The company said in a statement that the social software offerings would help companies gain deeper insights into big data generated through the use of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
Following its US $1.3B acquisition of the employment and retentions solution company Kenexa in December 2012, IBM also 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 company said it was also introducing the next version of its social networking platform - the IBM Connections. The new, 4.5 version would further enable users to access and analyse big data from inside and outside the organization, including Facebook, Twitter, audio and video.
According to IBM, leading organisations including 61 per cent of the Fortune 100 were licensed to use IBM's social business technologies to transform their front office business operations. This included connecting employees globally to empower faster decision making and analysing big data from sources such as Twitter, Facebook, blogs and public forums. According to a recent IBM CEO study, 70 per cent of companies surveyed cited human capital as the single biggest contributor to sustained economic value.
At the same time, social media and predictive analytics had emerged as ``indispensable tools’’ for CMOs, who were using technology to make the customer experience more intelligent, intuitive and individualized. According to the IBM CMO study, 82 per cent of CMOs said they planned to increase their use of social media over the next three-to-five years to communicate with their clients.
Some of the features of IBM's new software and cloud-based services are:
- A new Web-based social networking environment that provides HR leaders with a better way to recruit and on-board new employees, while giving employees access to digital media and data in real-time, enabling faster decision making.
- Software to help marketing teams design sophisticated advertising campaigns and quickly publish those campaigns to leading social networks, resulting in a consistent customer experience through every online channel.
- The next release of IBM's industry-leading social networking platform will further enable users to access and analyse big data from inside and outside the organization, including Facebook, Twitter, audio and video.
Already in beta, IBM is also announcing its plans to release the industry's first truly social email 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, the company claimed.
The IBM Employee Experience Suite would help HR leaders attract, empower and motivate talent to address skill and resource gaps while enabling their workforce to deliver better results for their clients. The Suite intends to integrate with Kenexa's Applicant Tracking System allowing HR leaders to more swiftly educate existing employees and identify prospective talent. HR leaders will be able to set up a recruiting site, use it to on-board employees, present training options, administer surveys to employees and manage performance.
IBM Connections 4.5 will be available from March 2013 and will include embedded document management capabilities so that members of a network can access, analyse and act on wide ranges of data types in the context of their work to improve decision-making and business results. IBM Connections' Content Manager Feature will allow teams and communities to harness an organization’s collective intelligence to solve business problems, increase productivity, and drive profit.
The product’s clients will have access to new social features in the cloud, including blogging and ideation in Communities and access to information. In addition, IBM Connections will include enhanced integration of social capabilities in the Microsoft Outlook client, allowing users to access their social data such as profiles, files, and communities directly in Microsoft Outlook.
The company also announced that it expects to ship IBM Notes and Domino Social Edition 9 in March 2013. IBM Notes and Domino 9 will be the industry's first truly social email client and delivers a social experience to users, whether using a browser or on the broadest range of mobile devices. IBM Notes and Domino are used by more than half of the Fortune 500.
IBM mobile capabilities manage and support a variety of platforms, including Apple (iOS 6), Android, Microsoft Windows operating system, including Windows and Blackberry smartphones (including BlackBerry 10).
[Image Credits: IBM]