Great to see some mainstream media coverage resulting from my stop in New Zealand last week...

Businesses have a lot to gain by embracing the concepts behind the hugely popular social networking internet sites people flock to in their private lives, says Ed Brill, a US-based IBM director who specialises in messaging and collaboration software.

Effective business collaboration was based on developing good relationships, and technology that allowed people across an organisation to share information helped boost productivity, Brill said. ...

IBM used its own communication, instant messaging and web-conferencing technology, Lotus SameTime, to connect its own staff. At peak times up to 200,000 staff, about half of IBM's global workforce, were signed into the system, even though connecting was not mandatory.

"When a tool presents itself with clear value it will get adopted even by generations that didn't necessarily grow up with it," Brill said.
The point on good relationships cannot be underscored enough.  People sometimes ask me why I think Twitter is so valuable.  While we're not directly conducting business on there very often, I do learn a lot through what others are talking about, and it helps me get a clearer picture of names in the industry.  One fine example took place at the customer luncheon in Sydney last week.   Someone stood up to ask me a question, and he started by telling me that he was @hollingsworth on Twitter, who had been giving me restaurant recommendations for the last few days in Sydney.  Knowing who he was and that he was a Twitter user was helpful in answering his question, because it gave me an opportunity to mention TwitNotes, the Twitter plug-in for Lotus Notes 8.  Our connection was immediately stronger despite having never met in-person nor even so much as heard Tony's name before.

The comment about Sametime was driven home to me right about the time of the interview, as we upgraded IBM's deployment of Sametime last week.  It was amazing to see how critical Sametime has become in the IBM environment, I can't imagine us running the business as successfully without it.

Link: New Zealand Herald: IT sellers talk up social links > (Thanks, Cory)

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