Over the weekend, I stumbled upon a keynote given by Tom Raftery at the SAP for Utilities conference in San Antonio. For those that don't know, Tom works for GreenMonk the Energy and Sustainability practice of industry analyst firm RedMonk.
The keynote is interesting as it talks about the aging workforce which affects a lot of companies in the utilities industry. Tom mentions a a statistic from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics which says that in 10 years 30 to 40% of the utility workers are going to retire.
Tom also mentions another company which expects 50% of its workforce to retire in 5 years leading to a huge loss of knowledge. Mr. Raftery recommends deploying an internal social network and cites the work that IBM is doing in this area. To my surprise, as he is talking about this, a screenshot of my blog appears in the screen.
I wondered how he got access to our blogging system behind the firewall. Then quickly remembered that my colleague Luis Suarez had asked for a screenshot of our blogging system a while back. I was also very happy that Tom had very good things to say about IBM's use of social media, specially our recommendations engine:
The blogger there is guy called Luis Benitez. One of the things to notice is, you see the little red circle up there, I’ve got that circling a way of recommending the blog post, if you are on the internal IBM blog and you read that blog and you go, “that’s a good blog post, I got a lot out of that”. You can click on that little green button and it gets an extra star.
So it’s a rating mechanism for a blog posts on that internal platform, the IBM internal blog platform. IBM has got 18,000 blogs on their internal blog platform, 18,000 individual blogs and that’s a huge sea of information. And as people blog and I say put up posts they’re either recommended if they’re good or they’re not and they get lost if not good. You can see as well they’re on this platform on the right hand side, you’ve got similar blogs listed, so this is the one you find particularly, interesting you see similar bloggers there and that’s automatically generated based from the content.
On the left hand side you got a what’s called tag cloud, clicking an any of those words from the tag cloud get’s you related content. So, it’s an incredible way of getting information spread out through the organization and collate it back in again. And as I say there is 18,000 of them there, this other blog, it’s a friend of mine, a guy called Andy Piper. Andy Piper celebrating in this blog post his sixth anniversary as an internal blogger on the IBM blogging platform, so he he’s been out there six years, in fact the blogging platform, the internal blogging platform IBM has, has been going strong for eight years now.
So IBM have this stuff mastered and they’re not the only ones there is lots of other companies doing, but it’s a great way of capturing information and sharing it throughout the organization
Here's a video recording of the full keynote (you can skip to 12:00 to see where IBM is mentioned):
Here's the full transcript of the video: Potent Social Media Strategies