What are the benefits of becoming a social business?

In most of the visits I do with companies on social, the big question I get asked is what is the benefit of becoming a social business? 

Here are a few great benefits that I see:

  • Stronger employee engagement.   Stronger employee engagement leads to great client engagement.  In a social business, employees are smarter, more loyal, and engaged because their organization uses social networks, collaboration systems and shared messaging services. 
  • Great talent in and around!  A "social" approach enables employees around the world to tap into each other’s expertise and connections. Companies can attract top talent and give employees the social tools they need to work together. Executives can layer analytics on top of social technologies to make sure their companies have the right skills and expertise to meet market demands.
  • Exceptional client service.  A social business is also one where customer service is exceptional because the company reaches out to customers through social networks, Twitter and blogs in innovative ways and acts on the insights it pulls together about consumers.   That way, customer service teams have the insights and the analytics they need to predict and resolve problems before they happen.
  • Personalized.   Value in a Social Business is created not for 'market segments' or demographics but for individuals.  Companies can dish up more targeted offers to customers and respond more quickly to their problems. R&D can gain new sources of inspirations and insight from customers and employees so that the products customers want are the ones that get to market ... customized to their particular need, even made to order!

What are your thoughts on the value you see in Social?

Video blog from Social Business Coffee Break Series! Social Selling!

Happy Monday!

Today in our Social Business Coffee Break series we will focus in on the value of using social in your sales process.

I'd love your thoughts as well!

Clash of Civilizations - email in a Social World!

Global E-mail Patterns Reveal “Clash of Civilizations”

The global pattern of e-mail communication reflects the cultural fault lines of thought to determine future conflict, say computational social scientists.

Researchers analyzed a global database of e-mail messages, and their locations, sent by  more than 10 million people over the space of a year. The results suggest that the pattern of connections between these people, clearly reflects the host civilizations. In other words, the way we send e-mails is a reflection of the mesh of civilizations that is an important driver of future conflict.

Social Business Governance: Relationship over Rules

I have been meeting with a lot of clients and see a lot of discussion around governance and structure required.   In a survey done in 1Q 2013, we see 2.7X the focus on developing social business governance. 
Because there is no natural organizational owner of “social,” an effective governance structure must balance  responsiveness and inclusiveness. 

Being inclusive means engaging stakeholders early and broadly to build shared understandings and expectations.  Responsiveness provides for clear accountability and speed in decision making.  The  challenge is to build governance structures and processes that accomplish both.

Having a relationship with your employees not just rules makes a huge difference in how successful you are!

Achieving the transformative value of becoming a Social Business involves connecting all parts of the organization (including channels, partners and customers) in new ways.  It often requires quite new ways of managing people, flatter organizations, and significant cultural change.  While becoming social provides individual flexibility, it’s important that the change achieves the unifying value for the company  of the new goals and culture. 

A strong governance program facilitates coordinated change.  The governance is led by two complementary leadership groups who’s members include the major “organizational structures” (e.g., LOBs, Finance, Supply Chain, HR, Channel Management,  …). 

The first, the Executive Sponsor Group, defines the strategic linkage and goals   of becoming a social business.  Members are leaders across the organization.  The second is a Digital Council.  These are executives who are responsible for the organization-wide, execution creation of the Social Business plan.  The representatives are often the social business leaders in their respective LOBs and functional areas, which ensures focus on the vertical and horizontal needs.


The Digital Council focuses on the key areas of a social program:

  • Community Management – Provides a common approach to drive change and adoption at and across the LOB and functional level.  It includes actions like community management, Content Management, community analytics, and best practices.  While the focus is value at the  LOB / functional level, the governance processes has a Center of Excellent that shares best practices to create a common social voice and approach across and outside the organization. 
  • Metrics and Measurement -  Covers all elements of data and measurement.  Starts with analytics / listening to guide the where and how to engage socially.  This includes internal analytics of social networks, expertise, and projects, as well as the external listening and analytics.  This group also is responsible for creating and automating the overall program measurements to track success, progress on the plan, and social return.
  • Reputation and Risk Management – Focuses on 3 main areas:  1. regulatory risk and compliance(if relevant),  social record retention for general discovery, and other legal and financial risks;    2. policies, guidelines and processes for the organization and associates to participate in social media (for example, IBM’s Social Computing Guidelines); and    3. proactively managing the organization’s reputation and having a defined plan to respond to various levels of negative media or emergencies.
  • Standards – This group focuses on process and technical standards for a social business.  While LOBs, major business functions, etc. require the freedom to build their social programs tailored to their needs, the Standards group ensures that the overall company can be nimble in connecting across boundaries in ways not always anticipated.  Standards for brand and ways of connecting with partners, channels, clients, etc. ensure that the company is viewed as coordinated and focused on needs vs. a “collection of parts.”   On the technical side, a common social business framework enables the new ways of working.




Big Data & Social Analytics are a powerful multiplier in predicting & preventing acts of violence

In the US, we have experienced some acts of violence. As President Obama stated shortly after a recent tragedy, “We won’t be able to stop every violent act, but if there is even one thing that we can do to prevent any of these events, we have a deep obligation, all of us, to try.”

What if there was a new emerging technology that has proven that some of these violent acts can be detected and prevented before they occur? 

Over the past eight weeks, several violent acts on school campuses throughout the United States & Canada have been successfully stopped through the use of “Social-Network-Intelligence-Policing”.  For example, last week at City University New York in Staten Island, a student was arrested after threatening to shoot and kill students at the CUNY campus in Brooklyn, New York.[i]  No students or faculty were injured.  On February 8th, 2013 in Kerns, Utah a high school student was arrested after he threatened to blow up his high school.  School police checking out the threat found a photo of explosives and put the school on lock down.[ii]  No students or faculty were injured.  On February 5th, 2013 in Murrieta, California a high school student threatened to kill his teacher.  The student was arrested before he could carry out his planned attack.[iii]

Research data shows that individuals, or groups of individuals who plan to conduct violent acts, most likely will post their intentions or a manifesto on public (non-private) social network sites just prior (8 – 72 hours) to initiating these violent acts or attacks. A small window of time exists where law enforcement and school faculty can legally monitor, detect and interdict these events before they occur.

In all three of these recent cases, the GEOCOP System (www.geocop.com) alerted law enforcement or school faculty to these emerging violent acts before they occurred.  GEOCOP stands for Geospatial-Common-Operations-Picture and it fuses social network monitoring and analytics services with geospatial data to give law enforcement predictive insights into emerging threats and events.

The recent emergence of “Big Social Network Data Monitoring, Analytics and Collaboration” technologies provide law enforcement and government agencies a powerful and legal force multiplier in predicting and preventing acts of violence on our school campuses.  Several State Police agencies across the United States use this system.  The GEOCOP system is another fantastic example where innovation and enterprise social network technologies are making a real difference in protecting our children and school campuses.

[i] http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/cuny_slay_threats_nZzeA3eQZCSORE3tZuKdBL?utm_medium=rss&utm_content=%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20Local

[ii] http://www.nbc11news.com/news/nationalnews/headlines/Police-Student-to-face-felony-for-Twitter-threat-190389291.html

[iii] http://murrieta.patch.com/articles/student-arrested-for-alleged-online-threat-against-vista-murrieta-high-schoolteacher#comments_list

Note – The GEOCOP Solution is owned by Global Technologies Solutions (GTS Corporation) and is exclusively sold by HMS TECHNOLOGIES CORP.  The GEOCOP and TACTrend Solutions are built on IBM’s Social Business Software Technologies which include WebSphere Portal, SameTime, IBM Connections and IBM Analytics Technologies.



[1] http://www.nbc11news.com/news/nationalnews/headlines/Police-Student-to-face-felony-for-Twitter-threat-190389291.html

[1] http://murrieta.patch.com/articles/student-arrested-for-alleged-online-threat-against-vista-murrieta-high-schoolteacher#comments_list

Note – The GEOCOP Solution is owned by Global Technologies Solutions (GTS Corporation) and is exclusively sold by HMS TECHNOLOGIES CORP.  The GEOCOP and TACTrend Solutions are built on IBM’s Social Business Software Technologies which include WebSphere Portal, SameTime, IBM Connections and IBM Analytics Technologies.

Social Mail is here! #socbiz #ibmsocialbiz

Woo Hoo!

I am tingling as I use our new Notes 9 Social edition!  Not because it is a next release of Notes, but because it is an amazing Social tool!  It is Social Mail -- here today!

Some people think e-mail has always been social, and others say email and social are like oil and water.

I think it's a mix!   And that's why I love it!  My husband says I like my cake and eat it too!  So with Social Mail I can do both -- have mail and social!

Social mail is the seamless integration of everything -- all your collaboration tools -- where and when you want them. Often, that's alongside your inbox.

And I mean everything.  All the new & cool social stuff like Profiles, communities, file sharing, real time audio and video communications, presence and more, all right there.  And I mean your desktop applications; your public social networks; your Tweets; and your other business applications.  All together. No switching, stopping, or waiting.

But social mail is is also about the integration of messaging into those other applications-- shouldn't my desire to communicate be freed from the boundaries of a traditional email client application?  Social mail is about having access any time & anywhere -- on my PC, my phone, my tablet, on my desktop, and even in the cloud.

Social mail lets me focus on my idea or the business problem I need to solve.  Ultimately, a social mail experience is about empowering people to collaborate seamlessly and in context, so you forget about managing email and just get work done.

IBM @ #SXSW!! Join us! #socbiz #ibmsocialbiz #ibmconnect

South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, TX, starts on Friday, March 8! If you’re not familiar with this event, or if you want to test your trivia knowledge, then check out this interesting infographic from Rocksauce Studios, which Guy Kawasaki shared earlier this week.

There are so many exciting sessions and speakers that it’s hard to choose which to attend. Even if you’re not attending SXSW, you can follow along on Twitter by searching #sxsw. You’ll be able to join the conversation and share what you see with your followers.

One session that looks incredible is Tina Roth Eisenberg’s keynote on March 10. She’ll be talking about social’s impact on design.

As the mother of a tween daughter, two other sessions have caught me eye:

Digital Drama: Growing Up in the Age of Facebook With Bill Keller, Danah Boyd, Emily Bazelon and Jason Rzekpa.

Is Women’s Media Too Girly? With Anna Holmes, Deborah Schoeneman, Margaret Johnson, Rebecca Fernandez

IBM will be involved in several SXSW speaking sessions:

I Know Where You're Going: Location as Biometric With Jeff Jonas, IBM Fellow & Chief Scientist, and Jennifer Lynch from Electronic Frontier Foundation

The Large Enterprise of Social Media - Meet Up Hosted by Noah Kuttler, Market Segment Manager, IBM Enterprise Content Management

Mentor Session With Rawn Shah, Social Business Strategist, IBM

Engaging Government for Fun, Profit & Meaning With Gadi Ben-Yehuda, Innovation & Social Media Director – IBM Center for the Business of Government, Amanda Eamich from USDA, Mary Krakowiak from National Archives & Records Administration,  and Tammi Marcoullier from US General Services Administration

Making Accessible Transportation Modern & Cool

With  Bill Curtis Davidson, Accessible Transportation Solutions & Business Development Lead, IBM , James Pol from US DOT, Kamiar Kordari from TRX Systems, and Mohammed Yousuf from DOT.

I will be participating on a panel that is not on the SXSW schedule but will be fun and informative:

Just Add Followers – The Key Ingredient to Telling Your Brand Story and Getting Results

- Panel Discussion with Shoutlet, Bare Escentuals & IBM, Moderated by TechCrunch       

Gone are the days when brands used a brochure or static website to tell their story. Today, social media provides a platform where brands can communicate their story through the way they engage and interact with followers. And often, those interactions shape the brand in new ways, too. Join TechCrunch, IBM, Bare Escentuals and Shoutlet as we take a look at social storytelling and provide practical tips and tools for the job. You’ll hear a robust discussion on how to effectively manage online communities, listen to fans and impact buyer behaviors and preferences. More details here.

When:             Saturday, March 9 from 2:00 - 4:30 pm

Where:            Lambert's Downtown BBQ

IBM is planning an extensive presence at SXSW. Please stop by and say hello!

Mix at 6 Happy Hour

Date:               Saturday, March 9, 6-8pm

Location:        Haven Bar

5th Annual SXSW Interactive Accelerator

Date:               Monday, March 11 and Tuesday, March 12

Location:        Hilton Austin

What: New technologies and start ups presented at SXSW. IBM is sponsoring Social Technologies track

SXSW Trade Show

Date:               Sunday, March 10 through Wednesday, March 13

Location:        Austin Convention Center, Exhibit Halls 3 & 4

What: IBM booth will showcase solutions for Social Business, the Mobile Enterprise, Digital Marketing & Analytics, and Global Entrepreneurs

Last but not least, the famous Grumpy Cat from Twitter and Facebook will be doing meet & greets and “signing” autographs. That’s just the type of event that you expect at SXSW!

See you in Austin!   Sandy