IBM is blending two of the hottest areas in enterprise software today -- Big Data analytics and social media-enabled apps -- in an effort to derive revenue-boosting business value from data generated by increasingly social workforces and marketplaces.
Big Blue has updated its Connections social business platform with new software and services offerings that leverage the company's growing stable of on-premise and cloud-based analytics technologies to deliver real-time business insights based on social media activities. The new updates generate insights faster and cast a wider net across both social networks and business data repositories, according to IBM.
Embedding Social in Business Processes
"The embedded experience of the news feed, also known as an activity stream, allows employees from any department inside an organization to explore structured and unstructured data such as Twitter feeds, Facebook posts, weather data, videos, log files, SAP applications, electronically sign documents, and quickly act on the data as part of their everyday work experience," the company said in a statement.
Connections also offers tighter integration with existing business applications. "For example, the Connections landing page features a single location that allows users to view and interact with content from any third party solution through a social interface, right alongside their company's content, including email and calendar," said IBM.
With Connections, IBM aims to turn social into an integral part of the business processes of practically any firm, said Alistair Rennie, general manager of social business for IBM.
"To truly realize the full potential of a social business, leaders need to empower a company's most vital asset - the information being generated from its people." Rennie said. "Now is the time for business leaders to embed social into their key business processes to shift their business from the era of 'liking' to 'leading'."
Big Data Investments
IBM's idea of enabling that shift involves massive investments in Big Data-driven social analytics.
Last year, IBM pledged $100 million to drive massive scale analytics research. During that time, IBM also released its Hadoop-powered InfoSphere BigInsights and Streams software to enable fast, large-scale parallel processing of social activity streams and huge stores of structured and unstructured data.
In March, the company unveiled Smarter Analytics Signature Solutions, a sweeping new suite of analytics products and services aimed at C-suite executives. Among its offerings is Next Best Action, software that gauges customer sentiment by analyzing signals from social networks and correlates it with customer data for more responsive and targeted customer service and engagement initiatives. And in April, IBM acquired privately-held Vivisimo, a maker of Big Data analysis software with a social search component.