Social Business Sandy

BIZTECHBUZZ in the world of social, cognitive, IoT and startups

Month: November 2010

Social Media Sandy’s Take on IBM’s Industry Symposium

The IBM Industry Symposium was in Spain this week — featuring a business development day and 2 days with global clients.

My key take aways from the event:

1.  Smarter Planet is an aspirational goal. Clients see value in the Smarter Planet value proposition and view the goals as their goals.

2.  New language.  LOB is becoming more important as a decision maker and therefore anybody needs to speak their language.  For example, the newly introduce CMO agenda has CMO speak.  The Industry Frameworks are in native language of the industry.

3.  IBM Ahead on the Industry Frameworks.   The Frameworks serve as the cookbook for the focus areas that make a difference. 

4.   Social business is mainstream.  From Air Canada, to IBM, to 1800 flowers, to Oncor, Social business was part of CEO, CIO, and CTO conversations about how to connect to the client of today and tomorrow.

5.  Becoming an Uber Connected Corporation is critical for competitiveness.   The executive focus and dollars invested in the IBM ecosystem was impressive and completely aligned with the IBM strategy. For example, the new SVP Industry Authorization provides partners access to critical “ingredient” assets.  

6.  Analytics is the new black.    Analytics for predictive capability is the way to dynamically reach your clients.   Learn about it and hire the skills now.  Enough said.

7.  Show me the outcomes.  It is now all about business outcomes.  2009 was about efficiencies and cost reduction.  2010 is all about revenue growth.

8.  Industry experts are the new popular kids.   Everyone the industry experts from clients and IBM went, a train of people followed.   This industry expertise is the new hot skill in the market.  Tell your kids.

9.  Tolerance is gone.  Given everyone is used to the interface of the iPad, iPhone, gaming, etc, the new view of IT is that it must be friendly and easy.   I heard this in EVERY industry group I attended.

10.   Vertical is the buzz.   Enough said.

Social Media and Oncor: A Smart Grid Utility Company

Really?  Oncor — the largest utility company in Texas — and the leader in Smart Grids, not only speak Texan, but social media?  Texas utility Oncor is communicating with customers via social media in order to meet the needs & expectations of their customers!

I am live at the IBM Industry Symposium, and I heard from Mark Carpenter, CTO OnCor Energy.  From knowing ahead of time that the power is out .. (his quote ” We don’t have to wait on the customer to tell us when their power goes out. We already know”) to allowing bill and usage tracking from iPhones, they have embedded social networks in all they do to service clients. 

Mark made some great comments about how they have transformed their customers service and operations by moving to social networks. to meet demand.   Customers don’t want call centers, they want tech centers, and they want the ability to access that across ALL channels through social media.  So Oncor is delivering it in real time in all channels!    They recognize that customer behaviour changing with text, mobile and social media channels.  Do you?

Social Networks and 1800 Flowers: Live from IBM SIS!

Chris McMann, President from 1800 Flowers, says that Social Media gives his company a competitive advantage.   They use this new dialogue both internally and externally.  

For instance, for their call centers, since they are now remote, they leverage internal communities for keeping in touch with the corporate culture.

Externally, they had people staffing Twitter, Facebook on Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day to resolve issues.  Their competition did not leverage this media and their competitors saw their complaints grow, while 1800 Flowers, saw comments on their responsiveness, and care.

So now they Social Media to tell the story about their brand.   They ask their customers to tell everyone about traditions, about their mom’s for example.  They took those stories and placed them in a  book — called “celebrating moms” and creating a space in the virtual world.   They now sell the book as an offer on Mother’s day!

Chris said he is trying to even learn more about his clients and their needs.  He is engaged in the dialogue to ensure he keeps up to speed on what makes people smile!