Using IBM Connections for Social Business

Tech company IBM, which has just completed its 100 years in the market, has announced an expansion of its software portfolio to help organizations embrace the power of social business.

The company is delivering IBM Connections, which is claimed to be the industry’s first social networking platform with real-time compliance capabilities.

The new IBM Connections software allows organizations to track and trace data on the fly throughout their organizations. This information can be analyzed and is discoverable in real-time using the IBM Connections active compliance service versus waiting until day end for analysis.

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The adoption of social software is on the rise and rapidly becoming a vital business tool, enabling organizations to transform virtually every part of their business operations from marketing, customer service and sales, to product development and human resources, says IBM.

It says the market opportunity for social platforms is expected to grow by a factor of nearly two billion worldwide by 2014, according to IDC.

Organizations, both in regulated industries and those beginning to experiment with social technology, inevitably have questions about security and compliance.

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A growing challenge for global organizations is the ability to manage risk while harnessing insights from a wide variety of social communities and remaining compliant with their own governance policies, including practices dictated by their regulatory requirements.

According to IBM, Gartner recently said that “by the end of 2013, half of all companies will be forced to produce material from social media websites for e-discovery so enterprises need an overall governance strategy for all applications and information.”

The new IBM Connections 3.01 software uses microblogs, wikis, communities and activities to collaborate with clients, partners and employees.

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The social networking platform delivers enterprise-quality compliance capabilities providing the ability to monitor, track and quickly pull out relevant data around conversations, posts and file uploads in real-time.

This electronic trail of online interactions helps organizations meet their policy needs while working at the speed of social networking.

IBM plans to provide these industry agnostic compliance capabilities for clients through a collaboration with Actiance, a leading player in compliance capabilities.

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In the third quarter, IBM is expected to introduce Actiance Vantage for IBM Connections, which archives and logs social content to help enterprises remain compliant with corporate and government regulations.

Actiance software is used by nine of the top 10 U.S. banks and more than 1,600 organizations globally for the security, management and compliance of unified communications, Web 2.0 and social media channels, says IBM.

The new features within IBM Connections also help foster greater participation in communities through moderation allowing managers and editors of online content to review materials before they are published, a critical step in compliance governance practices.

To help organizations take advantage of the social business opportunity, IBM Connections also features social analytics to help users find experts and the ability to comment or vote on ideas in a community. The Connections Ideation Blog is designed to allow crowdsourcing of ideas across teams and customers.

“The benefits of social business are too great to ignore,” said Alistair Rennie, general manager, collaboration solutions, IBM. “With these new advancements around compliance enablement, a social business can confidently activate networks of people to use a variety of collaborative tools, to improve and accelerate innovation.”

The new software is part of IBM’s collaboration solutions portfolio. It was announced Tuesday, June 21.

RMN News

Rakesh Raman