IBM's VP of Social Computing Software, Jeff Schick, gives an enlightening interview to itp.net:
"I think in the very beginning when we launched Lotus Connections back in 2007, for sure the meetings we had with clients were because they were hearing so many things about social networking, and their own experiences on LinkedIn and Facebook…I think now people are really looking at it because they understand that if I use these sort of collaboration technologies I can connect people with people, and people with information, easier than before,” he [Jeff Schick] states.It goes on to discuss some of the new features in the forthcoming 2.5 release scheduled for 3Q09:
The Lotus Connections suite, which offers five distinct tools – profiles, communities, activities, bookmarks and blogs, is now the fastest growth organic software product in IBM’s long history.
According to Schick, it has attracted millions of users in the two short years since it hit the market. “It’s tens of millions moving to hundreds of millions in a very rapid way,” he confidently states.
While the rise seems meteoric, it needs to be understood that companies are using the product in vastly different ways. For example, HSBC have rolled it out to their workforce of about 385,000 people globally as a means to collaborate, interact and communicate. At the other end of the spectrum, the Practising Law Institute in the United States have used it to create a create a community where lawyers can access content, keep updated and interact with both educators and their peers. Every attorney in the States must attend a course from the Institute annually to retain their licence so it’s easy to see why it’s members number in the millions.
“We have full-fidelity profiles and we’ve added a Twitter-like micro-blogging capability directly into the profile. There’s a lot of use of Twitter that’s narcissistic but really when you start to put something like that to business-purpose use it’s a very powerful feature,” Schick points out, adding that “…in Facebook people have that Wall where people write on; now we’ve added to Connections the Wall-type feature – we call it the Board. It’s absolutely helping folks to better communication and better interact and connect.”Good answers, Jeff. Well worth reading the article in full.
With access to a constant stream of information, it’s left some wondering if there’s such a thing as staying ‘too connected’, which Schick refutes.
“What’s the penalty for not getting the right person over the right opportunity at the right time? What’s the penalty by not being able to retrieve information very quickly? What’s the penalty for not leveraging best business practices over the organisation?” he rebuffs. “My thought here is that a good idea can come from the top of the organisation as well as the bottom, from inside as well as outside. Innovation doesn’t have to be big fireworks and sparks; it can come from somebody who’s just a user of your capability or somebody who is part of the extended team, coming in and relating their experience which could then help you improve the business process.”
By: Stuart McIntyre - Connections | 31 Comments | On: 5 May 2009 09:59:11 AM | Tags: connections lotus