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ARMONK, N.Y. - 16 Jan 2012: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today unveiled new software and services that delivers comprehensive networking capabilities to the increasingly social savvy workforce. Now, organizations can apply analytics to their social business initiatives, allowing them to gain actionable insight on social networking sentiment anytime, anywhere and put it to work in real-time.
As part of today's news, IBM is announcing new cloud services and the next-generation of its social networking platform, IBM Connections. The new software incorporates sophisticated analytics capabilities, real-time data monitoring, and faster collaborative networks both inside and outside the organization through IBM's SmartCloud services.
Now, organizations can integrate and analyze massive amounts of data generated from people, devices and sensors and more easily align these insights to business processes to make faster, more accurate business decisions. By gaining deeper insights in customer and market trends and employees' sentiment, businesses can uncover critical patterns to not only react swiftly to market shifts, but predict the effect of future actions.
For example, marketing professionals can now gain real-time access to data that highlights patterns and consumer sentiment related to marketing trends and services allowing them to adjust campaigns on the fly. With one simple click, professionals can react to this insight by automatically creating a social network, on the fly, bringing together experts across geographical and market intelligence and swiftly respond to these insights.
The growing popularity of social networking is impacting the enterprise as the next-generation workforce expects more socially enabled applications at their fingertips. According to Forrester Research, the market opportunity for social enterprise apps is expected to grow at a rate of 61 percent through 2016, reaching $6.4 billion, compared with $600 million.* At the same time, organizations are embracing social capabilities to transform virtually every part of their business operations, but lack the tools to gain insight into the enormous stream of information and use it in a meaningful way.
To address these challenges, IBM is delivering new software and cloud services that brings the power of analytics to the social business:
- The new IBM SmartCloud for Social Business simplifies access to business-grade file sharing, social networking, communities, online meetings, instant messaging, email and calendar. In addition, IBM SmartCloud for Social Business will deliver a cloud-based productivity suite allowing users to co-edit documents in real-time.
In support of today's news, IBM also announced new clients using its social software and cloud collaboration services making it one of the world's leading providers of software-as-a-service (SaaS). New clients, including employees of Kraft, Electrolux, MIT Lincoln Labs, Colgate-Palmolive, 3M, Dutch Tax Office, Premier Healthcare and Brunswick and are among the millions of users of IBM's social software and collaboration services on premise, in the cloud and via mobile device.
To hear how the leadership and IT teams at IBM client TD Bank Group are working across the company to become a social business, participate in a Livestream broadcast on January 17, 2012, at 8:30 AM ET at livestream.com/ibmsoftware.
"There is boundless opportunity for social business to transform how we connect people and processes, and increase the speed and flexibility of business," said Alistair Rennie, General Manager, Social Business, IBM. "A successful social business can break down barriers to collaboration and put social networking in the context of everyday work, from the device or delivery vehicle of your choice, to improve productivity and speed decision-making."
New software helps clients get social in the workplace
With today's news, IBM is announcing the beta of the next release of its industry-leading enterprise social networking platform, IBM Connections. Powered by analytics, IBM Connections delivers the widest range of capabilities, including wikis, blogs, activities, to help organizations collaborate on the fly. IBM Connections includes the ability to access enterprise email, calendar and business tasks from inside the Connections platform, further unifying the collaboration experience.
The Connections landing page features a single location that allows users to view and interact with content from any third party solution through a social interface, right alongside their company's content, including email and calendar. The embedded experience of the news feed, also known as an activity stream, is expected to allow employees from any department inside an organization to explore structured and unstructured data such as Twitter feeds, Facebook posts, weather data, videos, log files, SAP applications, electronically sign documents, and quickly act on the data as part of their everyday work experience.
For example, an employee could share a document with colleagues, approve a transaction from an SAP system, act on a notification required in a business process like an insurance claim, and share content such as status updates and files, all from IBM Connections. The embedded experience and single point of access allows users to have insight at their fingertips and share data from any place, whether on the road or in the office.
One of the key findings from the 2011 IBM Social Business Jam - an online, real time discussion with 4,000 participants, was that Social Business activities need to be integrated and aligned with business processes to be truly effective.
To help clients address this challenge, IBM is announcing IBM Connections Enterprise Content Edition, an integrated social content management solution that combines the scalability of social networking with enterprise content management and enhanced compliance and control features sought by users in regulated industries. Designed to manage the entire life cycle of office documents, Web and social content, IBM Connections Enterprise Content Edition increases the ability to share knowledge, gain expertise and create high-value content quickly through advanced content, document management and workflow use cases.
For a related image, visit: http://flic.kr/p/bdwfUD
New, secure, cloud collaboration services
According to Forrester Research Inc., cloud computing will grow from a $41 billion business in 2010 to $241 billion in 2020.** To address this growing opportunity, IBM is announcing IBM SmartCloud for Social Business. IBM is aligning its LotusLive services under the SmartCloud brand where it joins the ever-growing portfolio of business solutions that IBM delivers in the market that includes offerings in Commerce, Analytics, and industry-specific solutions like Smarter Cities.
The new service gives users one-click access to social networking, file sharing, online meetings, enterprise-class email, calendaring and instant messaging allowing clients to collaborate inside and outside the organization while pairing business transformation with the economic benefits of flexible cloud delivery models.
Additionally, a new capability of the IBM SmartCloud for Social Business is a cloud-based office productivity suite, IBM Docs. Now in beta and planned for availability in 2012, IBM Docs allows organizations, both inside and outside the firewall, to simultaneously collaborate on word processing, spreadsheet and presentation documents in the cloud to improve productivity. IBM Docs authors will be able to store and share documents in IBM SmartCloud, co-edit documents in real time or assign users sections of the document so they can work privately easing the management of multiple revisions from multiple authors in team-based documents.
GAD, one of the largest specialists for banking IT in Germany, is evaluating the use of IBM Docs in a private cloud in 2012 to facilitate browser based document creation and change management. Approximately 450 banks will be able to reduce costs and become more responsive to their customers through GAD's bank21 solution.
Delivered in 22 languages, a 60-day trial of IBM SmartCloud for Social Business is available at no charge at ibmcloud.com/social.
Bringing embedded experiences to mobile devices
In response to the burgeoning mobile workforce, expected to reach more than 1.19 billion people by 2013, IBM's new social software supports the most popular mobile devices, including tablets.
IBM is announcing the beta release of IBM Lotus Notes and Domino, Social Edition, a social-enabled messaging and collaboration platform built on open standards that provides users with the ability to act on any work flow process directly within the email inbox. Whether accessing email from a browser or desktop, or sharing videos and files, users no longer have to travel to a third-party site. In addition, with the embedded experience of social mail, users are more efficient when engaging in activity and more responsive to day to day tasks.
IBM intends to support mail, calendaring and contacts in a beta release of IBM Lotus Notes Traveler for Microsoft Windows Phone on Nokia and HTC devices; the beta is expected in the first half of 2012.
IBM is also introducing a new, lower-cost program for BlackBerry users to access email in the cloud. Built on the world-class expertise of IBM Mobile Enterprise Services and the sophisticated security of the BlackBerry Enterprise Server, IBM helps bring the type of security and reliability expectations of on-premise email to cloud email environments, including built-in end-user and administrative controls for mobile device management.
For photos, videos and additional background on IBM's social business initiative, visit ibm.com/press/socialbusiness. Follow the conversation on Twitter at #ibmsocialbiz.
*Source: Social Enterprise Apps Redefine Collaboration," Forrester Research, Inc., November 30, 2011.
**Source: Forrester Research Inc., "Sizing The Cloud, Understanding And Quantifying The Future Of Cloud Computing, by Stefan Ried, Ph.D., Holger Kisker, Ph.D., April 21, 2011.
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