Notes from Rational Support
There's no doubt that "social" is the new web. Over the past two years we saw businesses adopt social networking at an unprecedented pace. But what will this year bring in the social spaces? More particular, what role will social business play in software support in 2011? We posed that very question to Rational Client Support and found a myriad of ideas and opinions.
From one of our Rational System Architect and Modeling TSEs, Pritesh Patel, we get the high level view of social business: "The information highway has become a social gathering place where more and more people using it are being seduced by digital media. You no longer have to invite someone for a cuppa tea to have a chinwag and gossip. In support, we have a huge bucket full of data (gossip) that we share. We can now reach out to our clients and provide them with necessary information, which can then reverberate across our various social-business channels. All major organizations are using these tools to create a buzz and that's what we're doing also. We promote support and build a different kind of rapport with our clients."
Sumant Renukarya, a Rational Synergy and Change TSE follows on Pritesh's view with: "We already see a major shift in the way the information is spread, thanks to social networking. At support, the following points play a major role with social networking: social business provides quick access to the required information like specific product related installers, fixpacks, readmes, etc. Promoting events and hence better attendance. And it adds a personal touch with clients, developers, and support personnel."
One of RCS' Knowledge Managers, Phil Wall, points out that: "Social Media in 2011 needs to be more interactive. We have been serving up information, videos and education through our Notes From Rational Support, Twitter, and Facebook channels almost like how a Newspaper reports the news to subscribers. What will make our social business channels more interesting to our community in between relevant information sharing?"
And that, dear readers, is a great question. What will make our presence more interesting? I'll leave you with these two additional questions in hopes of finding out:
What do you think 2011 will hold for software support in social business? What would you like to see from us in these spaces?
image obtained from: flickr user Rosaura Ochoa, illustration by Gerardo Obieta
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AcdntlPoet 2700019V2G Tags:  rational-software social-media linkedin social-business 5,060 Views
You may have noticed that IBM Rational recently launched a space within LinkedIn. Our goal is to ensure that anyone looking for an official IBM Rational space within the LinkedIn community will be able to find one; a way to make ourselves more available to you all!
Our efforts within the LinkedIn community, however, won't be focused wholly or specifically on just this new community. The nature of LinkedIn lends itself to be more effective when people from organizations are participating in conversations across LinkedIn groups; not specifically or solely in the Rational Software space.
And since everyone loves action items: we're encouraging you to do two things...
As clients, IBMers, and business partners, we all have specific expertise and focus to provide to the Rational Software LinkedIn group, as well as all the other groups in the space. Using LinkedIn is a benefit to us all through knowledge sharing in the places where you play!
That's a powerful statement.
It's also one of IBM's Core Values, one that resonates particularly with me in regards to our social business initiatives… like this blog. Let me explain.
Think of what you might consider a traditional technical support organization. Fielding your questions and calls via email, phone and PMRs, we stand ready to assist you. As soon as you reach out to us.
Once a call is fielded, a solution provided, and a technote written and published, we hope that you (or others) will find the information when you need it.
Ok, that's a gross over-simplification. We also work very hard to help you help yourself with our content. We spend lots of energy providing you with the best tools and award-winning portals, optimizing our content so that you can find it when you need it, etc etc.
Now throw social business into the mix ...it's a game-changer.
By connecting with us via Twitter, Facebook, here on our developerWorks blog, on YouTube, LinkedIn and dW forums, we hope to be able to help you find the information you need to be successful with our IBM and Rational products BEFORE you need to file a support ticket. We can share the information we learn through our support calls with you and others who may need it, so that they don't have to call. By holding open mic calls to share information on relevant technical topics and field questions, we want to arm you with the information you need.
That's powerful. But it's also scary, particularly for command-and-control-oriented companies, used to all messaging and communication being fed from the top-down.
Fortunately, IBM is NOT one of those companies.
IBM as a corporation was in the vanguard of supporting employees' participation in social media, both personally and professionally, LONG before social media was cool. We have a set of Social Computing Guidelines, developed by IBMers all over the world.
IBM and Rational trusts that we will participate responsibly in these venues, and we work very hard to deserve that trust. No one has to vet or approve our Rational Client Support postings before publication, and no one tells us what to post. We are empowered to "do the right thing".
Sometimes I take that for granted and I shouldn't. Neither should you.
I feel very fortunate and am proud to work for a company that trusts their employees to "do the right thing". And I'm not just saying that to suck up.
However, I DO have an ulterior motive.
While we trust that we are doing the right thing and providing a valuable service with these programs; in effect, transforming our support organization, we struggle to identify our ROI (return on investment). Unlike marketing-driven social media programs, we can't measure lead generation or sales revenue derived from these initiatives. We HOPE that by reaching out to you proactively, we help you be successful with our products without having to call support - but, as you might imagine, measuring something that does not happen is a bit of a challenge.
Therefore, you can help us gauge the value of our social business efforts to YOU by answering 2-3 quick questions on our social media survey. It really is painless. We want to know who's following, and how valuable you find our various efforts. If you have an extra minute, you can provide some free-form comments to help us serve you better.
Because honestly, it doesn't matter what WE think ... YOUR opinion is the only one that really counts.
Pretty please? And thank you!
Link to survey
Image credit: Some rights reserved by flickr user notsogoodphotography
AcdntlPoet 2700019V2G Tags:  social-business rcs social business suggestions feedback survey comments 5,505 Views
No, really, thank you! Your response to our survey request has been outstanding! We've been getting some -great- feedback via our Social Business survey; we're learning a lot, and we want to learn more!
Oh, but you say you haven't actually filled out our little 3 question survey? Well, you're in luck: you still have time to give us YOUR feedback too! It's just two quick questions to identify how you're connected to us and what value you see in our different channels, then an optional third question to provide free-text feedback if you so desire. (I'll tell you, we LOVE getting actionable comments from you!)
As Kelly noted in her post last week, it doesn't matter what WE think ... YOUR opinion is the only one that really counts!
image credit: (cc) by flickr user hugochisholm