IBM Introduction to Social Business


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An introduction to social business from IBM, including information on the benefits and risks of becoming a social business.

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IBM Introduction to Social Business

  1. 1. Are you a social business? Analysis, collaboration, insight and social sentiment at the touch of a button. Are you ready for the next wave of business?
  2. 2. Contents CONTENTS Welcome to this special report focused on social business, brought to you by IBM in association with IT Pro. Prologuep3 An introduction by Daniel Wilks, UK and Ireland business unit executive, IBM Social Business Why are businesses going social? p5 We look at what it means to be a social business and why companies are undergoing such a transformation. IBM and social business p8 This fact sheet looks at the role IBM can play in helping your organisation become a social business. Social business – the benefits p10 What benefits can your organisation hope to gain by becoming more social? And how can it benefit your customers and partners too? We take a look and showcase how organisations of all sectors and sizes are making social work for them. Social business – the risks p12 What do you need to pay attention to in order to avoid the pitfalls when it comes to social? We look at the risks, the challenges and the experiences of others. Case study: Frontier Medical Group p14 Learn how this leading manufacturer and supplier of medical products has improved efficiency and fuelled innovation by taking advantage of collaborative and social tools and Are you n? n social: io technologies. Destinatio the right direct in heading Are you a social ld you go Why shou stions asked que Frequently FAQsp17 IBM executives Jon Machtynger and Stuart McRae answer your questions about social business. social? ns organisatio And why are l business? be a socia it mean to look… What does We take a ae answer this direction? and Stuart McR ger heading in Jon Machtyn experts boration c. s and colla ortant topi CTO of this imp al busines tynger is ions IBM’s soci questions around Jon Mach oration solut your IBM collab d. He’s some of UK and Irelan business? 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  3. 3. Prologue: Daniel Wilks Going social Being a social business is so much more than just Facebook, Twitter et al. Read on and we’ll show you why, as well as how your organisation can be more effective, productive and successful. W I’m hugely excited by the emergence of social business as a trend as there are definitely some parallels as to where IBM as a business is headed. elcome to this IBM special report focused on social business. Being a social business is about so much more than having a Facebook or Twitter profile and updating your statuses regularly. Of course, such social media platforms are important. But, more than that, the ability to interact and enter into an enhanced dialogue with customers, employees and partners alike becomes increasingly important. I’m hugely excited by the emergence of social business as a trend as there are definitely some parallels as to where IBM as a business is headed. This, for me, means we are all working towards a common goal. By tapping into social connections and enhanced collaboration, we can find new ways of working and new ways of solving problems. I can recall one particular example whereby a pet food firm found it had supply chain issues that could have led to contaminated contents getting into its products. Left unresolved, this could have been catastrophic let alone bad for reputation. Thankfully, the company made use of social media and analytics and, as a result, was able to intervene and remedy the issue before it was too late. Social business as a trend does not exist in isolation. Together with analytics, big data, cloud and mobile, organsations are able to both tap into and address customer demand.   What business doesn’t want to have better insight into what customers are saying or how they’re feeling? Similarly, what organisation doesn’t want to improve the way in which it attracts, recruits and maintains staff? Or indeed, ensure employees remain safe while in the workplace? Social technologies have a key role to play in everything we do both as business users and consumers. As the world becomes more digital and more vocal about  the services received and experiences encountered, it is paramount we tap into those voices. Whatever step of the journey your organisation is on, we hope you find this report useful and informative in helping you reach the destination of being a more effective, productive and successful social business. Thanks for reading Daniel Wilks, UK Ireland business unit executive, IBM Social Business 3
  4. 4. ‘LIKING’ ISN’T LEADING. It’s easy to forget that e-commerce is a fairly recent innovation. Buying books and shoes online seemed novel until traditional commerce and e-commerce finally merged. Then suddenly, there was no more ‘online business’. Only business. for social business to interpret the web as an infinite focus group. When recent social conversation on sustainability led the company to introduce greener packaging, Amadori turned customers into advocates. A similar shift is unfolding now with social technology. Beyond attracting ‘likes’, social technology is about building communities and collaboration within your workforce and empowering your customers and partners to help build your brand. On a smarter planet, every business is increasingly expected to integrate social into its core practices. Any business that isn’t social by design won’t stay in business. A SOCIAL WORKFORCE IS A SMARTER WORKFORCE. Picture a company that thrives as a social network, not as an organisational chart. What if your company’s employees could quickly identify other colleagues and candidates to help them overcome challenges, and could crowdsource their knowledge across departments, across languages, across oceans? Could you use an extra day of productivity from your staff each week? Social technology can increase efficiency by as much as 25%. THERE’S NO bUSINESS bUT SOCIAL bUSINESS. Investing in becoming a social business goes beyond building a social network. It demands capturing and analysing the data that the network creates THE RISE OF SOCIAL BUSINESS. For cement giant Cemex, IBM solutions for social business have helped its teams in 50 countries trade insights in real time. Employees have built a network of communities around shared projects and skills, helping Cemex launch its first global brand in a third of the time it had anticipated. TURNING CUSTOMERS INTO ADVOCATES. Social inputs like reviews and comments could already be driving as much as a third of consumer spending. That’s why your brand’s success will depend on its ability to match what it promises with the products and services it delivers. to remove the technological and cultural boundaries both inside and outside your company. And before you know it, there will be no more ‘social business’: Only business. Visit LET’S bUILD A SMARTER pLANET. The Italian poultry marketer Amadori Group did just that by using IBM solutions IBM, the IBM logo,, Smarter Planet and the planet icon are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at © International Business Machines Corporation 2013.
  5. 5. Why should you go social? Destination social: Are you heading in the right direction? What does it mean to be a social business? And why are organisations heading in this direction? We take a look… T he world is changing. The way in which users consume and digest information is also evolving, as are their preferences around how, when and where they work, rest and play. Every day, we generate more than 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. That’s a staggering amount information. The internet has increased our appetite for knowledge and accelerated data growth, but social media, in particular, has played a key role – some 90 per cent of that data has been generated in the past two years alone, according to IBM. Twitter plays home to 5,700 tweets per second, some 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and Facebook experiences 2.7 billion ‘likes’ each day – equating to around 500TB of data. The business world must at the very least keep pace with such change, if not try and stay one step ahead and anticipate future demands and trends. In Europe, specifically, use of social media is not yet fully mature. That said, more than 63 per cent of the Western European online population are currently using social networks – a figure that will rise to 70 per cent come 2017. Powering business change Organisations can turn things to their advantage and drive real value – for themselves and their customers, employees and partners – by deploying social tools and technologies. However, those who feel having a social media presence is enough are mistaken. Being a truly social business means changing the very nature of your organisation – from the culture, processes and technology, inside and out, and from the highest echelons of the company down and back up again. In essence, social needs to become part of  your DNA. “You need a platform that empowers employees to build the relationships they would have built face-to-face or on the telephone via online media,” says Stuart McRae, Executive Collaboration It’s important that organisations don’t let a fear of someone saying something bad about them stop them from participating in social media. 5 11
  6. 6. Why should you go social? Evangelist at IBM. “You need the right technology that does that well. Yes, the UI is important but it’s actually about a much deeper need to have the right services delivered in the right way that actually helps people. Then you need a cultural change in the organisation to one that is more open and collaborative rather than competitive. If you’re not ready to make that change, I don’t think social is going to work very well in your organisation.” The importance of social The very nature of social is about sharing and being more open. By empowering employees to come up with and exchange ideas that could be of benefit to the business, rather than feeling competitive and secretive about them, everyone stands to benefit. Employees will feel more motivated The point at which each business begins its transformation to social business varies, but every social business drives value by making traditional communication and collaboration networks more efficient, authentic and flexible. Credit: IBM Thought Leadership Whitepaper: The compelling returns from IBM Connections in support of social business starting to think about how to leverage the fact that the people who can make a process better are the ones doing it every day.” Giving customers a voice Similarly, by tapping into customer sentiment about your products and services, through the channels they want to use, your business You need a cultural change in the organisation to one that is more open and collaborative rather than competitive. If you’re not ready to make that change, I don’t think social is going to work very well in your organisation. and the organisation is accelerating and fuelling innovation that can help it stand out from competitors. “Younger people come into the workplace – the millennials – and they just ‘get it.’ That’s because they’ve lived with the internet from day one. If people weren’t willing to share and be open on the internet, things like Facebook simply wouldn’t work,” adds McRae. “Trumping ideas and the internal competition around whose idea is best so things are kept secret is exactly the wrong attitude towards innovating and improving business processes.” He continues: “Rewarding people for coming up with good ideas is very different from having a set of people compete to come up with the best idea. It’s a subtle difference but one that’s really key to making the right cultural change. Now, organisations are “The dissatisfaction stemming from failure to respond via social channels can lead to up to a 15 per cent increase in churn rate for existing customers,” says Carol Rozwell, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “It’s crucial that organisations implement approaches to handling social media now. The effort involved in addressing social media commentary is not good cause to ignore relevant comments or solvable issues.” Treading very carefully Businesses should be mindful of three key things when it comes to social interaction with customers externally, according to Rozwell. “It’s important that organisations don’t let a fear of someone saying something bad about them stop them from participating in social media. Secondly, don’t assume all will be seen as approachable, accessible and, more importantly, responsive. “Those people are having a conversation about you whether you open up and listen or not,” warns McRae. “So do you want to put your hands over your ears or do you want to listen? If you want to listen do you then ignore the fact someone’s incredibly unhappy or do you do something about it? That gets you to the engagement section where you have to start managing those conversations.” Companies that ignore what customers are saying and fail to pay them the courtesy of acknowledging their voice will be penalised, analyst firm Gartner has warned. 6 11
  7. 7. Why should you go social? the implications that social software developments have for related technologies,” according to Jeffrey Mann, research vice president at Gartner. “As social technologies mature and organisations improve their understanding of how to apply them, they will be found in more and more situations. Increasingly, social technologies are not implemented on a stand-alone basis, but are tightly integrated within a variety of other technologies, including business, IT operations, unified communications and collaboration applications.” The future comments require the same level of attention — develop an appropriate response for the different types of interaction your business faces,” she advises. “Thirdly, plan for an increase in social commentary and adapt communications practices to cope — this will require changes to job descriptions, performance metrics and business processes.” Getting from A to B Becoming a social business is a journey and the changes required to get there won’t occur overnight. Careful planning is key to creating the right strategy that will ensure you are successful as a social business rather than exposing yourself to greater uncertainty and unnecessary risk. However, not all social business efforts will result in the benefits organisations anticipate, Gartner warns. Indeed, the analyst firm has predicted that between now and 2015, some 80 per cent of social business initiatives won’t bear the fruits expected Years from now we won’t be talking about whether businesses should be more social. We’ll take it for granted that they are. It will become second nature and as if it’s always been that way, according to industry experts. Gartner has predicted that half of large firms will have Facebook-esque internal social networks by 2016 and that one-third of these platforms will be viewed in the same way as telephony and email communication in terms of core value. “It’s very hard to be a good, engaged company on external social media but have your staff work internally in traditional ways. You have to reach out to partners, suppliers and customers as well as employees to make them part of the conversation,” says McRae. “In the 20th Century we had face-to-face supported by letters, then telephone then email. In the 21st Century, relationships and friendships are online, which supports Some 63 per cent of the Western European online population are currently using social networks - a figure that will rise to 70 per cent come 2017. due to an overemphasis on pure technology rather than all the necessary elements required for success. “IT leaders must keep abreast of this evolving sector in order to take advantage of social capabilities and understand face-to-face meetings, often using the mobile phone. People still want to meet face-to-face, but a lot of the mechanics of getting there is done online. Social technologies just change the dynamics of the way you can work and amplify what you can do face-to-face.” 7 11
  8. 8. Fact Sheet What IBM can do for your social business A social business is an organisation whose culture and systems encourage networks of people to create business value. Social businesses connect individuals, so they can rapidly share information, knowledge and ideas by having conversations and publishing informal content. They analyse social content from multiple channels and sources, in addition to structured data, to gain insights from both external and internal stakeholders. When those things happen, innovation and business execution rates increase, better decisions are made, and customers and employees are more engaged and satisfied. Social businesses enjoy lower operating costs, faster speed-to-market, improved customer and employee engagement, and increased profitability. the company has also helped others on their journey to becoming social. More than 60 per cent of Fortune 100 companies have licensed IBM solutions for social business. IBM consultants work daily with organisations from all industries and geographies to help them tap the transformative power of social business. This social business know-how has also informed the design of related IBM software and cloud-based services, as well as their implementation and use, both within the company and in customer organisations. When IBM released IBM Connections, in 2007, it was one of the first enterprise social software products in a nascent market. Since then, the IBM social platform has grown and can now be used to embed social capabilities in any business process. IBM WebSphere Portal has proven itself as an Lowes built internal communities to share best practices and see deeper into their human capital across stores. Clarissa Felts, Lowes VP of Collaboration, presented at Connect 2013 and mentioned how using IBM Connections has improved their recruitment process within headquarters in finding proven talent that knows the store environment from first-hand experience. offer. IBM’s social business software and in-cloud services are frequently recognised as industry leaders by the most influential analyst firms. Those acknowledgements include: ✔ DC has designated IBM as the Worldwide I IBM and Social Business In early 2011, IBM publicly declared that it was becoming a social business, accelerating existing initiatives to better connect the organisation’s employees, customers, partners and suppliers. These efforts to transform IBM’s culture, business processes and computing systems — and, ultimately, its business outcomes — have yielded global, first-hand experiences with, and knowledge of, social business. Not only is IBM a social business itself, but Asian Paints’sales staff members found it difficult to share best practices and innovative ways of supporting dealers, and they had no way to post issues of concern to the entire sales team. IBM Connections software is heavily used [now] in the sales department, which finds it an excellent tool for solving challenges by sharing innovations, expertise and best practices. Social Business Patterns are similar in concept to business process flows, in that each represents a repeatable, proven set of value-producing actions. Enterprise Social Software Market Share leader for the last four consecutive years (2009-2012) ✔ artner named IBM a “visionary” in its most G recent assessment of the Enterprise Content Management category ideal container for role- and process-specific social activity. IBM Content Manager and IBM FileNet services marry traditional enterprise content management practices with sharing of content in social channels. IBM unified messaging, analytics and web experience management technologies have also been integrated into the IBM social platform. With the recent acquisition of Kenexa and its award-winning Human Capital Management solutions, IBM is able to offer socially-enabled talent management capabilities. Much of the IBM social platform is accessible on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. In fact, IBM social capabilities are available as native applications on a broader array of mobile operating systems than any of its competitors ✔ orrester Research categorised IBM among F the “leaders” in its latest Forrester Wave for enterprise social platforms and its similar assessment of providers of cloud-based collaboration services ✔ DC named IBM a “leader” in its most recent I market assessment of providers of HR, learning and recruiting process outsourcing services. Through the combination of deep social expertise, deployment and adoption services and market-leading social business capabilities, IBM is uniquely positioned to help organisations capture information, create insights and generate interactions that translate into real business value. 8
  9. 9. Fact Sheet Finding expertise • • • • Quickly locate the right people, or published content, containing, the expertise needed to solve a problem Connect the best possible resources to effectively respond to customer needs Document and share reusable solutions to common issues Create highly-engaged and productive employees. Gaining external customer insights • • Quickly learn customers’ opinions and preferences related to existing and potential products and services Identify and connect with key customer influencers to aid marketing efforts. Increasing knowledge sharing • • • More efficiently and effectively capture, share and access knowledge Increase innovation through wider reach of ideas Reduce excessive, unproductive time spent searching and exchanging information. Improving recruiting and on-boarding • • • • Collaboratively find and connect the right candidate to the right position Streamline assessment and hiring processes Better connect, engage and retain new hires Contextually recommend expertise to increase new hires’ productivity. Managing mergers and acquisitions • • • Increase overall success rate of merger and acquisition activities Raise effectiveness of vision setting and communication before, during and after merger or acquisition Accelerate creation of “one company” community and culture. Enabling and improving workplace safety • • • Speed communication of new or changed safety regulations, policies and procedures Minimise or eliminate project execution delays arising from actual or potential safety issues Improve innovation in safety procedures by increasing dialogue between safety experts and workers. The IBM experience By any measure, the cumulative expertise of IBM employees is staggering. To better tap into that wisdom, IBM has developed analytics, expert recommendation and other expertise-led location capabilities for internal use. Employee profiles, blogs, emails (by permission), as well as content repositories and other information sources, are automatically crawled and manually searched to find expertise. The IBM experience IBM has supplied its expertise and analysis capabilities to some of the premier sporting events in the world, including the US Open tennis and Masters golf tournaments. IBM works with event sponsors to help them quickly harness insights to improve their understanding of the event’s operations. Event sponsors can also learn, in real-time, from customer interaction with the event’s website. IBM has even run its own digital events, called Jams, during which insights are gained from online discussions involving its employees, business partners, customers and other stakeholders. IBM also plans and conducts Jams on behalf of customers seeking to learn more about their employees and external constituents. The IBM experience The research and professional services organisations within IBM are excellent examples of knowledge-driven businesses. IBM Research employees possess deep knowledge in specific areas of investigation; they include Nobel Laureates and winners of other prestigious awards. Many of the researchers at the IBM Centre for Social Business have been at the forefront of exploring how knowledge is shared within organisations and what can be done to improve those methods and tools. They actively participate in IBM client engagements across all industries. Blue IQ is a program that helps IBMers adopt social business practices, including sharing knowledge. Since 2007, Blue IQ Ambassadors have volunteered their time and expertise to help their peers collaborate more successfully. Ambassadors help their colleagues understand why knowledge sharing and other social practices are important to their work, as well as to the collective business results of IBM. The IBM experience With a global headcount over 430,000, IBM has large-scale experience in recruiting, hiring and on-boarding new employees. Its Human Capital Management (HCM) processes are frequently optimised and have become socially-enabled in recent years. IBM uses LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to support its external-facing recruiting processes. Potential candidates can be made aware of country- and role-specification positions for which IBM is hiring, as well as interact with IBM recruiters through these channels. IBM recruiters and hiring managers can learn about the candidate by conversing online with them and by visiting their social profiles on the web. During the IBM on-boarding process, new hires establish their internal social profile and connect with their supervisor and team members. New employees are also instructed on ways to find the information and expertise they will need to quickly become a productive contributor at IBM, including the use of social capabilities. The IBM experience IBM has completed at least 120 acquisitions since 2001. Through those experiences, much has been learned about establishing a common vision, creating a single organisational culture, managing integration activities and retaining engaged employees. IBM use of social capabilities has spanned the range of MA processes. IBM employees work together, and with external partners, to assess and value potential acquisition candidates. IBM teams build business cases together to justify specific MA action. Acquired employees participate in IBM on-boarding processes, which are infused with social practices and capabilities. The IBM experience For decades, IBM has owned and operated a number of manufacturing plants, many of which routinely house hazardous chemicals and use potentially-dangerous equipment to produce products. The company formalised its commitment to workplace safety in 1967 and consistently demonstrates low workday case rates. Developments in how IBM communicates workplace safety practices and procedures, as well as learnings from assisting customers on safety issues, inform this social business pattern. 9
  10. 10. Social business: The benefits Social business: The benefits There are a number of benefits to being a more collaborative, open and social business. We run down the top advantages here… Accessibility A social business is a more open, transparent and, importantly, accessible business. If customers can communicate in a medium that suits them and get a satisfactory response – often in real time – they feel, as they should, much more than just a number. It’s a great way to get closer to customers, employees and partners and complements traditional channels such as email, faceto-face, internet, paper and telephone interaction. With customers embracing the dawn of social to share their thoughts and feelings, organisations that don’t respond through activity on similar channels may find themselves at a disadvantage. Cost savings By having a more collaborative and sharing culture, firms can reduce bottlenecks and wastage naturally. The ability to get information and access to the right people at the click of a button internally boosts productivity and adds to the bottom line. Externally, knowing there’s a problem as soon as possible and having a chance to resolve it quickly is invaluable and will save valuable time, effort  and resources. IBM is a case in point – it saves $100 million each year thanks to users heading to its developerWorks community portal rather than the vendor’s wider support resource. Innovation By improving information flow and removing silos, employees can better exchange and share ideas and insight. Organisations can reduce the time it takes to get an idea from concept to marketed product by two-thirds, IBM claims. Such freedom of innovation can have a visible effect on bottom line performance. Indeed, according to Bain and Company, social media use can boost profits by between 25 per cent and 125 per cent. Insight By gaining greater insight into customer sentiment, trends and behaviour, organisations can better target marketing and product efforts. This enhanced insight will translate into tangible results. Social media is hugely influential – a happy customer might not bother to tweet or update their Facebook status, yet an unhappy customer will shout loudly online and encourage others to amplify their discontent. Indeed, research by ClickZ discovered that 81 per cent of people seek purchase advice from social networking contacts before making a decision. Productivity When employees are more effectively sharing knowledge and collaborating, projects and tasks that would have taken a long time or seemed unachievable suddenly seem much more viable. The old adage of it not being what you know, but who you know also feels a lot more real. In a sales environment, with the right culture and tools, organisations can boost revenue generated by each employee by more than a quarter (26 per cent), according to McKinsey research. Retention If staff are empowered to innovate and share ideas, it is likely they will feel happier at work and more motivated. This boost in productivity will also help employees feel like they are adding value and succeeding in their workrelated efforts. It’s a win/win situation for both parties. Furthermore, companies can also use social tools to disseminate information about benefits and organisational activities quickly and easily to employees, in addition to complementing other, more traditional, HR efforts. 10
  11. 11. Social business: The benefits Social media: Real-world case studies Being a social business has many advantages. But don’t just take our word for it, see for yourself how organisations of all sizes and from all sectors are benefiting… Birmingham Metropolitan College Boston Children’s Hospital Birmingham Metropolitan College has used social learning tools to The Boston Children’s Hospital has implemented a platform, dubbed create a “classroom in the cloud” to boost student engagement. OPENPediatrics, which it hopes will enhance medical training and “We are constantly looking for ways to make the learning experience more engaging and accessible,” said Jamie Smith, Director of  Systems and Policy at the college. “Ultimately, we want our students to have the best experience improve the care it provides to patients. “OPENPediatrics is an open forum to connect healthcare providers around the world,” said Traci Wolbrink, Associate Director of OPENPediatrics and a doctor at Boston Children’s Hospital. “The idea is possible during their time at BMet. We feel certain that giving them to leverage technology to promote worldwide sharing and exchange of more choice in the tools they use to participate can only be a good thing.” knowledge to rescue children from crisis.” CEMEX Wimbledon 2013 Just one year after embarking on a social network initiative, building The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC) made use materials firm CEMEX had more effectively engaged its 20,000-plus of collaborative and social technologies to track and analyse user employees. Furthermore, some 500 communities had been created and sentiment about players. a further nine global social-focused programmes were in the offing. “Understanding the social impact of the tournament as a whole is “What started with a few hundred users in April of this year grew to vitally important, because it enables us to learn about what fans really 17,500 today,” said Sergio J. Escobedo, CEMEX’s Innovation Director. “We think and to start to build a two-way relationship with them,” said Mick see a marked increase in blogs, and blog comments, as well as in the creation Desmond, Commercial Director at the AELTC. of more than 350 communities to bring people with common interests and goals together. Now, that’s the power of social networking.” “That in turn will help us to focus and enhance our digital platforms so as to strengthen the tournament in the years to come.” 11
  12. 12. Social business: The risks Social business: The risks There are many things to consider when it comes to being a social business. And many of the risks can come from failing to plan and the use of social media in particular. Be careful out there... Anonymity There is no such thing as the ability to remain anonymous on social media and the internet in general. Even if you don’t use your real name as your moniker, what you say and  the connections you have may reveal your identity anyway. As such, it’s incredibly important to exercise the same common sense and care when relaying your opinion and thoughts using social media that you would in the real world. Hiding behind an online user name is no excuse – or get out of jail free card – for being abusive, breaking the rules or making disparaging remarks about customers, colleagues or strangers, or posting comments that could damage your  employer’s reputation. User education and guidance and policy documents are key to ensuring an organisation benefits from the use of collaborative tools and social media. Without such structure, there is a real danger social media activity could do your  business more harm than good. Bandwagon ‘Doing’ social just because everyone else is with no real, relevant strategy is probably much more dangerous than not doing anything at all. Facebook might be an appropriate medium for some organisations in some sectors but that doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone. The same is true of other social networking tools such as Instagram,  Pinterest, Twitter et al. Take the time needed to think through what it is you want to achieve from being a social business before doing anything else. Once you have a clear idea of your destination and the steps you need to take along the way you can properly start to plan the journey. Culture There is no point attempting to embrace a more collaborative and sharing culture externally if you’re not following the same approach internally in your organisation. The same can be said the other way around. The passion for collaboration must be both top down and bottom up, inside and out, in order for an organisation to truly succeed as a social business. Culture must blend together with people, processes and technology to drive business value and gain real advantage from social interactions internally and externally. Disclaimers Users seem to be under the impression that adding a disclaimer to their profile saying ‘Views are my own and not my employer’s’ or words to that effect create a clear divide between business and pleasure. That’s the theory. The reality is quite the opposite. Disclaimers in the social media world mean nothing. Much like the point here about anonymity, the comments you make and connections you share in some way identify who you are. And, whether you like it or not, your employer still has a vested interest in the comments you make when not at work. Of course, you want employees to be able to freely express themselves and not feel censored. However, there needs to be clear boundaries and organisations must lead by example. Intern involvement/ Separate departments This is asking for trouble. If we except social media is an important channel why leave it to the unpaid worky? That smacks of laziness and cost-cutting – two things that can actually cost you very dearly. Similarly, think carefully before you create a dedicated ‘social media’ team. If you go down this road, you need some way of ensuring you’re on the same page and have a way of connecting/collaborating. The people tweeting and updating statuses and responding to customers on your behalf must be plugged in to how the people closest to that particular product or process behave and think. 12
  13. 13. Social business: The risks Social media: When things go wrong You must be aware of the risks to avoid the worst happening, leaving your organisation’s reputation in tatters. Pay heed to what you need to do or you could end up in one of these rather sticky situations… Hashtag misuse When former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died, the nation was divided. Many mourned and lamented the passing of the Iron Lady, while others looked upon some of her past decisions much less favourably and made unkind comments. Most of this dialogue took place on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter and it wasn’t long before the topic was trending with the hashtag ‘Now That Thatcher’s Dead’. Unfortunately in the social media world that looks like this  #nowthatcherisdead which means something different entirely. In a similar vein, McDonalds ended up paying for negative promotion when it asked customers to share their experiences with the food chain.  #McDstories ending up creating a real-time forum for disgruntled users to expose and exchange their horror stories. Credit: McDstories-McDonalds-Twitter-promotion-backfires-usersshare-fast-food-horror-stories.html Singing a company’s praises (not) United Airlines was on the wrong side of the power of social media, back in 2009, when musician Dave Carroll wrote a song entitled ‘United Breaks Guitars.’ After a trip with the airline, his $3,500 guitar was damaged and, frustrated with a lack of response and compensation, he took to social media. The song was posted on YouTube and went viral. Some 150,000 people viewed the video on the first day of posting and, as of September 2013, more than 13 million people had watched it. Shortly after the video was posted, United made contact with Carroll to try and resolve the issue. It is reported by Wikipedia that United has tried to learn from the incident and that the managing director of customer solutions at the time personally apologised and asked if the video could be used for internal training going forward. The intern effect In 2012, Tom Watson MP had to have a little word with his intern after she hijacked his account, which he’d left open while attending a meeting. Watson took back control of his account and tweeted a public apology. He also confirmed that the student intern, although in hot water over the matter, would not be sacked and could remain on her year-long placement. Credit: Credit: @ rickygervais Credit: Tom-Watsons-Twitter-account-hijacked-by-intern.html 13
  14. 14. Case Study: Frontier medical group Frontier Medical Group works smarter with IBM social software The need Frontier Medical Group (Frontier) wanted to improve efficiencies and collaboration between its development and sales divisions, in an effort to shorten time-to-market for new products. The solution Frontier is working with IBM Business Partner Codel Software to build a more collaborative business using IBM Connections – social software that supports smarter information sharing and integration. The benefits Improved project information visibility and team member efficiency, slashing product development cycles and driving greater innovation, which helps the company to stay one step ahead of competition. F rontier Medical Group (Frontier) is a leading manufacturer and supplier of medical products to healthcare providers in the UK, Europe and internationally. A large part of its business is focused on providing devices for the safe exchange and disposal of sharps objects, such as needles and syringes. Tackling development challenges As a medical device manufacturer, Frontier operates against a backdrop of strict regulatory guidelines and increasing cost sensitivity, as healthcare budgets continue to shrink. It must work harder than ever to ensure products are manufactured to exacting standards, meet customer requirements and offer optimum costeffectiveness. Faced with these pressures, Frontier looked for a way to boost efficiencies and strengthen collaboration between its product development and sales teams. If the company could streamline development cycles, it could get new products to market more quickly and cheaply, potentially securing a valuable edge over the competition. Dan Taylor, Product Designer at Frontier Medical Products, elaborates: “In the past, product development could be held up because people often weren’t clear about where they were in a given project. We were looking for a way to bring team members together, so they could have a centralised view of the latest project status, as well as a way to collaborate and share information more effectively.” opportunity to evaluate IBM Connections, it immediately recognised that the solution was a perfect fit for Frontier’s needs. Stephen Coombs, IT Manager at Frontier Medical Products, explains: “For us, IBM Connections offered the total package: it had the right look-and-feel, offered all the functionality we wanted, and had the added advantage of being web-based, so we could access it from mobile devices. This was a big plus as our sales teams spend a lot of time out in the field, and don’t always have access to a desktop computer.” Choosing IBM Connections Rolling out the solution In its search for a solution, Frontier reviewed collaboration software from a range of vendors, but found that none of the products fully matched what the business was looking for. When the company finally had the Frontier started by purchasing a small number of IBM Connections licenses for a pilot phase, testing the solution and seeing how it aligned with users’ ways of working. This pilot proved highly successful, and the 14
  15. 15. Case Study: Frontier medical group Solution components Software IBM® Connections IBM Business Partner Codel Software company moved ahead with a wider roll-out, first extending the solution to users in the product development department, then to other divisions, such as sales and marketing. “We felt that the best way to start bringing users on board with Connections was to immerse them in the solution as much as possible,” states Stephen Coombs. “We developed communities for specific projects, and added people to each community so they could get to grips with using the software and start participating and sharing information. As more and more users become familiar with the solution, and see first-hand the benefits that it can deliver, we expect Connections to really take off across the entire business.” Technical assistance from IBM Business Partner Codel Software helped to guarantee a smooth implementation. “We have been working with Codel Software for a long time, and have built up a solid partnership with their team over the years. Codel worked closely with us on the pilot deployment, and were always there to help put things right when we hit any bumps during the wider implementation.” Fostering greater collaboration IBM Connections allows Frontier to build better networks between project teams. It offers an integrated, secure platform for sharing information, discussing ideas, planning project tasks and working more collaboratively. “With IBM Connections it’s much easier to bring people together and develop ideas,” says Taylor. “For each project, we can create an online community, and set up features like blogs with the latest project status and forums for discussing new ideas and concepts. The image gallery is also really useful as it helps us to have a good visualisation of product designs. “All files get uploaded to a central location, so we no longer have multiple copies of documents spread across different computers. This is helping to cut down on storage space on our server, and there’s also no more hunting through emails or system folders to find the information we need, which is a big time-saver.” Accelerating development timelines Frontier expects IBM Connections to deliver a considerable boost to its product development processes by facilitating “In the past, it often happened that the sales team would only see products near  the end of the development cycle. If  they had suggestions about changing certain elements of a design, it meant that the development team would have to take a few steps back to make the modifications, which ended up lengthening our development cycles and time-to-market. With IBM Connections, sales staff are actively involved at every stage during the design process, and can give us constant feedback. This allows us to keep projects We believe that selecting IBM Connections represents a very secure investment for our business: it is helping us to work smarter and speed our time-to-market, so that we can stay one step ahead of the competition. more efficient communication between development and sales teams. “When it comes to developing new products, we rely a lot on input from our sales teams: at the end of the day, they are the ones who are interacting with customers and working to sell our products, so it’s crucial that we get their feedback on new designs,” explains Taylor. on track, and get better products out to market faster.” Secure information exchange In addition to bringing together the company’s internal departments, IBM Connections is helping Frontier to support more secure collaboration with 15 11
  16. 16. Case Study: Frontier medical group represents a very secure investment for our business: it is helping us to work smarter and speed our time-to-market, so that we can stay one step ahead of the competition.” About Codel Software Codel Software specialises in providing a portfolio of business solutions, bespoke software development, system integration and software support services that help improve clients’ business performance. As an IBM Business Partner, the Codel Software team has over thirty years’ experience delivering solutions based on IBM technologies. Its vision is to deliver continuous improvement through collaborative solutions. international partners. “We have a distribution partner based in Belgium, and work with them a lot on developing various products for the European market,” notes Taylor. “IBM Connections has delivered a real boost to our interaction with this team, giving everyone better visibility over projects and speeding up the design process. “ He adds: “Importantly, Connections helps us to keep information exchange highly secure by giving us complete control over which users can view different types of information. We can restrict different teams’ access to just the groups that they need, so there’s no risk of unauthorised users gaining access to sensitive data.” For more information To learn more about IBM social software solutions, contact your IBM sales representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit us at: ibm. com/software/lotus/products/ connections To learn more about products, services and solutions from Codel Software, visit: www.codelsoftware. com Meeting regulatory requirements The solution’s rich document management capabilities also provide Frontier with a solid audit trail for various regulatory bodies. The company undergoes regular external audits, aimed at ensuring that stringent guidelines are followed during the product design process. With full documentation of all stages of a project centrally available in IBM Connections, Frontier can easily prove that it is complying with regulations. Keeping an edge on market competition In the future, Frontier is planning to build on these successes by extending the mobile capabilities of the solution and issuing sales teams with iPads. These will be used to provide on-the-go access to Connections, so that sales teams can share new product concepts with customers on site. This will help the company to get valuable feedback from target users and better gauge consumer interest. Coombs concludes: “We are very pleased to see the momentum that IBM is building around mobile collaboration, and feel confident that its solutions will continue to be enhanced so that we can get great value out of them for many years to come. We believe that selecting IBM Connections © Copyright IBM Corporation 2013 IBM United Kingdom Limited PO Box 41, North Harbour Portsmouth Hampshire, PO6 3AU Produced in the United Kingdom May 2013 IBM, the IBM logo and are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at copytrade.shtml. IBM and Codel Software are separate companies and each is responsible for its own products. Neither IBM nor Codel Software makes any warranties, express or implied, concerning the other’s products. This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NONINFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided. The client is responsible for ensuring compliance with laws and regulations applicable to it. IBM does not provide legal advice or represent or warrant that its services or products will ensure that the client is in compliance with any law or regulation. Statements regarding IBM’s future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice, and represent goals and objectives only. 16
  17. 17. Frequently asked questions FAQs IBM’s social business and collaboration experts Jon Machtynger and Stuart McRae answer some of your questions around this important topic. Jon Machtynger is CTO of IBM collaboration solutions in the UK and Ireland. He’s been with IBM since 2002 and prior to that held a number of consultancy and engineering roles in the IT industry. Stuart McRae is executive collaboration evangelist at IBM. In his current role he advises organisations on the benefits of being a social business and the steps they need to take in order to get there. What does social business mean in real terms? JM: Social is an interesting term. It’s a piece of string – everyone has their own vision of social. For me, it’s the right level of people interaction with the right level of transparency. That means you can have a social interaction that is one to one, one to many or many to many. It’s really about embedding social capabilities into the way that you do business. Do you really need a Facebook page to be social? Not really - there are other tools, but it is like going to a well-known hotel. You go there because it has brand value, it’s understood there’s quality, and there are always rooms available. SM: Even though people think of it as something new, in the enterprise, there have been capabilities like this for the last 10 years or so. The bulletin board type thing some people could do in the 90s is now something everybody can do. They don’t have to get over a technical access or a learning hurdle. What are the key drivers behind this shift to social? JM: There’s a dimension of what we do in our work lives and what we do in our personal lives and different generations treat it differently. But each of them are very social – from a technical and personal perspective. But, if you take all the tools away, we’ve always been social. The tools bring more impact, more scale and a more real-time nature to those types of interactions. Marketing has seen the impact social can have in terms of getting a response from someone, but how do you convert that? Externally, businesses are using social to bridge that gap. Part of the remit of social is not about being sociable. It’s not about being warm and cuddly and doing things for the greater world good it’s fundamentally about doing something that serves you as a business and there are a number of people who will participate in that process. 17
  18. 18. Frequently asked questions SM: Drivers are always more powerful when they coincide with other drivers that push them in the same direction. It’s about the business not about the social. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. In business terms it’s about going to find more senior people and building relationships with them. That will be key to getting their attention and getting their help in future. Again, in some ways, social business is about doing that but just on an online basis. can work out what they want to use where, for example, collaboration cloud services here versus  monitoring cloud services there. It’s very much an evolution in the way that they conduct business and satisfy IT requirements than simply ticking the cloud box. Where do other technologies/trends such as cloud fit in? In the future, in business, we will be using social media in exactly the same way as we do the telephone today. That is, we won’t even think about it. We’ll just do it. It’s not about the medium anymore, it’s about the content. JM: Cloud gives users flexibility in architecture. It gives them commercial flexibility and the ability to reduce costs. But it’s also a very confusing area. So when a client says to us they want a cloud solution, it’s a great opportunity for us to have a conversation with them about what they mean by that. We can talk about what we’ve seen in other engagements so we’re very much walking into the discussion as peers as opposed to vendor and client. Then they SM: It’s not about  Facebook existing, it’s about the fact most people will update their statuses using mobile devices, the  fact tweets are short, and that there is a synergy between these JM: IBM’s role is to support the internal requirements of the ways in which people want to interact and the way they interact externally. And to do so in a way that fulfils what the business wants. We tend to do things in a very social way within IBM. We do a lot of sharing. It’s been a long cultural journey but it’s now second nature to all of us. SM: If I want to know something in IBM, someone out of those 400,000-plus people will be able to help me. It’s then entirely down two technologies. Cloud technologies and the freemium model for delivering services across the internet had to happen at the same time as this mass adoption of a business model people get into very quickly and are willing to pay for later. to my ability to drive the social systems so I can find that person. They’re probably open to listening and if they’re not I can find someone who has a good relationship with them I know who can step in and I can get to them that way. How is IBM as an organisation harnessing the power of social? What are your predictions for the future when it comes to social business? JM: It’s not a race. The difficulty is many organisations are under pressure to deliver on a quarterly basis so it might seem like a race. Social highlights the complete unpredictability of individuals. But that’s part of the benefit too. Because things are so unpredictable, because they’re unplanned, sometimes people can surprise you amazingly by delivering incredible bits of innovation or sharing. Or just by reducing costs like you could never have imagined before. But the fact it wasn’t part of a plan means no one could put a process around it and constrain its success. SM: In the future, in business, we will be using social media in exactly the same way as we do the telephone today. That is, we won’t even think about it. We’ll just do it. It’s not  about the medium anymore, it’s about the content. 18
  19. 19. Further reading For fu inform rther ation, v isit: .c Further reading We’ve rounded up some useful resources and further reading we hope you will find helpful as you strive to become a more social business. om/sma rterplan en/socia et/uk/ lbusiness /overvie w/ To view I busines BM’s social s video www.yo s visit: m/use r/IBMSo ci alBiz Follow IBM so cial bu siness on Twit ter: www . twitter. com/ IBMSoci alBiz Assess the benefits of being a social business IBM empowers firms with new social business tools Becoming a social business Social business in action IBM demonstrates social leadership The advent of the social business 19