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IBM Enables Cloud-based Social Business for Government


Bill Ives Posted by

IBM introduced a new set of social collaboration offerings on the IBM Federal Community Cloud. The services include the industry’s broadest capabilities for social software such as wikis, micro-blogs, staff profiles, instant messaging, web conferencing, messaging and collaboration, and email.  It also includes support for popular mobile devices including Android phones and tablets, Apple iPhone 4 and iPad, BlackBerry, and Nokia Symbian platform.

The new set of social collaboration Cloud offerings on the IBM Federal Community Cloud addresses the Obama administration’s drive to adopt a “cloud-first” policy that is designed to help the government reduce and consolidate its 2,100 data centers. The government plans to reduce that total by at least 40% by 2015. Bringing social networking capabilities to the IBM Federal Community Cloud will help federal government organizations with collaboration, generate new ideas, and increase government efficiencies. I can support that.

IBM’s social software, which is part of the new service, has many productivity tools including:

  • Blogs allow staff to gather and prioritize community ideas, present their own ideas and learn from others.
  • Communities allow people to exchange and share information with others through a web browser, instant messaging, or email software.
  • File sharing and micro-blogs facilitate collaboration with dynamic networks of co-workers, partners and customers.
  • Profiles allow people to find and work with others who share common interests and expertise as well as expand their social networks. Tags and social analytics technologies assist with this task.

A variety of regional government organizations, including the State of Vermont and Michigan Municipal League, have recently adopted IBM cloud collaboration services in order to transform their business processes and increase efficiencies.  In keeping with its cost cutting initiative, the State of Vermont is lowering costs, reducing paper consumption and increasing efficiency in its Department of Information and Innovation (DII). The DII is transforming the way it processes vendor contracts with IBM cloud services and Silanis’ electronic signature technology.

IBM is now providing tools for organizations to collaborate both on premise and in the cloud. For example, the U.S. Army is already using a variety of on premise IBM collaboration tools including electronic IBM Forms that help reduce the time, costs, and problems inherent to paper-based forms processes to help speed process automation.  Additionally, several Federal government organizations use IBM services that provide cloud and data center capabilities to build, manage, operate and analyze their computing environments.

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About the Author: Dr. Bill Ives is an independent consultant and writer who has worked with Fortune 100 companies in business uses of emerging technologies for over 20 years. For several years he led the Knowledge Management Practice for a large consulting firm.. Now he primarily helps companies with their business blogs. He is also the VP of Social Media and blogger for TVissimo, a new TV schedule search engine. Prior to consulting, Dr. Ives was a Research Associate at Harvard University exploring the effects of media on cognition. He obtained his Ph. D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Toronto. Bill can be reached at his blog: Portals and KM. He also writes for the FastForward blog and the AppGap blog.