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IBM Launches New Software and Social Business Consulting Services


ARMONK, N.Y. - 08 Nov 2010: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced new software and services to help organizations improve business performance in an increasingly connected global environment. The new enterprise social software delivers advanced analytics capabilities that helps users gain access to information and people on the fly to accelerate collaboration and be more effective in their jobs.    

Increasingly, an organization's brand is experienced through its people, leading to a significant increase in customer demand for social networking capabilities in business.  IBM is responding to this market opportunity by launching a new Global Business Services initiative to help companies understand how social networking is being used today and how it can best fit into their business.

IBM Lotus Connections 3.0

IBM Lotus Connections 3.0 provides tools such as communities, forums, wikis and blogs and new capabilities like advanced social analytics, enabling users to expand their network with recommendations of people to connect with based on prior connections and similar interests.

A transformation is taking place as a new generation of social media savvy workers are emerging. In fact, according to the 2010 IBM Chief Human Resource Officer Study, financially outperforming organizations are 57 percent more likely to allow their employees to use social and collaborative tools. However, fewer than 23 percent of employees use social networking or collaborative technologies to preserve critical knowledge, while just over a quarter use those tools to spread innovation throughout their organizations.

To help organizations transform into social businesses, IBM today is unveiling IBM Lotus Connections 3.0, the first social networking platform with advanced analytics capabilities that helps people gain faster insight and access to relevant information for improved productivity.  The new software helps users more easily connect, create global communities, and find information and resources.

"Social business helps organizations transform the way they work by connecting people and accelerating decision-making," said Alistair Rennie, general manager, collaboration and social software, IBM. "IBM is at the forefront of enabling social business, and driving a new generation of organizational productivity, with a secure and compliant social collaboration platform."

New Software and Services Help Cultivate Relationships for Today's Social Business

IBM was first to market with a social networking platform for business, and is responding to the changing needs of today's organizations as they continue to shift towards a more social form of collaboration. Social collaboration is the new mode of working that helps people deepen relationships, generate new ideas faster and be more effective overall through the use of social software.

New IBM services will draw from experts in IBM's Strategy and Transformation consulting practice and the company's deep understanding of vertical industries and people management issues to help companies understand how social software can be used within an organization and to identify a roadmap to systematically embed social business tools throughout their organization.

IBM's services offerings will use IBM's social collaboration platform to help clients in all industries achieve greater utilization of social software capabilities for actionable outcomes and return on investment. The social business services offerings include:

The next version of IBM's industry-leading social collaboration platform, including IBM Lotus Connections 3.0, provides tools such as communities, forums, wikis and blogs to help users discuss and refine ideas.  With new capabilities like advanced social analytics, users can expand their network with recommendations of people to connect with based on prior connections and similar interests. Lotus Connections users are also given recommendations of content they would be interested in based on their actions -- for example, if they commented on a specific blog or tagged a Web site. The new software allows users to discover people and content in a network, helping users to build broad, powerful networks to reach new resources and experts, especially those that a user did not know previously.  These advanced analytics capabilities were born out of IBM's social software Research lab in Haifa, Israel.

In addition, expanded mobile support allows users to access their Lotus Connections home page, bookmarks, communities, forums, files and wikis all from their Apple iPad or iPhone, Android or Nokia S60 devices. In addition, LotusLive Connections, the cloud-based version of Lotus Connections, can help advance an organizations' ability to collaborate both inside and outside their enterprise.

Organizations Worldwide Embrace the Power of Networks with Lotus Connections

As part of today's news, industry-leading organizations worldwide are using Lotus Connections 3.0 to collaborate, share knowledge and discover experts including Bayer MaterialScience, CEMEX and global technology consultancy Sogeti.

Bayer MaterialScience, a Bayer Group company headquartered in Germany and a manufacturer of high-tech polymer materials, is using Lotus Connections to significantly improve the way employees communicate, collaborate and process information globally. With Lotus Connections, Bayer employees can more readily find experts that specialize in specific areas of the business, and can easily collaborate on projects with coworkers that are located at different areas of the globe.

"The power of Connections is that the knowledge sharing process is totally embedded in the tool," said Kurt De Ruwe, chief information officer at Bayer MaterialScience . "When a person adds a piece of information, it is automatically linked to other information available in communities, wikis or blogs. Connections 3.0 has increased these capabilities even more so. You can now see what areas of interest you have in common with other people, what communities you share, and what people and information topics you are following. Connections 3.0 comes with other enhancements that empower users to share and find relevant information even better."

CEMEX, one of the top building material companies in the world, has embraced social software from IBM to help them move towards a new culture of innovation through global collaboration. CEMEX has empowered every employee to connect with colleagues, share ideas and make live interactions a part of their daily work.   With Lotus Connections, called Shift,  employees can "follow" other contractors and colleagues in the network based on areas of interest in order to collaborate with them more easily and efficiently to reach goals more quickly. Shift has enabled meaningful collaboration among employees worldwide, and has earned CEMEX a prestigious social media award. This year's Forrester Groundswell Awards recognized Shift as the worldwide leader in employee collaboration less than one year after inception.

"The rapid viral spread of our employees interest and adoption of Lotus Connections, which we call Shift internally, has been a huge success," said Sergio J. Escobedo, Innovation Director, CEMEX. "What started with a few hundred users in April of this year grew to 17,500 today. But, it's not the numbers that defines this success. We see a marked increase in blogs, and blog comments, as well as in the creation of more than 350 communities to bring people with common interests and goals together. Now, that's the power of social networking."

Sogeti, one of the world's leading providers of professional technology services with 20,000 experts located in 15 countries worldwide, is using Lotus Connections to connect all employees across fields and borders. Lotus Connections provides Sogeti experts with personalized recommendations that help make connections with those that share similar interests and encourages them to participate more broadly across organizational boundaries.

"With Lotus Connections as a social collaboration platform, we have a global tool to connect our thousands of employees in all of the countries where we work," said Michiel Boreel, CTO of the Sogeti Group. "We're excited about Lotus Connections 3.0 as it provides us with enhanced functionality. With the newest application, Forums, we foster innovation and the enhanced document management functionality will increase usability."  

For more information on IBM Lotus Connections, please visit www.ibm.com/software/lotus/products/connections.

Contact(s) information

Hanna Smigala
IBM Media Relations
914-766-1353
smigala@us.ibm.com

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