IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced continuing momentum for its social business offerings with clients around the world ushering in the next era of collaboration with IBM Verse and Connections. IBM also announced expanded capabilities in its collaboration portfolio with new innovations that make it easier for clients to gain and share business insights across teams.
Social networks are fostering innovation by increasing collaboration across the enterprise, with one IBM survey showing that 64 percent of CIO respondents intend to invest in internal collaboration, social networking and cloud through 20191. As more organizations deploy collaboration tools such as Verse and Connections, businesses can gain greater visibility into sentiment, activities and behaviors. By infusing cognitive technology into these systems, IBM is helping clients listen to, reason and learn from data in new ways.
For example, Lufthansa Group, the largest airline in Europe, recently migrated from Jive to IBM Connections to offer employees a more streamlined and intelligent way to work together. IBM helped Lufthansa Group migrate more than 120,000 users onto Connections in less than a year, and since the migration, Lufthansa has been able to offer new services to customers while improving collaboration, trust and productivity within the organization.
“Previously, our collaboration capabilities often forced us to think and work in the in-box – with one-directional communication streams and knowledge that remains in the minds, on hard drives and in e-mails”, said Heike Griess-Nega, Head of Collaboration Platforms, Corporate IT, Deutsche Lufthansa AG. “IBM Connections is helping us now to break open these boxes and to exchange ideas across borders and time zones.”
IBM collaboration tools are also helping rural farmers in East Africa by increasing transparency into pricing and inventory. Working with IBM Business Partner WebGate, TruTrade – a joint venture between African trading businesses, Rural African Ventures Investments and Self Help Africa – developed the myLLL platform on IBM Domino hosted on the IBM Cloud.
The new IBM solution helps rural entrepreneurs communicate with each other across geographically dispersed areas, workout business deals, track mobile payments and the opportunity to increase smallholder farmer incomes. As a result, smallholder farmers are able to gain new insights into pricing and inventory in ways that weren’t possible before; facilitating collaboration, driving sales and transforming life for smallholder farmers across the region.
Flex Contact Center, a professional services and tele-sales company, recently deployed IBM Connections Cloud to their internal community known as Conectados, to reduce reliance on email, eliminate the need for costly infrastructure investments, and give employees faster access to client data. After realizing a 25 percent increase in employee productivity driven through cloud-based collaboration, the company opted for a similar approach to social business for email, and is now rolling out IBM Verse to 11,000 employees worldwide.
Calidad Pascual, a Madrid-based dairy company with more than 2,300 employees, deployed IBM Connections to gather input on inventory management and immediately received more than 600 suggestions from employees offering ideas focused on improving staff efficiency and cost reductions. The company also moved competitor analysis and product development into Connections’ cross-collaboration communities, and in doing so, has been able to gather new data on client projects that was not available before. Using IBM Connections has allowed Calidad Pascual to improve the collaboration and communication between employees in different projects, simplify processes, reduce time to market for new products and improve productivity.
“Few things are worse for a company’s profitability than having its staff’s energy hindered by an outdated collaboration tool set,” said Jeff Schick, General Manager Enterprise Social Solutions, IBM Corporation. “Lufthansa, TruTrade, Calidad Pascual and Flex Contact Center have avoided this trap by recognizing the benefits of a social business. With IBM social business tools, our clients are able to harness the value of their employee’s collective knowledge and use it to innovate from within their enterprise.”