Tuesday, August 26, 2014

IBM Connections in Cloud Now Features Real-Time Audio and Video Chat

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Today, when you log in to IBM Connections in the cloud you should notice a nice little surprise:  you can now engage with your peers via audio and/or video chat. While you've always been able to instant message with your colleagues within IBM Connections, sometimes typing is just not fast enough. And with communication being roughly 70% non-verbal, video becomes an excellent capability to get business done... NOW!

Now, you can go from a post in IBM Connection and escalate to a voice call or a video call at no extra cost.

This is now available to Connections customers in the cloud. Plans start at $6/user/month so if you haven't started using this platform, you can start today with a 60-day free trial.

Of course, I had to test this out to check out how it looks. So reached out to Albert, and got him over video in just 2 seconds!

But wait... there's another surprise! Up until now you've been able to share files through Chat from your computer. Now you can now share files with a chat partner from your IBM Connections Files. Let's say that you get a question from the field asking for the latest roadmap for your product (you know this happens a lot right?).  Now I can take a file from Connections, and when I do this, the recipient automatically gets reader access to the file!  Magic!

Here's how that looks:

Enjoy your new capabilities !

Monday, August 25, 2014

Rethinking Your Social Strategy to Act Like a Pacesetter

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Last week I told you about the amazing results that Pacesetters are seeing from deploying social business solutions, according to IBM's 2014 Business Tech Trends report. This week I'm going to tell you what your enterprise can do to catch up in social based on those Pacesetters’ key practices.

The Business Tech Trends report found that Pacesetters are using analytics as their fuel and integration as their breakaway move. So, what does this mean for social?

To compete like a Pacesetter, integrate social with:
  • Mobile to reach more customers and segments and strengthen current customer relationships
  • Analytics to mine all of the unstructured data and better understand your customers' needs
  • Cloud to manage the large amount of data collected and to quickly and easily scale technology and initiatives 
Some of this might sound obvious to you, but the study found that Pacesetters are seven times more likely to use social business on the cloud and six times more likely to use social media analytics and mobile analytics than other enterprises! There is still a huge gap between the Pacesetters and everyone else. When it comes to social business, it's time to integrate and analyze.


Read the 2014 Business Tech Trendsm report and then start analyzing it on IBM Bluemix at our Bluemix app JAM! Remember, share your insights and IBM will highlight our favorites!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Social Business More than Doubles Since 2012 - Pacesetters Are Seeing the Biggest Wins

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IBM's Center for Applied Insights has just released their 2014 Business Tech Trends report, which surveyed over 1,400 decision makers across 15 industries around the world to find out how businesses are deploying key technologies. The study found that social business is now being deployed by 70 percent of enterprises! That is more than double the number of enterprises (34 percent) that were deploying social business solutions in 2012.

Pacesetter enterprises, which regard big data and analytics, cloud, mobile and social technologies as critical to their success and adopt them ahead of their competitors, have seen amazing results from integrating social into their DNA:

  • Pacesetters are achieving improved customer experience through social at six times the rate of other enterprises.
  • Additionally, 72 percent of Pacesetters are seeing enhanced communication and collaboration across the organization and ecosystem through their social initiatives, which is also six times more than other enterprises!
  • Furthermore, Pacesetters report that they are expanding into new markets and segments at three times the rate of other enterprises.
It's clearer now than ever that having a social business strategy is imperative. But with 70 percent of enterprises deploying social, how do you get results like the Pacesetters? Stay tuned – I'm working on a post now that will tell you how!

The following graph indicates the deployment gains since 2012:

If you missed the webcast in which Sandy Carter, General Manager of Ecosystem Development, IBM, made the exciting Business Tech Trends announcement, not to fear you can re-watch it here!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Continental AG Goes Full Out with IBM Connections To Get Things Done Faster

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Last week, I ran into this video posted by Continental AG, a company of 170,000 people, which talks about their business networking event for their 450 social business ambassadors.  Continental spoke at IBM Connect 2014 about their usage of IBM Connections.

Continental brought the participants from 37 different countries to Hamburg Germany to start the conversation around how to improve the culture of communication and how to give employees a helping hand.

To do this, Continental chose an open space, which they say it's similar to social media, where it's a big, empty and fluid environment.

The goal was to spend 2 days and officially become GUIDEs. Individual interviews mention how the goal is to break the barriers between countries to become agile, interact better with others by knowing them better, and getting things done faster and more efficiently.  For them, it was critical to exemplify their culture and core values like trust, freedom, solidarity and a winning mentality.

Check out the video below:

I really like this approach and reminds me of what IBM did initially with our Blue IQ Ambassadors, though I was extremely impressed with Continental's approach to bring all these people together in a room to together learn and launch their social business platform.

Well done!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Mobile Comparison of IBM Connections & Yammer

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I typically get questions about how collaboration platforms compare, especially in a post-PC, mobile first era. The term was made popular by Steve Jobs in 2007 (though first coined at MIT), and 3 months ago Microsoft CEO said the company had entered the post-PC era. So mobile.. a critical capability. Can't be without it. It's essential.

So here we are in 2014 -- a post-PC / Mobile First era, so let's take a look at comparing the mobile collaboration capabilities provided by IBM, with their market leading enterprise social collaboration platform called Connections, and Microsoft with a confusing story around SharePoint/Office 365/Yammer.

To that end, I wanted to share a video that one of my colleagues, Reynout van Adrichem Boogaert, put together. It's a bit long because it does an amazing job at taking an in-depth look at collaborating while on the go -- a must for today's workforce.

Of course, we can always look at app store ratings (Yammer has 3/5 stars in the app store, while the IBM Connections mobile app has 4.5/5 stars) which gives one angle, but let's get the full story.

The video starts with a description of what the Yammer app can do and can't do.

Now, what if you are in a situation where your company has made a decision to use some Microsoft technology?  Well, another one of my colleagues has you covered.  Omar Davison recently shared this video (you may have seen Suzanne Livingston's post last week) which tells the story of how you can use IBM Connections to enhance your Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Office tools.

Here's the 3 minute video:

Ready to get started? Don't wait, start a free trial now (no credit card required)!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

TemboSocial Plugs Into IBM Connections and Takes Ideation To The Next Level

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By now, I'm sure that you are aware of TemboSocial. They have been adding value to IBM Connections, the market leading enterprise social collaboration platform, and it's some great work and I've talked about them in the past.

The first add-on they created was a bit over 2 years ago when they first introduced The Hive for IBM Connections, a social recognition module.

Last year, they further integrated with the IBM Connections platform by taking advantage of new integration points and extending our native mobile app in iOS and Android.

Now, TemboSocial has introduced TemboSocial Ideas for IBM Connections.  This new add-on plugs directly into a team site within IBM Connections and takes ideation to the next level.

With this add-on, you can crowdsource and gather ideas, surface the best ideas and comments, and the experts and moderators can curate the best contributions and provide updates on the idea (e.g. "In Progress", "Under Review", "Closed", etc). Additionally, it includes detailed real-time reports to determine sentiment, where the best ideas are coming from (e.g. by geography, role, workgroup, etc) and you can filter by time to measure the impact of your campaigns and see the results of your promotions.

Update 2:30pm ET: Tembosocial Ideas is front and center at the customer IBM Webinar "Innovation Starts with Social: How IBM Connections Social Software can Transform your Organization - Tuesday August 26th"

"Join ICS NA Executive Sales Leader Laura Wolf and Tembosocial president and founder Steven Green on Tuesday August 26th. It's the "Aha" moment for LOB how to best get value from, Social (on-prem or cloud), how existing Social organizations can make Social more strategic, and where first time Social organizations can effectively start. "

Registration here:
Since a picture is worth a 1000 words and a video is worth (a trillion?) words, check out this video to see how it works:

For more info, check out TemboSocial Ideas for IBM Connections.

Monday, August 4, 2014

The IBM Connections 5.0 Reviewer's Guide is Now Available in the iBook Store

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By now you are probably aware that the IBM Connections 5.0 Reviewer's Guide is available as shared by one of my teammates in the product management team, Albert Nichols.

For a while now, I've been wondering how we can make this more widely available and perhaps add even more value to this great asset.  Earlier in the year (if I remember correctly), I had heard that Apple had made iBooks Author a free app and decided to take that for a spin and see what I could do with it. And given the recent announcement of the Apple and IBM partnership, I figured why not!

To my surprise, it was very simple to take the work that Albert (and the rest of the PM team had done) and import it into iBooks Author and add some dynamic elements to it. As you may know, the Reviewer's Guide covers a lot of the functionality within IBM Connections, as well as our different integration points into ECM, Notes, Microsoft Outlook, SharePoint, mobile, etc. Therefore, I thought that a good way to make the guide more dynamic would be to incorporate all the various demos directly into the book.

My experience with iBooks Author was pretty positive. It only took a few minutes to convert the Reviewer's Guide into iBook format. Then, it took me about 5-6 hours to reorganize the content into iBook chapters, add the demos and interactive screenshots, and publish it to the iTunes store.  During the publishing process, I even discovered that iTunes Producer already integrates with Aspera, an IBM company for super fast file transfer.

Therefore, you now have a super easy way to get the Reviewer's Guide, access it offline, and even share with your peers. Go ahead and download the IBM Connections 5.0 Reviewer's Guide from the iBook Store and let me know what you think. I'm curious to know if this is valuable and if you would like to see more of these in the future.

PS.  There's 1 page that didn't come out correctly, but I'll let you find it.