IBM Debuts Social Business Event

The two-day IBM Connect event focuses on how businesses can meld social media, the cloud and mobile technologies

This year marks the debut of IBM Connect 2012, a two-day event that will run parallel to Lotusphere 2012 and focuses on an array of topics surrounding becoming a social business, creating value and improving business outcomes.

To be held in Orlando, Florida, on 16 and 17 January, Connect is designed for C-level executives and business leaders throughout an organisation, including product development, marketing, research and development, sales, customer service, human resources, corporate communications and IT.

Melding social, mobile and cloud

The conference will include sessions on how organisations can meld social, mobile and cloud technologies to meet common business challenges and enable employees to improve their organisations’ performance.

“If I think about what’s happening and the direction we’re headed, in order to help our clients we at IBM and our partners need a deep knowledge and understanding of the overall adoption and engagement dynamic and impact we can have with different techs, and I think we spent 2011 establishing relationships. In 2012, our role will be to take that insight and lead our clients to that next level of where social can bring them,” Sandy Carter, vice president of Social Business Evangelism and Sales at IBM, said in an interview.

For personalised help attaining this goal, attendees can register for a complimentary one-hour business value assessment to help them begin to align and shape the business case for their social business initiatives. IBM strategists, product experts, engineers, architects and developers will also be on-site to share their expertise, recommendations and ideas.

“We’re not just focused on the technology,” said Carter. “You’ve got to have the technology and a great social business platform, but you must grasp the adoption, too.”

To further assist, Connect’s agenda includes many sessions focused on best practices. One keynote features Kristen Lauria, IBM Collaboration Solutions, vice president, Worldwide Marketing, Social Business; Bridget van Kralingen, general manager, IBM North America; Martina Girkens, vice president, Corporate Functions IT Continental AG; and Guy Kawasaki, co-founder of, author and entrepreneur.

Another keynote includes presentations by Denis Brousseau, vice president and global leader, Organisation and People, IBM Global Business Services; and Gilberto Garcia, head of innovation at CEMEX. Carter will wrap up the event with a presentation titled “Top 5 Social Surprises From Clients Using the Social Business Agenda.”

Social media and innovation

In addition, the two-day event includes multiple panel and executive-led discussions on topics such as social media and innovation, social media in health care, demystifying enterprise gamefication, social and product development, social business in the cloud, and big data and social analytics, among many.

IBM already unveiled a series of new programmes, services and partnerships to continue to push forward the company’s social business strategy. On 11 January the company introduced a set of new efforts – including consulting opportunities, educational programmes and workshops – to expand on its social business initiative.

The Solutions Showcase, open at various hours throughout the event, allows attendees to see products from IBM and its business partners in action. Other networking events include an IBM Connect Welcome Reception on Sunday evening, an IBM Connect dinner on Monday night and a Solution Showcase reception on Monday evening.