Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Social Approach to Solving Business Problems

In today’s world of empowered individuals, world leaders and businesses must use potent new technologies and harness social media to organize themselves, to show authenticity, fairness, transparency and good faith.

Social can be categorized broadly into: socializing with your external subscribers and socializing with your own employees. In order to maintain a healthy relationship and get active feedback, a system that enables subscribers to provide an honest opinion that lets you address the issues and concerns in a timely manner is critical to business. Facebook, G+, Twitter, and Foursquare are established open platforms that can very well engage these external subscribers. Another way to engage and socialize with your subscribers is through a secured and controlled platform, your own corporate portal, which empowers your subscriber with information that they need, when they need it and how they need it.

Social engagement within an organization can be looked upon as socializing between the employees, departments, channels etc. The synergy that you can generate through a true social enterprise can show dramatic ROIs on your record books. IBM Connections is one such product that helps organizations create an internal platform that they can leverage to manage internal and external social networks. Connection's mobile capabilities ensure that employees are connected 24/7 across the globe providing the best possible value to subscribers. In conventional systems, information flows via emails; appreciations, issues and suggestions are shared in a closed loop. However, with Connections they are discussed openly, bringing in the necessary empowerment and transparency to work culture.

Discussing a business requirement with one of my customers, I realized how the Social aspects between External subscribers and Internal Employees could be bridged using an IBM Connections platform. The customer wanted to revolutionize information exchange between their subscribers and customer service representatives. As subscribers login to the Web Portal, they would receive a highly personalized set of alerts, links to blogs and content relevant to their preferences. The subscriber can ask questions, share their concerns or any other appropriate information including rich media with the customer service representative. As we worked with the customer through this requirement to identify relevant COTS Products, IBM Connections came in as the closest fit. Given the social value provided by IBM Connections, the decision was an easy one for the customer to make.

A social approach to solving common business problems can help businesses optimize their processes, bringing in necessary transparency to their subscribers and employees. It also adds a different dimension to the traditional delivery approach by promoting an active engagement between various stakeholders.

To learn more about Prolifics' social business solutions, click here or visit our website at

Prabhakar Goel is a Solution Architect with Prolifics and a key member of highly specialized team of IBM WebSphere experts involved in architecture and delivery of Business Integration solutions, High transaction commercial portals and Solutions based on Open source technologies. He is an expert providing End-to-End SOA implementations utilizing IBM suite of products like Portal, Connections, Content Management, Process Server. He holds Masters in Software Systems from BITS, Pilani and a Graduate Degree in Electrical Engineering from Kurukshetra.