XwebX Berlin – My final day thoughts!

13. Juni 2013 Posted by Rebecca Swindell

Day three first session of the day for me was Perfect Orchestration from Thomas Bryner. He spoke about social media content and that whatever I push out today an be recontext and reused a long time in the future - which can be a good thing or a bad thing. What it calls for is close monitoring of what is going on, and asking "what is happening to my content?"

He talked about how referrals are the most effective form of marketing, but marketing should be targeted and addressed to individuals, not just message dumping, your followers should be used as a message hub to others. Value of Facebook - a unique chance to reach the social referral system of the people you engage with.  But like buttons are too easy, and people might forget the company they have just liked within ten minutes.

He then smoke about conversation rates for various media, banner ads is 0.2%social channels is 0.71% search is 1.95% but the biggest is email at 3.19%. I was surprised by this as personally, and speaking to friends and colleagues, I rarely buy from an email, and more from social channels or search - but maybe that's because I love social and spend a lot of time there, or maybe it a generation thing? Interested to know people's thoughts on this...

He also spoke about being present on social just for the sake of being social probably isn't a good idea - couldn't agree more! He also discussed news jacking - which is a new term for me, but he gave the example of how when the miners in Chilli were trapped, Oakley gave them all free sunglasses for when they came into sunlight, which would not have cost the company much but was worth a hell of a lot in brand advertising due to the mass global news coverage of the disaster.

My next session was from Jason Cornell and Stefan Hepper on Exceptional Web Experiences with Digital Asset Management. Jason started by showing some website that are using extensive rich media content to capture people's attention in an ever crowding online world - which is why it's imperative to have a Social Web Experience.


He spoke about IBMs rich media solutions- including the newly announced Digital Asset Management. Stefan then took the audience through some use cases and a gave a quick demo.

Jason then talked about Digital Asset and Web Content flow


And then talked about some case studies of the solution - including this one from Showtime


My penultimate session of the conference was from Mac Guidera and Adam Ginsburg on Leveraging the power of IBM Connections and Websphere Portal.

Mac started by talking about Forbes view of how social media takes custom relationships to the next level and how important it is - as after all we are all social animals. In addition we are all web savvy now and it's important for us to understand what is happening to the data we generate online and know that the companies we interact with our listening.


Customers are on the driving seat - connecting with the individually requires a consistent and engaging online experience - including meaningful self service on the web - something which IBMs web experience software helps our customers achieve says Mac, seeing benefits like a 32% decrease in calls to the customer support line.

Here is how IBM help customers improve their organisations social web experience


Adam then took us through an example of how people could collaborate on organising a downtown carnival (from food, to music to acts etc) - the interactive site allowing people to see an activity stream of what's happening- which is embedded so people can interact in situ and in the context of the application.  Lots of social rendering portlets - such as member directories- are designed by IBM and available out of the box to help our customers get started - all of which are customisable too, as well as their look and feel.

The next tool discussed was the Social Media Publisher and the analytic capabilities associated with this.


And in closing Mac suggested next steps for the audience


My last session of the day, and of the conference, was by the ever informative Stuart McRae - Social Business is an Integration Problem - and was a follow on session to the one I attended yesterday (see my day 2 blog).

He talked about how social businesses focus on creating trusted networks as the way the operate. Problems now need to be rethought as interacts between people, rather than a set of processes - people driven works, workflows driven processes won't in the journey to becoming a Social Business.


He then moved onto mobile - which he said was an absolute must for social. There is no point rolling out social in an organisation and not giving them access on their mobile phones, as they will update on the go rather than when they get back to their desks later, mobile is key to enabling social.

Love this example from Stuart of why its important to tweet and how this could be used in underpinning your business processes


And that's it from me at XWebX Berlin 2013. I hope you have enjoyed reading my blogs from the last three days and you can keep up with where I am next on Twitter @RSwindell. Till next time.. Stay Social!

XwebX Berlin – Day 2 Highlights

12. Juni 2013 Posted by Rebecca Swindell

Here is my blog from day 2 - again mainly in pictures!! You can see our tweetwall from the event here http://wiffiti.locamoda.com/boards/12703.

My first session of day two was from Stephen Wright on "IBM's implementation and strategy - 600.000 users and growing". He spoke about how IBM's transformation into a social business is an ongoing journey and how noir CEO's have been fundamental in this as we become a globally integrated enterprise. This is done through a centralised approach, guided by our overall transformation and grounded in our Values - enabling growth, enabling productivity and enabling change.

Some stats from the session in IBM we have consolidated: 128 CIOS to 1, 155 data centres to 3 and 16,000 applications to 3,800. It's has improved our agility, reduced our costs and reduced our carbon footprint.

Stephen then took the audience through how IBMers use our internal collaboration tools, and how we use Analytics to assess what pele are searching on, then use this to optimise our internal pages. IBM's culture is really becoming a social by employees letting others know hat they are doing, what they need help with add how they can help others by posting regular status updates on Connections.

New adopters quickly integrate their information and applications through using our WhirlWind  community, and can assess what they need through user ratings and reviews - something I did not know about so I will be looking through it all later!

He then talked about the announcement from yesterday of he Digital Asset Mgmt tool that was announced this week - you can find out more here - http://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/rep_ca/9/897/ENUS213-239/ENUS213-239.PDF


The second session of the day I attended was from Stuart McRae own driving social business adoption through or business processes - today was the why part and tomorrow will be focused on practical examples on how you integrate.  I have heard Stuart speak many times before, but always learn something new, and his passion for Social Business always shines through.


Social Collaboration must become the way users work not additional thing they have to do to work - that was Stuarts mantra last year, but still rings true 12 months later - and is still a fundamental consideration when thinking about social business adoption within your organisation. You need to change the way people work and give people the confidence in the platform and its capabilities.

Stuart then spoke about how to drive social business adoption and how to create a new way of working.


It's new way of working needs to include guidelines, governance to shift culture,drive changes in user behaviour, integrate social into your business processes, tailor the experience by audience and create new social job roles. It's about coaching and encouraging the employee to get it right the next 1000 times, rather than punishing them if they get int wrong the first time.

Stuart talked about the launch with top down AND groundswell support, you need senior leaders that "walk the talk" and identify early adopters to evangelise the value - across all roles and audiences. He emphasised the importance of communication - you have to say what, why, and how. It's not about getting EVERYONE to share... It's about getting people who need it to use what is being shared.

Next he discussed two way mentoring and how this can help adoption.


Stuart continued the session by reemphasising the importance of culture change for 100% engagement - this needs to be done through viral adoption and to remove all barriers to adoptions, but don't move too fast with mass adoption, enthusiasts need to help to drive it.

He then closed the session by talking about the six patterns of social business - you can download a white paper of these from the IBM website.


The next session I attended was from Jyske Bank - who I mentioned in my blog yesterday - but I wanted to know more about their story - I was not alone as there was standing room only on the session.

They opened by talking about what is important to them - fast time to am rest, empowered users, continual delivery, 24/7/365  platform,state of the art quality and minimal daily maintenance. Projects are always joint ventures between marketing, business development and the corporate web team - and this is broken down into business consultants, commnicaiton consultants, web content authors, graphical designers, interaction designer, WCM consultant, web and java designers and a tester.

Next they moved on to "why" did they choose repos solve web design, with a major actor being the big increase in mobile web traffic and the desire to mark sure their customers had a great experience of their company via their mobile website - as well as all the new devices that are constantly coming onto the market. One website for all devices but that reacts to the width of the device.

The "how" was tackled with the basics to begin with.



Glen then showed the difference between the old website HTML code versus the new one - which is designed using Websphere Portal. They talked how they use it now on a daily basis as well about how important it is to empower their web editors - who want to get on with their daily asks without having to involve the development team constantly - and this is all done through role based views and access rights.

They talked about the great user experience - and this needs to be taken seriously, with a dedicated resource who is focused on it, and allow them to work and really test stuff. Is important to learn from the best - use best of breed suppliers.In addition you MUST have a consistent look and feel, by gaining full control for the HTML - treat CSS as a first class citizen.

The first session I went to after lunch was Utilising Self Service straight through processing for improved customer satisfaction and business results from Richard Brown and Jer O'Connor. They opened talking about the IBM CEO study - which you can download from our website. The session then moved to use cases on different industries and moved to a live demo - Portal, WCM, Forms Experience Builder and Connections Social Rendering which were used to create the solution at the Insurance company they were using as an example.


My final session of the day was by Rob Ingram and Iqbal Singh on starting your Smarter Workforce journey with Web Experience and Kenexa. Rob started by talking about the C Suite studies that IBM has conducted and the imperatives currently facing the CHRO and CEO audience.


Rob then moved on to the Talent Optimised vision - leverage Analytics, engage and develop people and make it fun, rewarding and addictive.

IBM Smarter Workforce Strategy - Motivate, Attract and Empower


Rob talked about the various components of a Smarter Workforce, including learning, Analytics (using Cognos) and manager portal. Iqbal then spoke about more about the branded candidate experience and used an example of someone looking for a new job with a company and the social experience that might occur during this, and how a branded career website can make this more effective, including how the person can track their application, ask questions about the job or the company, find out when their interview is, task lists -  endless possibilities!


This can then progress into on boarding - where a candidate can talk to HR experts, look in marketing portals at the company products, engage with core teams across all geographies and more, all of which help employees get up to speed faster and increase new hire satisfaction through this individually tailored experience.


Remember you can join in the conversation on Twitter by using #ibmexperience and following me @RSwindell

Come back tomorrow for day 3 key moments and my overall conference highlights!





XwebX Berlin – Day 1 Highlights and Pictures

11. Juni 2013 Posted by Rebecca Swindell

Here are my highlights from day 1 - mainly in pictures - it's all about rich media after all - although apologies that some are a bit grain!! You can see our tweetwall from the event here http://wiffiti.locamoda.com/boards/12703.

Markus Mueller opened the conference and took the audience through the many exciting sessions from IBMers and Customers who were going to be sharing their experiences with the delegates.

Larry Bowden then took the audience through IBM's vision and strategy, which has been built on the customer feedback we have received - he has been doing this for the last 13 years and is very passionate about helping our customers achieve the best business results through web experiences, including using mobile, cloud and analytics to enhance this. Larry presented how our customers have benefited from using IBM's web experience software. 


As well as taking the audience through what used to be IBM's Project Northstar and how it looks today:



IBM investments were also discussed, including key acquisitions such as Kenexa, UNICA, Core Metrics, Tealeaf as well as the product the updates of IBM forms and XWEbX 8.x FastTrack this year.

Gary Dolsen then took the stage to show the audience what we have been working on in the last year and what we are working on now. He explored that the relationship between LOB and IT is really important at the moment, they have to work hand in hand and our investments reflect this. He said that customers have  asked for nicely pre integrated suites of functionality and this is part of the version 8 portfolio of digital experience software.

He explained that Content is one of our biggest areas of investment


There was then a demo from Rob Enright and Nicole Carrier - who talked how IBM Social Software can be used to help analyse the market sentiment about a brand and then use this to generate new revenue through running segmented targeted marketing campaigns - as well as split testing promotions through all strategic online channels. This can all help build tighter relationships with customers around what they care about most.


Nicole also showed a heat map of the fictional companies site that can then be used to optimise a website. 



Rob talked about Kenexa and Social Recruiting - and how our digital experience software can complement this to achieve exceptional web experiences for candidates interested in joining a new company, including a culture fit quiz!

Peter Bugge Jakobsen from Jyske bank started his session showing a video of ow Social their bank is - and he is clearly very passionate and rightly proud of what they have achieved. He spoke about responsive web design needing to be enhanced progressively and all devices and channels considered at the same time.

I then attended a session from Dan Collins and Jeff Seifert on Delivering Engaging Social Business Solutions with IBM. They spoke about the GBS CMO report and what CMOs are concerned with over the next five years, with Social Media being the second highest market factor effecting the marketing function - just topped by data explosion. Interesting stat was that 62% of Facebook fans "like" a company page just to get the discounts - therefore having communities are key - these people need to be engaged with, as eventually they are going to buy something, this can be done through integrating IBM Web Experience Software.

Why social needs to be part of Portal was the next session I attended given by Mac Guidera. He spoke about CEO priorities including empowering employees through value, engaging customers and individuals, and amplifying innovation with partnerships - all found in the IBM CEO study "Leading Through Connections".

He then showed this slide about the value of a social business platform.


Sales can improve productivity, customer service can improve customer retention, marketing can reach new audiences and product development can speed time to market - all using IBM's Social Software to improve business processes.  He then showed how different companies all over the world and cross industry have realised these benefits - check out the IBM website for these case studies.

Winning Strategies from Peter Funke and Thomas Bryner was the next session I attended, which began by looking at the Business Value Assessment model.


He spoke about the importance of Innovation - to improve services, expand into new areas and develop new product. He said simply put its about selling more, with a higher profit margin, to more people and have more effective sales team.

Peter then took over and about the benefits associated tooth social business investments across all industries, including margin and productivity improvements across tasks like reading and answering email, searching and gathering info, communicating and collaborating internally and more role pacific tasks.

My last session of the day was Rob Enright and Latoya Sankey on improving customer engagement with IBM Enterprise Marketing Mgmt and Web Content Mgr. They spoke about IBM's vision to help clients create engaging, exceptional and differential web experiences. Some great stats in this session including Internet connected devices outnumber people in the USA and 80% of the worlds population will have a mobile device in the next five years,10% of adults in the US own a laptops AND tablet AND smartphone. Also by 2014 video is going to account for 90% PF web traffic - rich media has to be incorporate into your website.

Latoya then spoke about the various value realised by customers using the IBM Customer Experience Suite and the Marketing Center, as well as how Smarter Commerce is weaved in.


Rob then gave a demo of the Marketing Center, including segmentations, a-b split testing, and communication - whether it's a website or an email etc.  This was followed by a really fun dynamic and interactive demo of the software through a site - tracking clicks, conversions etc, and seeing which operating system and device people were using to do this.

Overall, it's been a fantastic day, with some great content and excellent speakers - so very much looking forward to seeing what day 2 will bring! 

You can join in the conversation using #ibmexperience and follow me on @RSwindell. Check back for my day 2 highlights this time tomorrow!




Exceptional Web Experience Berlin – 10 days to go!!

31. Mai 2013 Posted by Rebecca Swindell


I am now on a countdown to what should be a exciting three days in Berlin – at the annual IBM Exceptional Web Experience conference, running from the 11th – 13th June. I was very fortunate in being asked to help with the Social Media activities pre, during and post event.  Judging by some of the fantastic conversations on Twitter around the same event in Chicago, there is going to be some great content and thought provoking speakers (incidentally you can see all the conversations from the Chicago event by searching #IBMExperience – and use this to read what’s happening in Berlin).

The keynote is going to be given by Larry Bowden VP of Web Experience Software at IBM, who is going to share IBM’s vision of working with clients to create world class web experiences for their own customers that drive loyalty and engagement, increase revenue, whilst all making a cost saving.

The mantra of the conference being that an “organization's online presence is as important as the products and services it provides. Equally important, an engaged, empowered and optimized workforce is critical for leading in today's competitive markets”. In order to address this, the main conference itself is split into different tracks which are with technology driven or business driven.

The business track is aimed at line of business leaders, business analysts and executives.  It includes sessions on customer case studies, where organisations can learn from the real-life experience of IBM’s diverse client list and hear their ideas on best practice. There are also sessions on accelerating solutions time to value and ROI – where the business case for implementing web experience software will be discussed as well as looking at exceeding customer service expectations. The final section of the business track is around the business results of optimised web experience – how exceptional web experiences can drive profitability and growth.

The technology track is aimed more at IT professionals, including architects and developers. It includes tracks on platforms and solutions as well as advice on how to design and build robust interactive web experiences that will delight audiences.  The technology track will also include entry-level and advanced technical guidance from IBM’s SMEs, looking at how to deploy and manage web experience software.

There will also be a solutions village, where a range of IBM’s top Web Experience partners will be showing their products/solutions, which all aim to help organisations build a better customer experience on any channel and on any device!

There is still time to register for the event at http://ibm.co/1122niT, where you will also find more information on the agenda, speakers etc.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @RSwindell for my key moments during the conference, pictures, quotes etc. I will also post a blog after the event – so watch out for that.

Social Media Leadership Forum – IBM’s Session

2. November 2012 Posted by Rebecca Swindell

On Tuesday I attend my first Social Media Leadership Forum breakfast briefing, run by IT’s Open, in London. I was invited to attend as one of our Social Business experts, Jon Machtynger (@synapticity), was going to be speaking about Collaboration in the workplace. 

I am not a morning person but really glad that I went to the event, there were some great sessions from Virgin, Person, & BUPA (and IBM!). The Q&A hosted by Tom Standage from the Economist, who posed some really insightful questions of his own to the mornings speakers, as well as taking a few from the audience.

Jon’s session started by looking at what Social Collaboration is all about and how IBM has tackled it and the trends influencing our collaboration strategy

-          - Social networks are putting people online as never before - Unified channel for discovery and interaction

-          - Mobile devices are magnifying reach and interaction -Higher frequency of (shorter) transactions Online and reachable more of the time

-          - Content analytics are making knowledge more accessible -More focus on insight rather than just transactions 

Jon spoke about the areas in which early adopters of Social Collaboration are finding value:


He then talked the audience through the Social Business journey and what organisations should consider, such as what are their strengths and weaknesses, their needs and their culture, where they are going and what they want to achieve. All these considerations mean that Social MUST be embedded in all processes. He showed everyone the integrated capabilities of IBM’s Social offering, and what aspects we use – such as blogs, wikis, files, profiles, communities, forums, activities, blogs, micro-blogs, analytics, bookmarks and mobile!

Jon then gave his view on how to drive adoption of Social Business through the use of social analytics,  which can help draw the attention on things users need to know – such as the below:



Jon finished this talk by look at the lessons learnt by IBM on our Social Business journey. The main ones being:

-          - Promote a culture of sharing with diverse groups

-          - Adoption is crucial

-           - Appeal to a broad spectrum of communication types

-           - Executives must participate and drive activity

-          - A balance of control and flexibility promotes innovation

As I said there were some great sessions by BUPA, Pearson and Virgin (even if they are using competitive software!). The final session of the day was the panel, and I loved the opening piece by Tom Standage.  He explained his view that the 1600’s coffee houses were the first example of a social platform. People would go to them to do business, to gossip, to receive mail and meet new people from across different warps of life... so basically Facebook and other platforms are just a modern day version of this. I had never thought of it this way and really liked this way of looking at it.  Another idea debated was whether or not we can measure the ROI of Social Media, and all seemed to agree that this was a tricky area. But then someone made the point that years ago we might have been debating the ROI of email, and now that would never be questioned. Jon Machtynger said that it is a question of “what’s in it for me?”  . People will have their own agenda and objectives, and those need to be met. Once they are met, then viral adoption is more likely. The speaker from BUPA also spoke about how their platform is open and transparent, and although it is monitored there are no strict dos and don’ts. He explained that when a topic is going off track, and perhaps moving to something unsuitable for an open platform, it is the community members that bring it back – not someone monitoring all conversations. The speaker from Pearson made a fantastic point about how Social is allowing a “nobody to be a somebody” – everyone is given a voice.  And that’s really how I feel about social, and why I love it so much!

If you want to follow more of my key highlights from the events I attend, then please follow me on Twitter @RSwindell. Next week I am attending an IBM Business Analytics event – so watch out for tweets from there!

Thanks for reading J

IBM Collaboration Solutions buzz at the Gartner PCC Conference

24. September 2012 Posted by Rebecca Swindell


Last week IBM was a platinum sponsor of the Gartner Portal, Content & Collaboration Summit in London, where we had the opportunity to join in lively debates with some of our customers, prospective new clients, Gartner analysts and even some of our competitors! Below are just a few of my highlights from the opening keynote session, the IBM session and the IBM customer’s session from LeasePlan.

The keynote session was opened by Gartner analyst, Nikos Drakos, who spoke about the Nexus of Forces – Social, Mobile, Cloud and Information – meaning we can communicate to anyone, anytime, about anything on multiple platforms through the Cloud. This Nexus is resulting in an internal shift from email to an internal communication system for many companies. 

Chris Howard the continued the Always on, Anything, Anytime, Everyone theme, and took the audience through some of the findings from a recent CIO study they had conducted.  He began by highlighting the CIO’s business priorities - increasing enterprise growth, attracting & retaining new customers and decreasing costs.  He talked about their top IT Strategies – delivering business solution & having a flexible infrastructure. Whereas, the technical priorities reported included analytics & business influence, mobile, c loud, collaboration & virtualisation.  The comment I felt really resonated with IBM’s offerings is when one CIO said that “innovation comes from the customer experience”. 

Chris continued by speaking to speak about the importance of integrating IT with the rest of the business, so that they understand the BUSINESS more. Furthermore, if this is not possible given physical location limitations, this can be done through collaboration (I was thinking exactly – through products such as IBM Connections!). Social is driving everything to happen, and Chris even gave a very illustrative example of how he used crowd sourcing with his friends and colleagues to redesign his back yard – which I thought was a great way to help the audience understand the way collaboration is able to bring benefit to everything we do.  Using hundreds of applications, through a variety of devices, people are able to connect with one other, across the globe and share a plethora of information.  Chris empathised that people expect this prolific interactivity & information access in all their roles.

The IBM session was presented by Mike Spradbery (@spradders) and Jon Mell (@jonmell)– on “Making Your Business Exceptional”.  Mike started the session by talking about how different groups are using Social Collaboration – customers are using it to be vocal and influential, that employees have an overwhelming desire to share & innovate and partners are using social and mobile to access experts & reduce costs.

Mike then shared the below slide with some interesting stats from Comscore.


Mike continued to explain how in today’s social world, customers have multiple experiences of a company – which can be costly for a company if it is marketed with a dozen different voices.  He then spoke about the value of a engaging & motivating PEOPLE – inside & outside the organisation – which can really help drive real business change.



Jon Mell then took the floor and spoke about how important it is to integrate people with applications & processes – in the correct context, and about how targeted communications keep people engaged.  Social platforms should not just be another place to go though; they should be embedded into the context of business processes.  He took the audience through some of our customer success stories including TD Bank & Wimbledon.


The following day Wim de Gier (@skywim) gave a great session on their Social platform “LinkedPeople” – for which they have used IBM Connections – for which they implemented the full package of micro-blogs, blogs, activities, wiki, & communities. Wim talked about how the success of the project is NOT about IT, but 95% is about a culture change & adoption – it’s all about the human connection.  He explained how LinkedPeople leverages the LeasePlan corporate brain!  It helps find people, communication effectively, innovate, develop products & save time. Wim showed a video where employees were talking about how much they loved working with LinkedPeople saying it meant they could collaborate, ask questions, keep informed, share knowledge & best practices, exchange ideas and discover expertise.

Wim continued the session by explaining that he thought companies that block social media are blind to the benefits it can bring. He explained that they already have over 800 communities, and more and more it is becoming a business critical tool, not just seen as a “social” platform. LinkedPeople is making the corporate brain grow on a daily basis, and again emphasised that his is about a cultural change, not IT.

Just for fun – here is the condiments bar for the ice-cream machine we had on the first evening during the networking session.


Thanks for reading! Please follow me on Twitter for more Social Business updates etc @RSwindell