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Digital Transformation

IBM Connect: Becoming a Social Business Success Story

Chris Crummey (@ccrummey) is probably the most adept presenter on the whole experience in using the IBM tools. He gets what makes people successful and incorporates that into how he works.  So it’s a good session.

Here’s what makes you successful:



Types of people:

  1. My social strategy is to have a blog (feature)  You are two years behind
  2. My social strategy is to think of a platform.  behind but not that far
  3. As an executive, I want to enact cultural change and need to the tools to enable that.

Quote: this is not about company size.  Social is not a product.  It’s not a feature. It’s an organic living thing.

How does a YouTube video grow. It goes from one network of people to the other as they share it.  It relies on the influencers.

Collective intelligence and the wisdom of your collective expertise can and should be harnessed

One of IBM key 9 principles is “Shared Expertise”

IBM’s new way of working is an initiative. It’s about going through multiple phases ranging from enhanced profiles at the beginning.  Now social is being pushed into their CRM systems and external events are being pulled into the social network.  Social is a service, not a product or feature.

Results: saved $110M on help desk calls via social support.  Keep in mind that the 800 number only supports Windows 7 / Blackberry.  They had to rely on the social support.

Results: 90,000 communities. CEO Think Friday

Now: Continuous cultural change


  • Start with idea stage: social 2.0
  • created 8 social principles
  • gained 60,000 users in two months
  • Lots of training for aha moments
  • Line of business had to apply to be in the top 24 use cases
    • start small then open up
  • 90% of communities were open, not private
  • Phase 2: Production line moved from 40 to 6 days

RENO (German store)

  • Organic user before Pilot announced
  • used initially for one way store communication
  • then pushed brochures and get feedback to all the stores at once
  • Then use iPad to take photos of their floor setup and share it with other stores
    • Idea stacking
  • Then started taking pictures of their competitors
  • Added an app called 3d foot modeler. Used right alongside Connections

Adoption Best Practices










  • Put your vision on the back of a napkin. Keep it short
  • Next, how to launch.  What is your anchor tenant?
    • Might do standalone
    • Might integrate with portal
  • Get a brand for your social network. Brand the idea not the feature
  • Awareness and marketing
    • Sell it internally
    • T-shirts
    • banners
    • brochures
    • signs in bathrooms (let the ideas flow. Don’t sit on your ideas)
    • Kiosks
  • Champions and Evangelists
    • Avatar
    • The Genius
    • the Adoption team
    • PEPnet pros
    • A lot like the genius guys at the Apple store
    • will go through the BlueIQ evangelist strategy
  • Give the important people more power and fewer limits. (no file limits)
  • Reverse Mentoring – young people help the executives.
  • Publish the Expectations
    • lookup up IBM social computing guidelines
    • set behavior expectations
    • IBM puts those guidelines at the login
  • Communicate the What, Why, and How
    • Spend the time to do the communicate
    • TD Bank had multiple handbooks to set expectations by role. Leaders for example
  • Use Internal Selling Tool
    • Videos. Bosch did a video with before and after.  Omron’s video had a person going up to hit a physical button to follow a persons speech.
  • Look at social business as a business pattern
    • onboarding
    • recruiting and onboarding
    • workplace safety
    • customer engagement
    • etc.
    • You can find those patters by Googling it.
  • Journey Maps
    • Look at how people will use it.
    • It’s a business process
  • Day in the Life demos
    • Customers built visionary demos 5 years out
    • set the stage for that vision

Culture as Best Practice

Sandy Carter says, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”

Social transparency is about trust.  One company went into the social platform by opening up their offices and even going to the honor system in the cafeteria.

TD Bank

Corporate culture is about how they treat their customers.  Their social platform started with Wow moments.  “People are fighting over the stories of how they treated the customers”  The social platform helps to support the goal of customer change.

Celebrate good ideas: Good ideas. Bad ideas. One customer celebrated the worst idea in the “Golden Cow” award.

IBM uses the platform for cultural change too.  They created branded emoticons for Sametime.  The HR program called BlueThx is a person inthe directory. They microblog for BlueThx.  It hits the activity stream.  a blue thx thank you hits the social network.

Business Process

Almost all of IBM’s busienss processes are run on the social network.  It could be mergers, sales, support, events, marketing, etc. They are all supported with the social tools.  Obviously their are other systems but the support is there.

It changed the way they create ad campaigns.

They even created a crowd sourcing kickstart strategy.

Back to key initiatives having profiles. You can follow them. They help to further the goals and adoption.

The activity stream has business applications integrated right into it.

IBM has an app store. If you hit like button on the app, you put that event into your social network.  You can even microblog on it.   It’s an ecosystem made simple.

Best Practice: think of social as a service

Email has to have the social capabilities

Mobile should be enabled.  Cameras in phones to upload.  Profiles need to be available

Non business usage:

  • On-boarding clue.  Treasure hunt as a game to teach Connections
  • Fist community could be the Zombie Attack
    • Associate the participation as fun
  • Japan Relief
    • Use social platform for philanthropy
    • How can I help is the first question
    • What happened is the second question
    • Spanish Red Cross uses Connections to communicate emergency strategy

The Digital IBMer

Look at one example of sharing, saving, and networking.











All that sharing saves money in disk space but now the file has one version of the truth.  Sharing that file within a social network went from one side of the corporation to the other far faster than email.

IBM uses a video blog for their CEO.  Her second day on the job she had 205,000 visits, 751 comments, and 175 likes.   Half of IBM saw that video within 48 hours.   It wasn’t long before all the other execs started to do video blogs.

IBM’s Think Academy is a new initiative……….supported by a community.

The use of this “feeds the machine”  Ask a question, get an answer from one, then the other, then the other.  They all learn. They all get deeper into the social networks of others.

Another use case: Using to celebrate everyday heroes. CEO goes to someones wall to congratulate them on a good job done.  Everone sees that. Compare that to email.

Driving unique business events.  They created a stand and deliver badge and people would give the gift badge. That pushed out a whole bunch of other badges.



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Michael Porter

Mike Porter leads the Strategic Advisors team for Perficient. He has more than 21 years of experience helping organizations with technology and digital transformation, specifically around solving business problems related to CRM and data.

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