chatting with Larry Bowden, Vice President of Portals and Web Experience Software, just a few days before today's news.
What is being announced today?
LB: IBM is announcing the next generation of Exceptional Web Experience solution offerings: Customer Experience Suite, and the Intranet Experience Suite.
These offerings have core capabilities from WebSphere Portal, IBM Web Content Manager, IBM Forms, Web Experience Factory, and social software such as IBM Connections and IBM Sametime and they’re designed with social and mobile integration capabilities that help create content-rich websites with enhanced analytics support to deliver rich, multi-channel exceptional web experiences.
Customers have tremendous demands, like never before. Think about it – with the explosio n of information immediately available, the ever-increasing usage of mobile devices and the cultural shift towards social networking and analytics – customers are looking for a game changer to help them deliver that exceptional web experience. And that’s what we are giving them, in twin versions – for both the external internet and their organization’s intranet.
What would you define as an exceptional web experience?
LB: An exceptional web experience is one that anticipates a user's needs, simplifies how those needs are met and engages the individual with their community.
What would you say has been an exceptional web experience for you – can you give me an example?
LB: For me it’s about easily being able to access the information you need and having integrated services offered before you can even anticipate them. It’s like when you go to a travel site to buy your plane tickets - you can plan your entire trip from car to hotel to entertainment and even use location based apps to find the nearest pharmacy in case you forgot your medication. It’s that complete experience that makes it exceptional.
A great example of this is the Miami-Dade County website. If I knew someone moving to Miami-Dade County, this is the place I would tell them to start. Whether you are researching local taxes, real estate or crime stats – or if you live there and want to pay your bills, check out local events or start a job search – this site has it.
The North America Exceptional Web Experience Event starts May 21. What is happening between now and then?
LB: Well this Friday, as we announced, is the electronic general availability of Portal 8 – so customers can go online and start using these new capabilities. And today you can join the IBM Exceptional Web Experience community. So as soon as you finish reading this blog click over to the community link and join us! But first readers should consider leaving a comment on the blog, right?
LB: Absolutely! Then join the community! One thing that most impresses me is that it’s not just me and my team who are excited by this. In fact, throughout the month some of our key business partners are going to join our online discussions around exceptional web experiences. Some will be guest bloggers on this site – talking about their experiences and delivering some unique insight.
During the week of May 14 there will be discussions on Facebook.com/IBMSocialBiz around our Exceptional Web Experience Showcase. We’ll ask readers to share their ideas on what makes a great web experience and we’ll host a moderated discussion with team members and some business partners. It’s a chance for everyone to weigh in on the topic.
I'd also recommend registering for the presentation of the Forrester Total Economic Impact Study. That's available June 6 - but you can register now. Basically “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to keep up with everything we have going on. It really is an exciting time to be in this part of the business!
So when you aren’t traveling or surfing the Web, how would you define an exceptional weekend?
LB: I recently moved from California to Arkansas – so between working and moving, I haven’t had much time for exceptional weekends -- yet. But when I do, I am looking forward to driving down to the Gulf of Mexico and exploring this beautiful part of the country. I love to be near the water – so I am excited about taking that drive down to the Gulf. I also enjoy hiking and am really looking forward to some exceptional scenic experiences soon!
But until then, it seems like the closest Larry will get to a weekend of wild exploration will be in Austin, Texas at the North American conference. And I hear that certainly counts as an exceptional experience!
To learn more about today's announcement, visit the Exceptional Web Experience site.