As an internal work tool, IBM Connections is more focused behind the firewall, but it can be set up to connect with external communities. The Hootsuite integration helps with a bit of that external communication as well, albeit on the social media side. As enterprise and consumer tools continue to intersect, the lines between tools designed for one or the other will continue to blur.
In this case, we\’ll have to wait until 2014 to see the full potential of Hootsuite and IBM Connections, but it\’s clear enterprise social networks are leading the consumerization of IT trend.
Why am I so excited about this integration? Several reasons:
1. I am using Hootsuite to feed my personal and some of the IBM channels. The opportunity to additionally feed IBM Connections instances is a big promise. Why?
2. Practical example from my daily life: The community of the German IBM Collaboration Solutions users – EULUC – is running on IBM Connections. Hosted by our Business Partners Softwerk and holistic.net everybody can access and read the content, registered users are able to add and comment. This is an external facing, very vibrant community discussing the different aspects of Social Business, sharing and discussing ideas. I am regularly posting blog entries there. With the integration it is now possible to add content to the IBM Connections Newsfeed. So when sending Tweets and Social media messages I can include EULUC and our users and Business Partners do get the content in their feed.
3. Very similar with our internal communities: At this very moment I have to add content (Tweets and links) twice to make sure, that I am reaching the external audience on Twitter, Facebook etc. and the internal IBM Communities on IBM Connections. And honestly: Very often I do spread more information internally than externally, which is a pity, because our Sales and technical people should get at least the same information. With the integration I can make sure, that I add important content to the relevant internal Special Interest Communities. Great improvement.
And yes: You have to be careful, that you don’t share confidential content by accident in the wrong channels. But as today: Make sure you are disciplined when sending out Social Media Messages.
Anthony Myers lays out more aspects and visions of the integration in his article. The ones described above are those, where I see immediate personal benefit for me, my company, our customers and the external audience. This integration shows (again), how the walls between the enterprise, the Business Partners and the customers are coming down, how communities bridge these walls and how much more power the customers have in the Social Era.The most recent study of the IBM Institute for Business Value talks about the „Customer-activated Enterprise„. C-Level has recognized that they need to interact, collaborate and communicate with their customers to be more successful. This integration is an important technical enabler to do so, not more, but for sure not less.
Looking forward to get my account upgraded to start using the integration.