Posts Tagged 'arjan radder'

Facebook is NOT Enterprise-ready – English version

As promised last week, you can read the full interview TheMarker held with my friend Arjan Radder, Social Software Sales Mgr., IBM Europe. Interviewed by Or Herschauna.

Arjan will be speaking at TheMarker Com.Vention Conference coming Sunday, March 29.


Facebook Is Not for Enterprises

Arjan Radder, Social Software Sales Manager in IBM Europe, believes that a Social enterprise networks can have a crucial role in enhancing organizational efficiency.

By Or Herschauna

The first time Arjan Radder, who is responsible for social software sales in IBM Europe, heard that many IBM Israel employees have a Facebook profile he was surprised. “It’s very different for us in Holland,” said Radder who will attend and speak at the Internet convention: Com.Vention, organized by TheMarker on March 29.

A quick check indicates he is right. There aren’t any Dutch IBM employees in Facebook or, at least, not any employees who mentioned the name of the company for which they work. Radder quickly regains his composure. “It’s actually logical,” he says, “Facebook is very popular in Israel. In Holland, for example, most employees have a profile in LinkedIn network, a network with business links. People’s Facebook account in Holland is only for private use – family and friends.”

Radder’s role at IBM involves in leveraging the advantages of social networks in the enterprises.

“When web sites like LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook started to become popular we understand that we at the IBM, have actually been doing something similar for over a decade. For example, we have a network of employee profiles called Blue Pages, which is almost identical to LinkedIn. It is no simple matter to make communications in an organization of almost 500,000 employees efficient. We are spread out over the entire world and engage in fields with a large amount of knowledge. It was simply a matter of necessity for us,” he explains. “We also have 80,000 blogs at the company, ad 12,000 communities,” he adds.

As part of its use of the advantages of the open social networks IBM recently incorporated Lotus Connect and Beehive in its organizational social networks product. Beehive expands the standard user profile in IBM software and makes it similar to the Facebook profile. Beehive allows surfers to upload pictures and events to the profile, and to add comments to the profiles of other users. Radder finds it easy to explain the significance of social applications in an enterprise like IBM.

“Once, when I searched the Internet for something, I’d do it through the regular search engines and receive, at least, hundreds of results. Now I get two results – the first is the results from the general search engines, like Google, and the second is a result from the links that IBM employees uploaded to IBM’s shared tag web site, which is similar to the Delicious social tag site. In most cases the second result is more relevant to my purposes,” he explains.

Saving Search Time

Radder notes that in house research IBM carried out indicated an increase of 50% in employees satisfaction with the search results. “Moreover – not only do I only get relevant results I can also examine the ratings that the company employees gave to the link and, at the click of button, I can start a chat with someone who has already looked for the concept,” he continues. “Can you imagine how much search time is saved in an organization the size of IBM,” he asks.

Radder presents the advantages offered to the enterprises by social software. “Take, for example, the immediate message programs – this is one the easiest business examples. It is very easy to show the tremendous saving which organizations can obtain using such software, in terms of the cost of telephone calls and storage space for emails,” he explains. Nonetheless, he does not recommend the popular programs in this field, such as Microsoft’s Messenger or Yahoo, Skype or Google Talk. “There are regulatory requirements for information storage. For example, organizational solutions for social networks contain the users’ immediate messages for a period of around three years, as part of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (the law which requires public companies traded in the USA to report in-house company audits). We should thank our friends from Enron for this,” he adds jokingly.

“Until a few years ago organizations that wished to use social tools contacted the accepted Internet portals, simply because of the lack of alternatives. These tools, however, are simply not suitable for organizational needs,” he explains. The first and foremost reason for the lack suitability, according to Radder, relates to the inability to perform user identity verification in an appropriate manner in the open social networks, such as LinkedIn and Facebook. “Moreover,” he explains, “there is, of course, a major problem of security and compatibility with the regulations.”

Facebook is NOT Enterprise-ready

My good friend Arjan Radder, Social Media Sales Mgr., IBM Europe, will visit Israel next week, to speak at TheMarker Com.vention and meet some of our customers that are in various stages of social media adoption. This will be Arjan’s 3rd visit to Israel and obviously we’re excited to have him here. His agenda is filling up very quickly, but we still have some open slots.
So, if your company is looking into social media solutions – blogs, employee directory, wikis, social networks and the likes – and you want to hear what IBM has to offer, give me a ring and we’ll work something out.

TheMarker interviewed Arjan earlier this week (by phone), and the full interview is available in today’s print version, as well as online. Since both are in Hebrew, here are some notable portions of the interview. We’ll have a translated version soon, which I’ll post here as well.

When sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Youtube started rounding up fans, we realized that IBM has been deploying similar solutions for over a decade. Our internal employee directory, Blue Pages, stores over 500,000 profiles, much like an internal LinkedIn. Making internal communication efficient wasn’t easy, as IBM spans the world and works in many industries. It was simply a necessity.

Another aspect of Arjan’s interview related to the use of instant messaging solutions, such as MSN Messenger, Skype, GTalk and others, as THE corporate IM tool.

Any enterprise has to adhere to some regulatory restrictions (e.g store business transcripts for 3 years), not to mention the ability to authenticate the user – both don’t exist in public solutions. With corporate IM solutions, such as Lotus Sametime, those capabilities (and others) are built-in, not to mention the fast ROI we can show – reducing travel expenses and phone bills.

Only yesterday I spoke about Social Media Solutions for the Enterprise, at YCD/IBM event. Both of Arjan’s points, about social networks and corporate IM were discussed, with customer references showing the business value and added benefits. You can download that presentation at, or come to this event next Monday, and hear me speak about it.
The examples I mentioned were GE and Celina Insurance for Lotus Sametime (IM) and Ernest and Young and Sprint for social media solutions (Lotus Connections).
The full presentation is embedded below.

Understanding Lotus Connections –

Good thing I started reading C.G Lynch on, and RSSed his blog.

Late May, C.G. wrote an excellent article in, Understanding Lotus Connections, IBM’s version of Web 2.0 for the Enterprise. In the article C.G. points out the different approaches Microsoft and IBM are taking when developing enterprise social software solution, and why IBM’s approach is better:

IBM has taken a different approach than Microsoft. It got really serious about making their social software tools usable and easy on the eyes, which says a lot in a facet of technology where consumers (closely followed by start-up vendors) set the pace of innovation.

The article also quotes analysts from Forrester Research and Yankee Group, as well as Jeff Schick, IBM VP, Social Software:

“We see SaaS as a substantial initiative with IBM,” Schick says. “We’re in beta and focusing on it. We envision it for small and medium businesses, but also at the department level of enterprises.”

Lotus Connections is also pointing out the future of social software – mobile:

Last week, at the Wireless Enterprise Symposium in Orlando, Research in Motion (RIM) and IBM announced that Connections would be available on BlackBerry devices. Now, employees can connect with their colleagues while on the road.

and Jeff Schick added:

“We’re working with quite a few mobile platforms,” he says. “It [partnership with RIM] has been a whirlwind success, but we’re not planning to stop there.”

Link: – Understanding Lotus Connections – IBM’s version of Web 2.0 for the Enterprise

IBM/Lotus Enterprise Collaboration and Social Software Event – Summary

Took some time to relax from the busy week we had, and ponder about some of the meetings, and now I’m ready to tell you how was the event.

We had over 80 social software advocates attending the event last Thursday (March 20th) – a pretty good attendance. 35% of participants were not IBM/Lotus customers, which shows the growing interest in Israel around social networking solutions.

Alan Lepofsky is great!! Really. Excellent speaker. The feedback from the audience was superb, and even thou his presentation was 30min longer, no one cared. He even got ‘a compliment’ from a customer in a follow-up meeting, but I’ll leave it to him to tell the story. I heard this subject (Collaboration) presented many times before, but Alan provided a new take on the subject, giving customers examples from his numerous customer visits around the globe.

Arjan Radder took the stage after Alan and talked about social networking in the public life and its corporate implications. Most of his time he didn’t mention IBM solutions, which was very unique, but good at the same time – we’re not talking in logos or solutions but in context. The goal is to provide a platform for the business, whilst allowing the employee to keep using his known applications – but in the context of collaboration. For instance – on my Lotus Notes 8.0.1 client I have a Twitter extension, which allows me to update my Twitter status (along with other IBM internal communities) right from my messaging application.

Inbal Ronen from HRL showed us some cool stuff being developed at the labs. Most of the projects are being used internally at IBM, and some may find their way to future releases of Lotus Connections and/or Lotus Quickr and/or Lotus XXX… Stay tuned.

Alex and I then went on stage to show Lotus Collaboration demo. We had a script all planned out, but then Alex had to step outside and I was left to do the demo alone… np. I showed how to work with a messaging platform that provides email/calendar/address-book capabilities, add extensions, plugins and right-click actions , integrate with the corporate instant messaging application, paste a file into a chat/email from my shared online space, lookup contact in the employee directory, read my RSS feeds and open Office documents – all without having to leave my messaging application. Using the corporate social software solution I could search for help based on tags and keywords, learn about a colleague’s experience and expertise, read his/her blog, subscribe to the webpages she reads (bookmarks) and join the communities he/she are part of. There are some videos over at YouTube that will make this last paragraph much clearer.

Last but not least, Jason Risley came up, to wrap this event with WebSphere Portal overview.
I’ve seen couple of his slides before, but I never heard the full story behind Swift Transportation and their super-cool intranet site. I’m not sure if I can post screenshots here, so I won’t, but trust me – it’s like a live comics, really… amazing!! So simple, and so smart.

Facebook contribution:
As the event focused on social software for the enterprise, I thought it would be fitting to open up an event page on facebook and invite my friends, that would invite their friends, and their friends, and so on. What was facebook contribution to the audience tally? depends how you define ‘contribution’. 23 people RSVPed the event, 13 actually came. However, I did get many ‘messages’ from friends asking “what’s this laptop party all about?” So there was some contribution… I’ll definitely use facebook again, as its reach is far beyond the usual corporate distribution lists – facebook is the home of social software advocates, the people working at businesses who are looking for similar corporate tools, behind the firewall.
Facebook and other social networks are the medium to reach that audience.

Pictures from the event can be seen at my flick account. The presentations will be available at the event website, (will update when it’s ready), along with links to Lotus demos on YouTube. My slideshare space has more stuff you’ll probably be interested in.

To wrap this long summary, personal feedback, to improve and preserve (accordingly):

  • Time – we were late on the agenda by 20min, which is pretty normal in Israel, but still not an excuse. We started late, but made up for lost time during the presentations.
  • Focus on demo – presentations are very good to convey a message, but if you want to engage the audience, demo is the best method. We did 2 live demos, one from HRL and the other by Alex and myself, which got great reviews in the feedback form.

If you attended the event or have other comments, I’d appreciate your feedback.

Mobile & Media Consultant. I help startup companies launch products to the consumer market. Reach out: dvir.reznik [at]



This is my personal blog. The postings here do not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of my past employers or of my clients. It is solely my opinion.