Five Minutes with... Matt Collins
By Colleen Burns, Influencer Relations
It's often said, you can learn a lot about someone in five minutes. Coincidentally, that seems to be about the amount of time most of us have to spare! And it is with that in mind, we are launching a new blog series - "Five Minutes with..."
We figured since this was a new series, why not start with someone who is relatively new to their role: Matt Collins, Vice President of Marketing, IBM Social Business and Collaboration Solutions. Announced just days before the annual Lotusphere and Connect Conferences, Matt wasn't afforded the luxury of slowly testing the waters. But for this adventure seeker, that wasn't a problem.
What are your priorities in this role?
Matt: Ultimately, our goal is to help our clients become successful social businesses. We want to enable them to transform from the traditional way of doing business to the new model of social business.
I am working with our IBM executives and sales teams around the globe to ensure we are driving a consistent, powerful message about the importance of social business. But we aren't just telling our clients, we want to be sure we are demonstrating how this works. We are sharing real examples of how we are helping our clients win in the marketplace. I love telling the stories of businesses who are increasing their workforce effectiveness through social. Everyday I am hearing stories from leaders who tell me their teams are seeing increased client satisfaction because they are able to respond quicker; they're able to identify the right skills to fix challenges and they're reinvesting that time saved into new innovations. That's the value of social business that we can demonstrate.
At the end of the day, we need to continue to drive this momentum, grow our business partner community and build a strong pipeline of opportunity that brings out the best capabilities of IBM and our clients.
You are about 60 days into this role, what would you say has been the most surprising part of the job?
Matt: Actually. there are two things that got my attention right away. First of all, I was impressed at how broadly recognized social business is - and the numerous examples of businesses that are thriving during this transformation. Remember, my introduction was during Lotusphere and Connect, so I had a front seat to see just how much momentum there is behind this new model of business and how successfully it has taken off.
Secondly, it was great to see how many of our clients, who have actively embraced social, are willing to help other businesses. I think there is a strong sense that our clients are on the forefront of something transformative and real, and there is an excitement and willingness on their part to share and bring others along. It really is the model of what being a social business is about.
Speaking of Lotusphere, what were your impressions?
Matt: Lotusphere and Connect were incredibly inspiring. You couldn't ask for a better introduction into a role. What is remarkable about this conference is that it's not just about technology - and it's not just about business. Everywhere I went, there were business conversations that were naturally evolving into technology discussions. There were real discussions happening about cultural transformations and overcoming barriers for change, and frankly, I think this mixing of business and technology is a great example of that change.
The future of social was a hot topic at South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive. In your opinion, how do you see social business evolving over the next five years?
Matt: Social Business is going to be a catalyst that changes the front end revenue generating process. Much like SOA did for the back end systems, social business is going to become a transformational concept for the front end. Take CRM for example; social is already changing the way we interact with our current and potential clients. Businesses are embedding social capabilities and social data into their CRM systems in order to effectively retain and gain customers.
I believe social is going to unlock tremendous economic value, from helping businesses understand their clients better, to creating new products, to developing new processes.
You're going to write for the Social Business Insights blog. What can readers expect?Matt:
The things I find most interesting are stories about our clients that are becoming social businesses and seeing the real value. I want to share the success stories of our clients and business partners.
If you were writing about something other than Social Business, what would it be?
Matt: It would be a toss up between skiing and the Red Sox.
Before wrapping up, Matt shared that in addition to leading a highly motivated team, he is raising a family of extreme skiers. His three children (ages 9,7 and 5) have apparently inherited his competitive drive and certainly his love of adventure The youngest Collins just competed in three NASTAR (NAtional STAndard Race) races. It seems whether he is at home or in the office, Matt likes to surround himself with big goals and great success stories.
You can hear more from Matt on this month's ICS Community Webcast Tuesday, March 27. Be sure to register for the event.