IBM has taken the wraps off two new software suites for helping corporate clients transform the digital experiences they deliver for workers, customers and consumers across a wide range of mobile devices and social networking platforms.
For example, the IBM Intranet Experience Suite is designed to give the chief information officer (CIO) at large enterprises the ability to aggregate company data and analytics with personalized content and social media. The new platform "pulls together company information and data, personalized content and news, and social media and analytics, enabling employees to connect, collaborate and access information at anytime, from anywhere," said Todd Watson, the e-relationship manager for IBM's software business.
By contrast, the new IBM Customer Experience Suite is designed to give the chief marketing officer (CMO) the ability to manage and integrate all types of data on their Web sites and then analyze it to obtain deeper insight into buying patterns and sentiment.
"Given the business realignment between marketing and technology, the CMO and CIO can no longer afford to operate on separate stages," Watson wrote in a recent blog post. "To succeed, they'll have to forge a shared agenda to deliver business results through innovation and efficiency, working together to streamline their technology needs."
Single View CMO Access
With the new IBM Customer Experience Suite, Big Blue is aiming to attract a share of the growing investments that companies are making in their e-marketing efforts. According to research firm Gartner, large marketing budgets will rise 7 percent to 8 percent this year -- a rate that is two to three times higher than projected for IT budgets.
The problem is that CMOs currently lack the skills to take advantage of rising mobile device and social networking opportunities. "Executives are faced with the challenge of taking 'social' more seriously -- not as 'just another channel,' but as a whole new way of doing business," said Gartner VP Ed Thompson.
According to a recent IBM CMO Study, 79 percent of CMOs expect high levels of complexity in their job over the next five years. However, only 48 percent of the CMOs responding to the survey felt prepared to deal with it.
IBM Customer Experience Suite aims to make it easier for CMOs to cope with the rising tide of customer data by aggregating Big Blue's enterprise portal, Web content management, forms, and enterprise social networking software into a single view. From there, CMOs have access to requisite software tools for recognizing, monitoring and understanding various social conversation threads, as well as interacting one-on-one with individual customers.
"It's critical for CMOs to not only be aware of and monitor the social conversation, but to truly understand the sentiment and interact one-on-one with that customer," IBM's Watson said. "Taking it one step further would be to integrate these conversations directly into the organization's Web site, providing one place to both network and shop."
In-House Social Networking
IDC research-firm analysts noted last year that the internal use of social networking tools can increase employee productivity as much as 30 percent.
With this type of productivity increase in mind, IBM says its new Intranet Experience Suite will help push the corporate intranet to a broad range of mobile devices, facilitating employee collaboration and information sharing.
Watson explained the new Intranet software helps bring the power of social media and analytics capabilities to CIOs, as well as line-of-business managers and employees. These capabilities, in turn, can help organizations improve internal operations and employee communication.
Beyond facilitating mobile access and internal social networking, IBM's new intranet platform provides corporate workers with access to information from a variety of sources, including external and internal news feeds. And, for managers overseeing the human resources (HR) department, the new platform also offers tools to help employees engage across networks and different business units.