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IBM’s Entry into Social Networking

Posted on Tuesday, Jan 23rd 2007

Smart move, as IBM enters social networking. Anyone who has experience with large enterprises, knows, how tedious it is to locate people with the right expertise. Thus, I envision a LinkedIn equivalent which serves less as a tool for recruiters to find candidates, but more as an internal expertise locator, should be an absolute killer app. Here’s more detail on the announcement.

Needless to say, this is targeting a very different user base than the MySpace-FaceBook audience. “Lotus Connections has five components — activities, communities, dogear (a bookmarking system), profiles and blogs — aimed at helping experts within a company connect and build new relationships based on their individual needs.”

Likely to bring together project teams, I see this suite of web 2.0 collaboration products as a step in the right direction. As Shai Agassi, heir apparent at SAP had said earlier, “When web 2.0 meets enterprise 3.0, the game will get really interesting!”

Indeed, imagine when all this becomes combined with the existing collaboration and communication tools like Microsoft Sharepoint, Webex, and the project management tools? Now we’re talking!

My prediction: every one of the big enterprise players – IBM, Microsoft, SAP, Oracle – will have a collaboration suite that has an integrated environment including community tools like what IBM has just announced, as well as web conferencing, project management, project portals, and various other computer-telephony related functionality.

Further readings: International Herald Tribune, Business Week, Connecting the Dots, Marc’s Voice, Kevin Maney, SeekingAlpha Software Stocks, Bloggers Blog, Ed Brill, Trends in the Living Networks, WSJ and New York Times

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I thought you might be interested in a preso I posted on slideshare called the Evolution of Social Networking in IBM. It shows how IBM Research has effected social networking in IBM and the solutions IBM sells via the Software Group.

It is certainly not a complete view of all of IBM’s projects in this space but it is a high level overview.

Worth a look.


Chris Sparshott Monday, May 4, 2009 at 5:01 PM PT