Seven tips for IBM Connections adoption
By Salvador Gallardo, Social & Collaboration Leader, Innexware SP
Each organization addresses the adoption process differently regarding the use of enterprise social networking; however, I have found a series of processes and best practices that significantly improve the adoption ratio.
1. Define business goals using IBM Connections
Perhaps the most important part when launching an enterprise social network is to be clear about the objectives and benefits of IBM Connections. This will give us an organization of how the tools included in this social network will support these objectives. This will show us the way to reach our goal using an enterprise social network.
Among the initiatives, a knowledge management service is the most common. Creating profiles allows users to capture their experience, interests and skills and gives them the ability to explore the rest of the organization. By doing this, the can find people and communities with the same interests, allowing the creation of synergies between them.
2. Involve the Line of Business
One of the most common mistakes when encouraging the use of enterprise social networking is to manage the project as just another IT project exclusively. If the concept of social response is driven only from IT perspective, it is likely that the business value will not be highlighted.
From the beginning it is important to involve all business areas; there are areas susceptible to being pioneers and early adopters in the use of corporate social networks, such as human resources, marketing, research and development and sales among others.
3. Have Executive Support
A decisive factor for the success of social networking business is to have executive level support from the beginning of the project -- the higher up the better. Studies regarding IBM executives and engaging them in the adoption process improves the participation of the rest of the organization.
4. Select a Champions Team (Internal Advocates)
In addition to the executive support, it is very important to have an internal group that promotes the use of the enterprise social network. They will be the main sponsors of the tool within their departments or colleagues. These promoters are people who are constantly looking for improvements in the operation and who have a desire to share their knowledge with the rest of the organization.
5. Internal Marketing
The use of traditional marketing tools for dissemination of IBM Connections is important. The pre-launch campaign of an internal social network helps users to get accustomed to new concepts and ideas that seek to promote the use of this social network.
The use of posters, banners, email communications, and ads on the intranet is an effective way to arouse the interest of the rest of the organization about the new tool to be deployed.
Defining an internal name for the project is extremely important as well; it gives identity.
6. Publishing plan
Together with the champions and executive sponsors it is fundamental to define an editorial plan that will guide in knowing when to publish information, plus when and how to make a response. The most important part of this publishing plan is the definition of the social media guidelines that will dictate how the user will interact within the social network.
Measuring the vitality of the social network will give us a clear understanding of which ideas and initiatives have progressed, which ideas did not grow as expected and which ideas, communities or initiatives were spontaneously generated and grown. This gives us a real feedback of social network usage and enables us to adjust strategy as required, preventing the network from becoming a ghost town.
Salvador Gallardo is a Social & Collaboration Leader for Innexware SP, an IBM Premier Business Partner from Mexico. He specializes in IBM Connections, IBM WebSphere Portal, IBM Sametime and IBM Lotus Domino. He also works with Mexico and Central America customers on Social Business Adoption Best Practices. He is a former IBM Certified IT Specialist Level 2, and he has recently added his second IBM Collaboration Solution Champion role . You can follow him on @sgallard
Salvador is an IBM Redbooks thought leader