IBM Using Smart Cloud to Teach Business Students

Tech company IBM says it is helping students at York University’s Schulich School of Business develop leadership skills by learning to collaborate on course work virtually in the cloud. 

In the fall of 2011, 400 students enrolled in “Management 1000” at the Schulich School of Business used IBM’s social networking services to aid their semester-long project of creating a comprehensive business plan. IBM made this announcement Tuesday, Jan. 17.

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Students at Schulich used the IBM SmartCloud for Social Business portfolio for online meetings, file sharing, decision making, workload sharing and overall project management. The Schulich School of Business is stated to be among the top-rated business schools in Canada.

“The students were already familiar with consumer social networking sites, but this project exposed them to how people communicate and collaborate in a real-world business setting,” says Jean Adams, professor, Schulich School of Business, York University.

“Exposure to IBM social networking and cloud computing better prepares my students for employment in leading edge, technologically advanced work places when they graduate in four years time,” says Adams.

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Online meetings were used frequently since many of the students lived off campus and far apart. IBM SmartCloud for Social Business helped the students to quickly get to know each other so that they could effectively collaborate to develop and complete their business plan projects.

[ Also Read: IBM Advised to Treat its People with Humanism in China ]

Students used the social networking capabilities in IBM SmartCloud to share, track and vote on new business ideas. In addition, students worked in teams to create online communities, share files, set up activities, create action items, monitor project timelines, assign tasks and deadlines, and participate in meetings arranged by each team’s designated technical expert.

Using the IBM tool, instead of a consumer social networking service such as Facebook, allowed the students to collaborate in a confidential and more structured, business-like manner.

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The use of cloud services is on the rise. IBM says that according to Forrester Research Inc., cloud computing will grow from a $41 billion business in 2010 to $241 billion in 2020. It can help businesses of all sizes to reduce IT costs, increase productivity and save money.

[ Raman Media Network comments: In the fast-moving technology business where things change in a blink, it’s ridiculous to make predictions for 2020. Such researchers either don’t understand tech business or they deliberately try to hoodwink the buyers. Stay away from them. ]

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Rakesh Raman