There’s no denying the impact of cloud computing. It has quickly matured to a point where it’s considered a mainstream technology service and the benefits can seem endless. My customers have experienced reduced IT costs and they appreciate how easy it is to set up, how it scales to their business’ storage needs seamlessly, provides their partners and employees with remote access from anywhere at anytime, and its security benefits, a fairly attractive characteristic for most organizations.
While cloud is certainly gaining traction, we’re also seeing some new and exciting integrations such as with enterprise social networking technologies. The power and potential of these two powerhouses are substantial and organizations of all sizes are quickly realizing it’s an opportunity that can’t be missed. According to Forrester Research, Inc., online collaboration tools are becoming a key part of enterprise deployments. The August 2012 report, “The Forrester Wave™: Cloud Strategies of Online Collaboration Software Vendors, 3Q 2012” also cites that 56 percent of application decision makers say they are currently using or plan to use cloud based collaboration tools.
To meet the market demand for social in the cloud, my team developed the IBM SmartCloud for Social Business, recently cited by Forrester Research as a Leader in its Cloud Collaboration Wave Report.
IBM SmartCloud for Social Business provides users with:
- one-click access to social networking
- online meetings
- enterprise-class email
- instant messaging
The solution is allowing clients to collaborate inside and outside the firewall while pairing business transformation with the economic benefits of flexible cloud delivery models.
To help illustrate the possibilities, I wanted to share how two of our clients are using SmartCloud for Social Business:
Ricoh Group is an international supplier of office and industrial equipment. Conducting business in more than 200 countries, the Ricoh Group generates more than half of its sales from outside Japan and has become a highly trusted name by helping customers improve productivity and create knowledge. It aims to continue growing and seeks at least 25 percent of its fiscal year 2013 sales from new business areas.
Ricoh was looking to improve the quality and breadth of its offerings, providing total solutions tailored to each customer’s environment and operations. The company turned to the IBM SmartCloud for Social Business to enhance productivity and innovation in its Business Development Center.
- greater efficiency in product planning
- a new work style based on lateral information sharing that may reduce staff hours needed to create new release information by as much as 20 percent.
More about Ricoh’s journey with IBM SmartCloud for Social Business:
Centrax is a SMB in the United Kingdom specializing in compressor and turbine aerofoils.
As a result of adopting a hybrid IBM SmartCloud environment, the company has been able to:
- quickly and cost effectively provision email, calendaring and instant messaging capabilities to 160 direct factory employees
- communicate and share ideas online more efficiently
- enhance employee engagement across the organization
- create a vision for growth.