Microsoft Cloud Authors: Andreas Grabner, Jim Kaskade, Lori MacVittie, Janakiram MSV, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @BigDataExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, IBM Cloud, API Journal, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo

@BigDataExpo: Article

Enterprise Social Adoption Challenges

Getting employees to become more social at work

I have attended IBM's Lotusphere conference many times, but this year was a different experience. The long-familiar yellow Lotus branded signs were missing as the conference was renamed "IBM Connect." The move away from Lotus branding was expected after IBM's recent repositioning of Lotus products, along with some new acquisitions under the umbrella of IBM Collaboration Solutions.

The change also reflects IBM's overall direction away from selling products to customers to focusing on business outcomes. The three main themes of the Connect 2013 conference were Social Business, Smarter Commerce and Smarter Workforce. These new focus areas are designed to enable IBM to expand into new markets while enrolling new clients.

Social interactions and mobile access bring along a large amount of data snippets, so analytics is an essential piece required to harvest maximum value. Therefore, the Day 2 keynote was appropriately delivered by IBM's Information Management organization that focuses on analytics. Without analytics, developing deep insights from social interactions accelerated by mobile access is simply not possible. Rapid reaction to market sentiments will differentiate social companies from other companies. Social interactions will bring about a big value to IBM and its customers if properly leveraged with the value proposition differentiators listed for the following themes:

Smarter Commerce:

  • Managing empowered customers with personalization
  • Viewing customers from a 360 degree view leading to increased customer satisfaction 
and better retention
  • Improving customer loyalty through offers based on insights from location and context
  • Engaging customers with additional interactions from mobile devices

Smarter Workforce:

  • Building better teams with shared values to deliver better solutions to customers
  • Acquiring talent to leverage social networks
  • Improving innovation by encouraging social interaction
  • Reducing turnover by leveraging social media to improve trust between the employer and employee

There are big challenges for enterprises to transform into a social business, especially since enterprise leadership very often sees more risks than gains when considering social strategies. An age barrier exists in many established enterprises with leadership that is unaware of how the younger workforce operates. (Blake Landau, founder of Artemis and a Huffington Post blogger, articulated the challenge of diversity and age for IBM in a well-written HuffPo post where she estimated that 90% of attendees at IBM Connect were middle-aged men.)

Becoming a social business depends on participation from people across the business environment, including employees, partners and customers. The value of social innovation is built on platforms of teams rather than individuals. Recent restructuring of workforces in many organizations has left very little time or motivation for employees to participate in social networking or to contribute disruptive ideas. Much has been said about the Return on Investment in social initiatives, but only broader adoption can enable organizations to accurately measure anecdotal and quantifiable results.

Facebook's rapid growth does not mean enterprises can easily replicate similar success. Instead, they need to drive social media adoption in the same manner as they promote wellness programs to drive down healthcare costs. Just as healthier employees contribute to the bottom line with reduced sick days and improved productivity, social-enabled employees can contribute more fully to better job and business innovation.

Driving social adoption among employees can increase partner and customer participation, too. Initiatives like viral adoption have been tried, but success is spotty. Direct benefits to employees are needed to achieve the goal of improved engagement. Just as employees get reduced insurance premiums from getting annual healthcare exams, they could similarly be rewarded for writing blog posts, gaining more internal and external followers, etc. Analytical tools, like those IBM offers for monitoring social interactions, can and should play a big role in developing quantifiable measurements to award appropriate incentives.

Although IBM Connect 2013 was a useful conference to impart knowledge on becoming a social business and enabling technologies, enterprises need to suggest a strategy that includes motivating adoption. Once such incentives are put into place as part of a broader social media strategy, employees will naturally gravitate to becoming more social, therefore positively contributing to enterprise business benefits. Once a core mass of participation has been achieved, other non-monetary motivation factors, like sense of corporate purpose, will rally corporate social maturity.

This post was first published on Robustcloud.com. Republished with permission.

More Stories By Larry Carvalho

Larry Carvalho runs Robust Cloud LLC, an advisory services company helping various ecosystem players develop a strategy to take advantage of cloud computing. As the 2010-12 Instructor of Cloud Expo's popular Cloud Computing Bootcamp, he has already led the bootcamp in New York, Silicon Valley, and Prague, receiving strong positive feedback from attendees about the value gained at these events. Carvalho has facilitated all-day sessions at customer locations to set a clear roadmap and gain consensus among attendees on strategy and product direction. He has participated in multiple discussion panels focused on cloud computing trends at information technology events, and he has delivered all-day cloud computing training to customers in conjunction with CloudCamps. To date, his role has taken him to clients in three continents.

@ThingsExpo Stories
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their backend AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT - especially in the connected home and office. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Kocher, founder and managing director of Grey Heron, explained how Amazon is extending its reach to become a major force in IoT by building on its dominant cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strat...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftNet Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SoftNet Solutions specializes in Enterprise Solutions for Hadoop and Big Data. It offers customers the most open, robust, and value-conscious portfolio of solutions, services, and tools for the shortest route to success with Big Data. The unique differentiator is the ability to architect and ...
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
One of biggest questions about Big Data is “How do we harness all that information for business use quickly and effectively?” Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or spatial technology is about more than making maps, but adding critical context and meaning to data of all types, coming from all different channels – even sensors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, William (Bill) Meehan, director of utility solutions for Esri, will take a closer look at the current state of spatial technology and ar...
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue an...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Streamlyzer will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Streamlyzer is a powerful analytics for video streaming service that enables video streaming providers to monitor and analyze QoE (Quality-of-Experience) from end-user devices in real time.
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, will be adding the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining sensor...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
Cloud based infrastructure deployment is becoming more and more appealing to customers, from Fortune 500 companies to SMEs due to its pay-as-you-go model. Enterprise storage vendors are able to reach out to these customers by integrating in cloud based deployments; this needs adaptability and interoperability of the products confirming to cloud standards such as OpenStack, CloudStack, or Azure. As compared to off the shelf commodity storage, enterprise storages by its reliability, high-availabil...
The security needs of IoT environments require a strong, proven approach to maintain security, trust and privacy in their ecosystem. Assurance and protection of device identity, secure data encryption and authentication are the key security challenges organizations are trying to address when integrating IoT devices. This holds true for IoT applications in a wide range of industries, for example, healthcare, consumer devices, and manufacturing. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lancen LaChance, vic...
In the next forty months – just over three years – businesses will undergo extraordinary changes. The exponential growth of digitization and machine learning will see a step function change in how businesses create value, satisfy customers, and outperform their competition. In the next forty months companies will take the actions that will see them get to the next level of the game called Capitalism. Or they won’t – game over. The winners of today and tomorrow think differently, follow different...
The IoT industry is now at a crossroads, between the fast-paced innovation of technologies and the pending mass adoption by global enterprises. The complexity of combining rapidly evolving technologies and the need to establish practices for market acceleration pose a strong challenge to global enterprises as well as IoT vendors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Clark Smith, senior product manager for Numerex, will discuss how Numerex, as an experienced, established IoT provider, has embraced a ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in Embedded and IoT solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/Big Data, HPC and ...
The Internet of Things (IoT), in all its myriad manifestations, has great potential. Much of that potential comes from the evolving data management and analytic (DMA) technologies and processes that allow us to gain insight from all of the IoT data that can be generated and gathered. This potential may never be met as those data sets are tied to specific industry verticals and single markets, with no clear way to use IoT data and sensor analytics to fulfill the hype being given the IoT today.
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.