Sunday, 22 July 2012

IBM and Social Business

When Nobel Peace Prize laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus first discussed social business in his books “Creating a world without poverty – Social Business and the future of capitalism” and “Building Social Business – The new kind of capitalism that serves humanity’s most pressing needs”, he was thinking of a non-loss, non-dividend company designed to address a social objective within a highly-regulated marketplace. Nowadays, the term is usually applied to businesses that utilize social networking tools and practices for internal and external functions. And to help with that, this week, IBM has introduced its Intranet Experience Suite.

According to IBM’s Web site: “Social businesses effectively engage employees, improving productivity, and business results. Intranet Experience Suite can help your organization to become a social business by leveraging social software, content, and collaboration within a seamless employee Web experience across mobile and other channels.”

The new software combines social networking, mobile computing, and, of course these days, analytics to front office operations and externally to clients. The software integrates an organization’s information and data, personalized content, news and social media, and analytics, so that employees can connect, collaborate, and access information whenever they want from any location.

IBM is claiming that with the Intranet Experience Suite, an organization can move forward to becoming a “social business by leveraging social software, content and collaboration within a seamless employee Web experience across mobile and other channels.”

The Web site goes on to explain that it does this by creating an engaging employee experiences because applications, content, and key social services can be combined contextually for each employee across any channel.

It improves efficiency because it speeds access to the correct information and applications securely, both in an office environment or remotely via mobile devices.

It fosters innovation because users exchange ideas with, and benefit from, subject matter experts with profiles and with collaborative tools such as forums, blogs, and files.

It empowers employees because it enable business users to create and manage intranet Web content.

The Web site also suggests it will “discover incremental ROI” through reuse of existing IT investments, such as legacy enterprise applications, by extending functions to more users; and decrease costs by automating paper-based processes, and helping employees do their jobs faster.”

Interestingly, the product components are:
  • IBM WebSphere Portal Server – aggregates applications and content as role-based applications.
  • IBM Connections Files and Profiles – helps employees find experts and post, share, and discover documents quickly and in context.
  • IBM Web Content Manager – increases the efficiency and accuracy of Web site deployments.
  • IBM Forms – automates forms-based business processes to help improve efficiency, customer service, and time to value, making an organization more responsive to customer and market needs.
  • IBM Web Experience Factory Designer – delivers enterprise ready, standards based, Web 2.0 applications with interactive interfaces.
  • IBM Sametime – provides a unified user experience across a broad range of integrated, real-time communications services.
  • IBM Content Analytics with Enterprise Search – analyses employee’s interactions and activities via integration with supported analytics solutions.
Most organizations have some kind of intranet and are using social media. So yet again (recently I was talking about IBM’s augmented reality app) we find IBM pushing the envelope in technologies not immediately connected to mainframes.

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