Not sure how long this has been around, I have just spotted the link from the Connections product page. Jeff Schick (IBM VP, Social Software) spends some time discussing how the Connections tools can be used…
The MP3 file is available here.
Whilst searching to see if Jeff has a blog I could link too (he doesn’t), I also found an interesting article at Beermat.biz that resulted from an interview with Jeff. The author discusses how executives at even very large corporations are coming to understand the need for “networking”, both in the social/physical sense and through the use of Social Software tools:
Jeff described the management of IBM’s human capital as one of their greatest challenges today. Networking technology enables the organisation to facilitate consultation and idea sharing and is a key tool in overcoming that challenge.
One of the biggest problems businesses suffer as they grow is competition rather than cooperation between different parts of the organisation and a lack of knowledge of how other departments operate. This leads to complaints that “the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing”.
Interestingly, the author then brings the discussion round to IBM (emphasis is mine):
Recently IBM recognised the problem of organisational silos within their own organisation. The company saw that sales groups within its $15 billion dollar software group were only focusing on their own brand or location rather than customers’ needs. To overcome this, they reorganised the structure of the organisation, changing their focus to finding the right solution from across the broad range of products on offer.
According to Jeff, “it’s getting the right people over the right business problem. Breaking down those barriers of communication and knowledge is an important objective of the way we approach going to market.”
Well, hurrah, hurrah and thrice hurrah!