This is another in a series of my notes on Lotusphere 2011. I am very pleased to be back after ten years. The Wednesday morning keynote focused on the “Future of Social Business” Speakers include: Charlie Hill, Distinguished Engineer and CTO, IBM Collaboration Solutions; Kristen Lauria, VP of Marketing and Channels, IBM Collaboration Solutions; Chris Dziekan, Cognos Office of Strategy Executive; Mike O’Rourke, VP of Rational Strategy and Product Delivery; Mike Winter, Arichitect and Development Manager of Enterprise Content Management; and Irene Greif, IBM Fellow and Director, Collaborative User Experience. Andy McAfee licked it off and you see my notes in the previous post.
Charlie Hill led a panel with Chris, Mike O’Rourke and Mike Winter. Charlie began by discussing what do you need to make social happen. First, point was enabling fluid interactions. Second is enhancing situation awareness. Third is making it easy and contextualized. Charlie said a major part of his role is to make it easy to integrate Lotus technology and add more social to apps. These three principles are guiding their development efforts.
Chris spoke about business analytics. Now you can give people the right data to make smarter decisions. This data can take many shapes and forms and covers past, present and future. They have taken the social core of the Connections Suite and added analytics. They are also doing things to leverage the social network. At the moment 78% of consumers purchase based on peer recommendations and 770 million people world wide visited social networking sites where you can see these recommendations. You need to understand what people are saying about your company right now.
They built Cognos Consumer insights with this in mind. It crawls the Web and looks at what is happening with your brand. It then applies visualization so users can understand what is happening. Are ads working? Is there positive or negative sentiment? How can I see who the influencers are? They are now applying the same capability inside the enterprise on top of the Connections data. This work is still in development.
Business intelligence provides freedom to think, connect with others and support the average business user at their job even through mobile. Connections capability has been embedded into Cognos. He showed us a dashboard with different possibilities and connections.
Mike Winter discussed content management challenges providing context to documents. Knowledge workers need agility but only 11% said they have a good case management and 40% have difficulty making adjustments in case based work. So IBM developed Case Manager as a single place to coordinate case associated content and align tasks for better case management. They are providing for more collaboration around cases.with such things as IM and shared comments and case history. Luis Suarez was sitting next to me and pointed out a great blog on the importance of case management by John Tropea (see Have we been doing Enterprise 2.0 in reverse: Socialising processes and Adaptive Case Management). Case Manager is part of the transformation to more social content management. This reminds be of the early work process aligned KM work I was involved with in early 90s using Lotus Notes and adding social aspects to business processes with tools of the day. Today’s tools help us much better realize the early vision of process aligned KM. Tighter integration is one of the key aspects.
Mike O’Rourke said they have the benefit of testing their collaboration tools on the 40,000 people in their group. They are using Agile development and this requires more collaboration. They deal with the challenges that their customser will also face. Their product, Rational Team Concert, creates a collaborative environment across the development life cycle by integrating Connections. It uses Web 2.0 dashboards to allow the team to see what is happening now with all the team members. IBM is benefiting from this approach internally. There are cycle time reductions by over 30%. Software reuse is over 50% and there is a component cost reduced of 50%. I remember that our team hand built similar dashboards in our early 90s KM work with Notes. Today it is both better and easier.
Now Charlie made a prediction. Increasingly your online branding will become a metric in HR in such areas as hiring, promotion, and compensation. The others added more predictions. There will be more deployment choices with different types of cloud options as well as new hardware software configurations. We will see a transition form static business process and to more collaborative processes that evolve using real time analytics. Software development is becoming a mission critical success factor. The Chevy Volt has 40% computer involvement and recently most cars had less than 10%. Of course my first car had zero percent.
Next Irene Grief came out. She leads the Center for Social Software developing new tools. She asked us to enter into a brain storming session by covering her remarks in twitter and then they could analyze this later. She showed graphs of the Twitter traffic for Lotusphere so far with big spikes during the day. She showed some of the tools they have developed. I have covered a number of these tools (add in see 2010 Update on IBM Social Software Efforts: Part Two and IBM’s Social Lens Provides Smart Content Filter). Dogear was one of the first that became a product (see Social Bookmarking in the Enterprise – IBM’s Internal Tagging Tool – Dogear). Many Eyes provides visualizations for collaboration. Another challenge they used to face was technology transfer. Now they allow people to use the tools internally and they then like them and add them into commercial tools.
Irene continued to say that we need an integrated view of data: physical, social, and enterprise. They are now looking at sentiment inside the company to understand issues with products being used inside the company. Looking inside and outside the company requires different analytics. For example inside you can use email. A new research project Crowdsourcing Squared is using location integrated with our data. They also found that people in some countries are more likely to ask questions in a status updates than others.
They are also working to put context in communication and making it easier for non-native speakers. Also, they are making other changes to accommodate different cultures. Irene predicted that we will see any difficult cultures within companies. This comes back to Andy’s point that increased diversity in a problem solving group increases the chance of success and was a nice close.