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
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Notes from Rational Support
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