IBM As A Social Business

As the largest consumer of social technologies, IBM is a case study for this transformation into a social business.  

As a company, IBM takes social networking seriously -- to develop products and services, to enable sellers to find and stay connected with clients, to train the next generation of leaders, and to build awareness of Smarter Planet among clients, influencers and other communities.

· For 15 years, IBM employees have used social software to foster collaboration among our dispersed 400,000 person team -- long before Generation Y became fixated with social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace.
 
· In 1997, IBM recommended that its employees get out onto the Internet – at a time when many companies were seeking to restrict their employees’ Internet access.
 
· In 2005, the company made a strategic decision to embrace the blogosphere and to encourage IBMers to participate. 
 
· In 2007, IBM launched its own social networking software for the enterprise: Lotus Connections.

· In early 2008, IBM introduced social computing guidelines to encompass virtual worlds and sharing of rich media.  Later that year, IBM opened its IBM Center for Social Software to help IBM's global network of Researchers collaborate with corporate residents, university students and faculty, creating the industry's premier incubator for the research, development and testing of social software that is "fit for business".


IBM sees social media morphing into what we view as a key requirement for "social business" -- as tools for organizational productivity and culture change, for engaging with diverse constituencies of clients and experts, and for spurring revenue growth and innovation for our global workforce.  

Today, IBM has one of the largest corporate-wide communities on social media sites.  As a company, IBM takes social networking seriously --  to develop products and services, to enable sellers to find and stay connected with clients, to train the next generation of leaders, and to build awareness of Smarter Planet among clients, influencers and other communities.  

This goes beyond IBM's business in social software and services (IBM's collaboration software, consulting services, analytics/social media research, conducting Jams for clients).  IBM is leading social business on all fronts - technology, policy and practice.

IBM's social media activity dates back to the 1970's when its mainframe programmers started online discussion forums on the System 370 consoles.  Today, IBM views itself as one of the most prolific users of social networking in the industry.     



Some examples of IBM’s internal social media footprint today include;
 
· 17,000 individual blogs
 
· 1 million daily page views of internal wikis, internal information storing websites

· 400,000 employee profiles on IBM Connections, IBM's initial social networking initiative that alllows employees to share status updates, collaborate on wikis, blogs and activity, share files.
 
· 15,000,000 downloads of employee-generated videos/podcasts
 
· In the first-half of 2010, IBM employees participated in more than 126 million minutes of LotusLive meetings, IBM's software for conducting online meetings. 
 
· More than 400k Sametime instant messaging users, resulting in 40-50 million instant messages per day

Our social business initiatives have had a profound impact on IBM's business processes and transformation, here are just a few examples:

Online Jams

·  IBM has conducted 50 Jams over the past 10 years.  
 
·  For example,  IBM's ValuesJam was used to develop IBM Values in 2003, IBM's InnovationJam 2006 identified business opportunities that preceded Smarter Planet agenda.  IBM Legal conducted LawJam in 2007 in support of global functional transformation.

Human Resources
·  Human Resources utilizes social media for tech-enabled recruiting, employee education,  sales training and leadership development.  

·  For example,  IBM relies on social media for leadership development from an employee's first day on the job.  IBM's Succeeding@IBM makes new hires part of a social group for 6-12 months so they can get up to speed more quickly with other new hires, they network and acclimate more quickly

·  IBM's recent study of 700 Global Chief Human Resource Officers found that  financial outperformers (as measured by EBIDTA) are 57% more likely than underperformers to use collaborative and social networking tools to enable global teams to work more effectively together and 21% of companies have recently increased the amount they invest in the collaboration tools and analytics despite the economic downturn.

Global Collaboration and Development
· Generation Open  -- Built around social business tools, processes and management systems, GenO creates instant communities of global teams to collaborate on projects and products.

· Project managers, team leaders, consultants and IT architects post projects; people who are in-between assignments or have free time opt into these projects to add their talents and expand their skills.

· Today,  more than 130 communities of IBM professionals around the globe are collaborating virtually.   This has reduced the time it would have taken to complete projects by 30%, increased re-use of "software assets" by 50%, and cut component costs by 33%.  

How IBM is helping SMBs embrace social media

· Savvy businesses know that creating an online presence can heighten awareness and ultimately bring in new business. What’s often ignored, however, is that without a clear plan and direction in place before a company begins using social media, it can easily fail.

· IBM has programs to help non-profits and our business partners, who at 100,000 strong are traditionally small businesses, embrace social media.  For example, IBM hosts full day workshops, grants, provides toolkits and incentives and free education for our business partners on establishing and rolling out effective social media business plans.
 

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