IBM drives social business in the cloud

IBM builds on growing client and partner momentum for social business in the cloud.

IBM has announced strong momentum for its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) based social business offerings from partners, clients and developers. As part of today’s news, IBM is also highlighting its continued investment with new innovations in its social business and cloud technologies.

According to a recent IBM study of more than 800 business decision makers worldwide, organisations that use software delivered as a service through the cloud (SaaS) reported two and a half times higher profit than their peers. In addition, organisations that adopt cloud-based solutions are 79 percent more likely to drive increased collaboration across their organization, and twice as likely to leverage analytics to unlock greater insight about their business.

A growing list of businesses such as Codorniu, Princess Cruise Lines, SIKA, SafeGuard, Shanks and Verisure have taken their business into the cloud, extending the benefits to millions of users around the globe.

“We’ve seen amazing demand over the past year as clients adopt and partners extend the capabilities we’ve been delivering through the cloud,” said Jeff Schick, Vice President of Social Software, IBM. “Over this period, we have spurred new innovation by integrating social capabilities into an organization’s business processes. This has been made possible through our open and extensible APIs that have let us unleash the power of cloud and help organisations collaborate and increase workforce productivity.”

Connections in the Cloud and Next Generation Web Mail Experience
IBM today announced the rebranding of its mail, chat, meetings, office productivity and content capabilities, making them part of IBM’s Connections brand in 2014. As part of this effort, IBM plans to expand the Connections portfolio to include high-fidelity, high definition video based on its Sametime 9 technology.

In addition, IBM is also announcing its next generation web mail experience. In the age of information overload, workers must be able to quickly access and effectively manage the information most vital to their job, much of which resides in their inbox. This new mail offering, planned for availability in both the cloud and on-premises, will use analytics to deliver powerful task-level focus and inbox management capabilities that let employees easily track the content and messages needed to do their job.

“IBM’s new web mail experience is very intuitive and integrated with key social business capabilities. This will help our people be more efficient in prioritising and managing daily work, including tracking requests and follow-ups in a powerful yet simple experience,” said Berry van der Schans, Information and Communication Technology Manager for Shanks Group Plc.

IBM also plans to introduce Domino Applications in the cloud through a ready-made Platform as a Service offering built on IBM SoftLayer. As a result, customers will be able to build on the investments they have made in custom applications and enhance them with new mobile options. Partners will also have a faster path for bringing their new Domino applications to cloud and getting them to market more quickly.

Growing Ecosystem Drives Demand for a New Social Business Software
IBM is teaming with business partner Parallels to integrate with their innovative cloud automation platform, making it easier for partners that distribute IBM products to assemble and sell unique cloud offerings. For example, a telecommunications company can use IBM’s new plug-in to easily combine and provision its cloud offerings from IBM and other Parallels-ready vendors, such as Sugar CRM. This streamlines the business process of delivering cloud services through a reseller channel.

IBM is also introducing a new certified set of global partners that provide on-boarding services that make it easier than ever for clients to deploy their mail to the cloud.

Furthermore, IBM’s independent software provider (ISV) partner ecosystem continues to grow. To date, hundreds of unique Connections-based applications have been developed using APIs from the IBM Social Business Toolkit. For example ISVs, such as AppFusions, Flow, HootSuite and Kaltura and Shoutlet have built entirely new applications on the IBM Connections platform — both in the cloud and on premises.

HootSuite, for example, created a new social application integrating IBM Connections capabilities and content into the HootSuite dashboard. This allows data from corporate social networks to be viewed alongside social media data from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other networks so employees can be even more empowered, connected, and informed.

The Social Software Leader
In 2013 IBM was named the number one provider of enterprise social software for the fourth consecutive year by IDC1.. In addition Forrester Research recognized IBM as a leader in file sync and share platforms according to the July 2013 report, The Forrester Wave™: File Sync And Share Platforms, Q3 2013*. Today 75 percent of the Fortune 100 have IBM enterprise social software.

For information about IBM’s social business initiatives, please visit or follow #IBMSocialBiz and #IBMConnect on Twitter.

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Andrew McLean is the Studio Director at Disruptive Live, a Compare the Cloud brand. He is an experienced leader in the technology industry, with a background in delivering innovative & engaging live events. Andrew has a wealth of experience in producing engaging content, from live shows and webinars to roundtables and panel discussions. He has a passion for helping businesses understand the latest trends and technologies, and how they can be applied to drive growth and innovation.

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