On Monday, IBM announced new software and cloud-based services that aim to help business leaders -- specifically chief marketing officers and chief human resource officers -- push social business technology deeper into the enterprise. IBM said its new social software offerings would help companies gain deeper insights into Big Data generated via social networks.
IBM notes that 61 percent of the Fortune 100 are already licensed to use IBM's social business technologies. These technologies connect employees globally and analyze Big Data from sources such as Twitter, Facebook, blogs and public forums. The goal is to help enterprises react swiftly to customer trends and stay ahead of the competition.
According to Forrester, organizations that apply analytics to their for competitive advantage are more likely to substantially outperform their industry peers. Forrester has identified social business as an emerging business category, with the social technology industry growing to $6.4 billion by 2016.
What's more, according to a recent IBM CEO study, 70 percent of companies surveyed cited human capital as the single biggest contributor to sustained economic value. And at the same time, social media and predictive analytics have emerged as valuable tools for chief marketing officers. A survey of CMOs by IBM found that 82 percent planned to increase their use of social media over the next three to five years to communicate with their clients.
Sweeping Social Software Releases
"Social business has transitioned from being an emerging idea to a fundamental platform that clients everywhere are using to change the way they empower their employees and engage their customers," said Alistair Rennie, general manager of Social Business at IBM.
IBM's new software and cloud-based services include a new Web-based social networking environment that offers human resources leaders a way to recruit and bring on board new employees, while giving employees access to digital media and data in real time to enable faster decision making.
IBM also announced software to help marketing teams design sophisticated advertising campaigns and quickly publish those campaigns to popular social networks. The anticipated result: a consistent customer experience through every online channel. The next release of IBM's industry-leading social networking platform promises to help users access and analyze Big Data from inside and outside the organization, including Facebook, Twitter, audio and video, more efficiently.
Already in beta, IBM is also announcing its plans to release what it calls the industry's first truly social e-mail client incorporating file sharing, activity streams and a simplified user interface. This will be the first major release of Notes and Domino in five years.
Kenexa Acquisition Fruit
Following its $1.3-billion acquisition of Kenexa in December 2012, IBM announced a new Web-based social networking environment that is expected to integrate IBM's industry-leading enterprise social networking platform with Kenexa's recruiting, on-boarding, learning and performance management solutions.
The IBM Employee Experience Suite will work to help HR leaders attract, empower and motivate talent to address skill and resource gaps while empowering the workforce to deliver better results for their clients. For example, IBM said, employees can use social networking, e-meeting and instant-messaging capabilities to access applications and interactive rich media such as videos, resulting in improved collaboration and greater teaming across globally distributed teams.
"The combination of Kenexa and IBM shows great promise to change how HR attracts, retains and trains talent," said Ross Grossman, vice president of human resources at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. "In biotechnology, competition for top talent is fierce. We're excited about the potential to better attract talented people who fit our company culture and can really impact our business performance."