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IBM Reports Extension of Cloud, Mobile-Based Social Software Offerings

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Today IBM (NYSE: IBM) is introducing new cloud and mobile-enabled social business software and service capabilities which will allow line of business executives to quickly move their business processes into the cloud to drive better decision making and increase productivity. 

For example, using new mobile file synch capabilities, line of business leaders in sales can update a customer presentation on their iPad in real-time, incorporating feedback from a meeting that just ended. The executive can then synch the newest version into the cloud to ensure the entire team has access to the latest document.  At the same time, customer service leaders can launch audio and video based desktop and mobile conferences to review the latest training materials with their global team in order to improve service to customers.

Social networking has had a profound effect on business and when combined with cloud delivery models and new mobile device capabilities it can radically transform an organization. By bringing social and mobile devices into the cloud, businesses have the opportunity to empower employees to work more effectively, collaboratively and securely from any location in order to create larger more effective global workforces.

"The one-two social and cloud combination has not only delivered an increase in productivity with our own workforce, but our clients are also reaping the benefits," said Pamela Webb, SVP, Business Services, SafeGuard World International, which provides globally managed payroll services. "The ability to actively engage and have real-time visibility to project progress in a secure environment really gives our clients confidence in both the implementation process and our organization."

Highlights of the new advanced social, mobile, mail and meetings capabilities available in the IBM SmartCloud for Social Business include:

o IBM SmartCloud Connections includes new features, such as mobile file synch and share. Now any employee can access the cloud and share important documents in the way that works best for them, whether online or offline, on their smartphone or tablet, desktop application or browser. For example, by making it easy to share documents on the go, product development teams can speed innovation and bring new products to market more quickly.  Forrester Research recently recognized IBM as a leader in file sync and share platforms according to the July 2013 report, The Forrester Wave™: File Sync And Share Platforms, Q3 2013*. o IBM SmartCloud Connections includes new community features such as social bridging. Social bridging presents a single view of social content from related communities, whether inside or outside the organizations. Now, for example, an internal marketing community will have access to valuable discussions and content being shared by partners and customers in other communities, all presented in a single unified view. IBM SmartCloud also offers the industry's only guest model which lets employees easily extend collaboration to partners, clients and any others outside the business. o IBM SmartCloud Docs brings traditional office productivity tools into the social realm. IBM SmartCloud Docs lets employees work more efficiently by letting them create, share and collaboratively edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations in real-time. SmartCloud Docs also delivers the industry's most social set of Web editing tools that include social commenting, discussions, author presence and revision management, all available through the cloud on browsers and mobile devices such as the iPad. o IBM SmartCloud Notes provides the industry's broadest set of social capabilities, all presented in the context of your mail experience. With IBM SmartCloud Notes employees can easily move between social tools including communities, projects they are working on and files they are sharing, all in a unified dashboard. This is made possible through a new intuitive web interface, enhanced mail and calendar addressing options, improved workflow for faster scheduling of meetings, single click access to all messaging and greater administrator governance and control than ever.

"Successful workforces today are fueled by powerful social technologies that give employees access to vital information and the insights of colleagues while on the go," said Alistair Rennie, general manager, social business, IBM. "We are giving businesses the opportunity to forever change how employees work through new powerful features that allow them easily to remain connected and productive from anywhere."

IBM is also announcing the availability of IBM SmartCloud for Social Business on SoftLayer's industry leading Infrastructure in a new Amsterdam data center, along with four new on-boarding services that help customers quickly move to the cloud. For example, IBM is offering a new cloud-based hybrid server deployment option for companies that allows them to bridge on-premises and cloud with a single administration console while also accelerating their transition from weeks and months into hours with no hardware investment.

Today more than 9,000 cloud clients, including Sika AG and SafeGuard World International, and 75 percent of the Fortune 100 are transforming their business operations with IBM enterprise social software and the momentum continues to grow as companies turn to IBM SmartCloud.

Sika AG, a specialty chemicals company based in Switzerland, needed to share information faster among its employees across more than 80 countries as well as with its suppliers and customers. With IBM SmartCloud for Social Business, Sika can give 11,500 users across all lines of business operations an easy way to share ideas, improve productivity, fuel business innovation and more effectively reach customers and suppliers to boost sales, all while substantially lowering IT costs.

"Initiated by our market intelligence department we started a social business adoption pilot with 200 employees that quickly expanded to some 3000 users. This pilot generated high user satisfaction and clearly showed us the value of social business for Sika," said Andreas Kissling, Head Sika Group IT. "Choosing an IBM social collaboration solution from the cloud for all our employees is now the next step in Sika's evolution towards a globally integrated enterprise."

Today SafeGuard employees in product management are transforming business operations with IBM SmartCloud for Social Business. Specifically SafeGuard is working with IBM and business partner Trilog Group to respond faster to potential issues that might arise during client implementations or product development and marketing processes. Now the company can mitigate risk and improve accountability and communications between departments and employees who are using the integrated solution. The combined IBM and Trilog ProjExec solution is a strong factor in decreasing Safeguard's time to revenue through a 20 percent reduction in implementation time.

In addition to the new IBM SmartCloud offerings, IBM today is also unveiling Sametime 9. Employees can now engage experts in real-time, shifting from a simple instant message, to a multi-way voice or video call, to an online meeting, all from within their social environment. New features include a streamlined user experience that makes collaboration easy and high definition video conferencing to help connect globally dispersed employees and teams. These new features are all combined with the industry's leading e-meeting experience which saves customers critical phone minutes and helps to reduce travel costs and time. Sametime 9 is built on open standards, which makes it easy to integrate with any and all business processes and uses the latest encryption technology to ensure conversations are kept private and secure.

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