Saturday, April 19, 2014

Social Insights Guest Blogging

Over the past few months, I've contributed to IBM's Social Insights blog. Here are my recent posts:

Social Business Jobs

The Impact of Social Business on Remote Work

10 Great Social Business Features of IBM Connections


Monday, April 07, 2014

Video from Connect 2014

Here's a video of me from Connect 2014, talking about social business and how my company uses IBM Connections and Sametime.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Connect 2014: An Energizing Conference

I had the privilege to attend and present at Connect 2014, an IBM conference focused on social, collaborative, and mobile technology. The theme of the event was "Energizing Life's Work" and it all got started in the kickoff session with the up-tempo "Best Day of My Life" from the band American Authors. From there, the ideas, technology, and people in attendance fueled the energy and collaboration until the event closed against the panoramic backdrop of Mars.

Many of the Connect speakers and sessions focused on the current pillars in technology: social business, mobile, big data and analytics, and cloud. To get a sense of the richness of topics on display at Connect, search the Twitter hashtag #IBMConnect to start. Within that mix, below are some of the specific topics and technologies that held my attention.

Sametime 9 - I was impressed with Sametime 9, particularly the strides in high-fidelity video across devices. Spending a lot of time as I do thinking about workforce solutions, I think this product can really assist organizations as they continue to support remote workers, telecommuting, and flex.

Mail Next - If anything needs disruption, it's email, and Mail Next looks like the first truly social email solution. This could be huge for IBM if the product really adds a new dimension to email while eliminating some of the redundancy.

Kenexa Talent Suite - It's been over a year since IBM acquired Kenexa, and it will be interesting to see how the new Talent Suite product impacts (and potentially disrupts) HR technology and the recruitment industry.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) - BYOD isn't new to some, but Connect was the first event where I encountered so many people using their own mobile device for work purposes -- all via technology and policies encouraging employees "to use their personal mobile devices — and, increasingly, notebook PCs — to access enterprise data and systems."

Connections Guest Access - My company is on Connections today, and I'm often asked if we can support external users. Though we can't add external users in Connections today, fortunately from what I heard at Connect, Connections Next will support partitioned access for external users. This will extend the utility and versatility of Connections as a viable extranet for customers, vendors, contract employees, and independent contractors.

Social Analytics and Visualization - There was some amazing technology on display at Connections. Though leading edge today, I suspect social analytics and visualization will be commonplace in organizations within five years.




Rudy Karsan and Louis Richardson - One of my favorite sessions at Connect was a Mythbusters-inspired Q&A in which Rudy Karsan (Kenexa CEO) and Louis Richardson gave their opinions about some commonly held beliefs about employment and talent. I particularly enjoyed when Rudy Karsan debunked the myth that work-life balance is important and commented that it's not really a factor in engagement. Instead, he said, people should "stop balancing and start juggling".

Connect 2015 - If you missed Connect this year, mark your calendar for January 25-29, 2015!




Friday, January 24, 2014

My Connect 2014 Presentation Details

Below are the dates, times, and locations of my Connect 2014 presentations. If you attend one or both of the sessions, please say hello afterwards.

Session: ECE104
Program Stream 1: For Business Leaders
Track 03: Solutions for Exceptional Customer Experiences

Brand Refresh and Responsive UI at the Superior Group

When: January 28, 10:00 - 11:00 am
Where: Swan Ballroom 7-8

Founded in 1957, Superior Group focuses on the agile delivery of people, process and project outsourcing solutions. When your business is people, brand is critical. Mobility is also critical as HR professionals and recruits are not always sitting in front of their computer. Come to this session to see how The Superior Group partnered with Avnet Services to deliver a new brand, leveraging rich content management capabilities. In addition to the new brand, the new sites are fully responsive so users are given the proper experience from any device. You will learn the business drivers as well as some technical details of the implementation.

Session: CUST122
Program Stream 2: For IT Practitioners
Track 07: Customer Case Studies (from an IT perspective)

Superior Group and Waters Corp: Successfully Launching IBM Connections

When: January 28, 5:30 - 6:30 pm
Where: Swan Ballroom 3-4

Anyone looking to deploy a social business platform should attend this session to understand how to plan, build, and launch Connections. You will learn from the real life experiences of two mid-size organizations. Waters Corporation and Superior Group are from different industries and geographies, but each wanted a globally connected internal communication platform that promoted company-wide knowledge sharing and collaboration. We will showcase each deployment and discuss how to leverage business objectives to drive high rates of adoption and engagement across the enterprise. This session will provide valuable lessons learned for you to consider when planning and orchestrating your IBM Connections launch.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Connect 2014

This year, I will be presenting during two sessions at Connect 2014, an IBM conference focused on social, collaborative, and mobile technology. I will be speaking about my company's implementation of IBM Connections (a social network for the enterprise) and responsive web design.

Below are the descriptions for both of my sessions:

Session: ECE104
Program Stream 1: For Business Leaders
Track 03: Solutions for Exceptional Customer Experiences

Brand Refresh and Responsive UI at the Superior Group

Founded in 1957, Superior Group focuses on the agile delivery of people, process and project outsourcing solutions. When your business is people, brand is critical. Mobility is also critical as HR professionals and recruits are not always sitting in front of their computer. Come to this session to see how The Superior Group partnered with Avnet Services to deliver a new brand, leveraging rich content management capabilities. In addition to the new brand, the new sites are fully responsive so users are given the proper experience from any device. You will learn the business drivers as well as some technical details of the implementation.

Session: CUST122
Program Stream 2: For IT Practitioners
Track 07: Customer Case Studies (from an IT perspective)

Superior Group and Waters Corp: Successfully Launching IBM Connections

Anyone looking to deploy a social business platform should attend this session to understand how to plan, build, and launch Connections. You will learn from the real life experiences of two mid-size organizations. Waters Corporation and Superior Group are from different industries and geographies, but each wanted a globally connected internal communication platform that promoted company-wide knowledge sharing and collaboration. We will showcase each deployment and discuss how to leverage business objectives to drive high rates of adoption and engagement across the enterprise. This session will provide valuable lessons learned for you to consider when planning and orchestrating your IBM Connections launch.

If you're attending Connect, please be sure to say hello or attend one of my presentations. If you'd like to learn more Connect, access the event website at http://www-01.ibm.com/software/collaboration/events/connect/.


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Books Read in 2013

I was very busy in 2013 launching Date on Purpose, and unfortunately did not read as much as in past years. Still, even though I read less, I enjoyed a lot of what I read from this past year. Notable titles included Daring Greatly by Brene Brown (go watch her TED talks right now if you are unfamiliar with her), Tina Fey's Bossypants (hilarious), and The Four-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss (an inspiring, get off your ass book). I also reread The Hunger Games trilogy and enjoyed them just as much the second time around.

Happy Holidays and happy reading!

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel H. Pink
The Impact Equation: Are You Making Things Happen or Just Making Noise? by Chris Brogan and Juliet Stanwell Smith
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
A Working Theory of Love by Scott Hutchins
Bossypants by Tina Fey
The Shift by Wayne W. Dyer
Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash by Edward Humes
7th Sigma by Steven Gould
Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
Calico Joe by John Grisham
The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz
Decisive by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? by Seth Godin
Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future by Dorie Clark
The Four-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss
Buffalo Lockjaw by Greg Ames
The Connected Company by Dave Gray
The Human Division by John Scalzi
Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye by Ellie Phillips
Liars and Outliers by Bruce Schneier
Liar's Poker by Michael Lewis
The Start-Up of You by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha
Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan
Bend, Not Break: A Life in Two Worlds by Ping Fu
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Been Awhile

I haven't blogged much this year, but not because I haven't had thoughts and ideas. I've been away for a number of reasons, but mostly because I spent a lot of my excess time this year working to launch Date on Purpose.

If you haven't heard of Date on Purpose yet, this is a sustainable business that gives away half its profits to charity. To do this, Date on Purpose has brought the traditional bachelor/bachelorette auction online and provides a platform allowing users to bid on dates with eligible bachelors and bachelorettes for charity.

Date on Purpose launched in my home city of Buffalo, NY. Our first online auction went live in September 2013 and the dates for that auction and launch party took place on October 18, 2013. With no major sponsors or outside investment, we were able to raise and donate $2,500 to Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo.

My thanks to an amazing startup team who were all instrumental in making Date on Purpose a reality:
  • Matt Carlucci
  • Jennifer Kowalewski
  • Tricia Piatkowski
  • Nicole Schuman
Looking ahead to 2014, I hope to do additional Date on Purpose auction/events in Buffalo, and expand to additional cities. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates.