Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sogeti Becomes a Social Business with IBM Social Software

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Sogeti exemplifies one of the superb success stories of becoming a Social Business. You may remember that I talked about Sogeti last year as they went into production picking IBM Social Software over Microsoft SharePoint as their Enterprise 2.0 platform. Sogeti became a fully networked enterprise (to borrow the keyword from McKinsey) and achieved real business value from it.

For those who don't know, Sogeti is a wholly owned subsidiary of Capgemini. They employ 20,000 people in 15 countries and over 400 locations. Therefore, collaboration is mission critical for Sogeti.

Erik van Ommeren, Director of Innovation at Sogeti, talks about their choice of social business platform and why they chose IBM's social software platform in the following video. I found it interesting that when Eric was pitching this to senior management he chose to show them a sample of the microblogging activity that was occurring in the system. Senior management loved the transparency it created and how easy it was for them to get a pulse as to what was going on throughout the organization.

Sogeti got so much value from using Lotus Connections internally that they have now built a business around IBM's social business platform to help their customers, in turn, become a Social Business.

To learn more about Sogeti's social collaboration platform, what they call TeamPark, click here.

Monday, December 20, 2010

McKinsey Finds "Networked Enterprises" Outperform Others

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McKinsey & Co released last week results of new research that shows that companies that use Web 2.0 intensively gain greater market share and higher margins. McKinsey is prominently highlighting this new study in their homepage (as shown below).

McKinsey uses the term "networked enterprises" (what others are calling a Social Business) to describe companies that are using Web 2.0 technologies either internally, externally, or both.

Along with the study, McKinsey also published a 5 minute podcast with researcher Michael Chui where he explains his findings. Some of the results that really caught my attention were that McKinsey found that "networked enterprises" have:

  • achieved significantly higher market share than their competitors
  • achieved higher operating margins
  • become known as market leaders

McKinsey has been doing this study for the past four years and they say that this is the first time that they've seen a correlation between the use of web 2.0 technologies and corporate metrics like higher market share and higher margins.

So, are you a networked enterprise yet? If not, what are you waiting for?

To listen to the podcast and read the study, go here.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Need Your Feedback: How Easy is Lotus Connections 3.0 ?

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Happy Friday! Remember how back in October I asked for your feedback on what to look for in Lotus Connections Next? Well, now the Lotus User Experience Research team is looking to evaluate the ease of use of Lotus Connections 3.0 on Lotus Greenhouse, and would like your feedback! Please take a few minutes to complete three Lotus Connections tasks on the following website and provide us with input for future improvements to the product. To participate, please visit the following URL, and follow the instructions on the screen.

Note: Please remember to use your Lotus Greenhouse account to log into Lotus Connections. If you don't have it, you can easily join Lotus Greenhouse here

Feel free to forward this invitation to any other people who may be interested in participating. We will close the study by December 31th. If you have any questions/comments about the study, feel free to send an email to Also, if you would like to sign up as a volunteer for future IBM user experience studies, you can do so here.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Experience Installing Lotus Connections 3.0 for the First Time

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Yup. Believe it or not, yesterday was the first time I installed Lotus Connections 3.0. While I had the beta 1 and beta 2 code I never had the time to sit down and install it in my own image. In between my job role change, the new baby, planning two product launches and Lotusphere, it's been a crazy second half.

Things seem to be settling down and I'm getting used to my new workload. I did the install as I'm helping prepare a new super awesome demo environment with Quickr, Cognos, Sharepoint, Sametime, and Connections all integrated together ( I will soon release more details on it once it's ready).

I was pleasantly surprised with all the improvements that have been done in the installer of this new version. The install took about 6 hours to get everything up and running. A couple of notes:

  • I did this on a VMWare so in real hardware this time would definitely be less.
  • I also did this sequentially. If you did it all in parallel it would be ~3 hours.
  • Most of the time was spent just watching progress bars since the installation has been streamlined where I just click Next, Next, Next, Next, and so on.

Here's what I installed (and how long each step took me):

  • WebSphere 7 + fixpacks (~1.25 hrs)
  • TDI v7 + fixpacks (~30 mins)
  • DB 9.7 (~30 mins)
  • IBM HTTP Server v7 + fixpacks (~15 mins)
  • Lotus Connections v3.0 (~1.5 hrs)
  • Post-installation steps (~1.5 hrs)

To help me along, I followed the step-by-step instructions with screenshots provided in the wiki here. Those instructions were definitely key in helping me move along so fast. One of the things that I always like in documentation is screenshots and that document definitely fits the bill. I'm assuming that anyone who's doing a Show-N-Tell session at Lotusphere 2011 on how to install Connections will be able to just rip off the screenshots from there!

Anyway, congrats to the development team and the documentation for all the improvements that have been made in this area.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

IBM's Luis Suarez Awarded Internal Social Software Evangelist of the Year

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For those of you who may have missed the news, last month at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Santa Clara, CA, IBM's Luis Suarez received the award for 2010's Internal Evangelist of the Year. I thought this was huge!!

The award is sponsored by the 2.0 Adoption Council which is part of the Dachis Group. It turns out that Luis was actually on vacation when the award was announced by Claire Flanagan. In fact, check out how Luis "accepted" his award in this photo from Alex Dunne.

For those of us who couldn't attend the conference, Claire shared the text of the speech she used to announce the winner of this year's prestigious award.

After I heard the news, I wanted to get on Luis' calendar and get his take on the award. It turns out that the This Week In Lotus podcast team beat me to it. Their December 3rd episode (Episode 29) is a must-listen as you'll hear Luis Suarez talk about social software evangelism and why it's needed. Susan Scrupski, who created the 2.0 Adoption Council, is also part of the podcast. You'll also hear my voice in parts of the podcast (you really can't tell, but I had tons of technical issues that day... Stuart McIntyre did a good job of editing that stuff out, but I digress).

I finally had a chance to "sit down" with Luis yesterday and here's what came out:

Congratulations again to Luis on this awesome award!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Software Development is Best when It's Social!

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Last year, IBM announced integration of Lotus Connections with Rational's software development suite, and you can see it at work here:

Making the software development process social is just something that every organization must do and of course follows our social everywhere strategy. Imagine empowering all your software developers and getting them access to your customers, business partners, marketing, research, etc all from the context of their work. That's a sure step towards becoming an agile organization!

Recently, I was reading John Waters' blog and he emphasized how much he likes this integration. On Thursday @ 11am ET (8am PT), IBM will be hosting a free webcast targeted for organizations involved in software development:

To meet tough deadlines and improve quality, software developers obviously need to collaborate with each other. However, they also need to leverage the expertise from a wider community of users, partners and other stakeholders during development.

By combining social software into the Rational Team Concert environment, developers gain instant access to the experts they need, get issues resolved faster and receive feedback from communities to help ensure that projects meet their intended goals. Attend this webcast to see how new capabilities expedite the development process.

You can sign up and register here.

Monday, December 6, 2010

3M Goes Social and Viral

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As I was catching up on the news over the weekend, I came onto this one that I thought was very cool!

Inspired by the Shorewood Lib Dub video (with over 1.4 million views), back in October 3M employees (3Mers) from all over the world published a video they created on their own time. The video spread virally internally and it was posted to YouTube yesterday.

What's really cool about this is that 3M, well, let me quote them:

We relied on internal social media tools, specifically Lotus Connections and an internally-developed video sharing tool called 3M DIY Video Library. Connections’ Communities allowed for private discussion and debate. Connections’ Wiki managed group documents for project plans, team pages, storyboards and music strategy. There was a private community blog for announcements, status updates and weekly newsletters. Teams uploaded drafts of their video segments for comment (and praise) from the other teams to the video library.

Most of the employees in the video had never created a video and had never used Connections in the past. They all did this on their spare time, sometimes over holidays or vacation. Here's the video that has delighted 3M employees and executives:

I also liked how they recruited volunteers, they sent an anonymous invitation with as little information as possible: "Will you join us?". 75 employees from US, Poland, Russia, Italy, Dubai, Singapore and other countries accepted. Most employees didn't know each other, have never met, and probably never will. Isn't that awesome!!??!! (Note: I was also happy that Puerto Rico was represented in the video :) )

Congratulations to the 3M team!

To read more about this project and see the whole story behind this, see this post.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Lotusphere 2011 Sessions Announced

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Notifications on whether presentations have been accepted or not have started to go out. Congratulations to all of those who were selected. I'm not sure how many sessions were submitted and of those were accepted, but I'm really happy with how the schedule came out. In part because it seems like at Lotusphere 2011 everything is going to be about social and becoming a Social Business.

Whether you are attending or speaking, make sure you let the world know by registering on the Lotusphere page at Lanyrd. You can also add your photos, videos, and live blogs to that site so that we can all easily track it, plus everyone gets to know how cool Lotus is.

Still not convinced about going? If so, check out this video to pump you up!

or this one (depending on how much time you have with your boss in the elevator):

See you there!