[EN] A Day in the Life of an IBM Marketer: Manage Events and Projects with Suppliers in IBM Smart Cloud

 On May 23 I had the pleasure to open up the Dachis Social Business Summit in Berlin. Due to the fact that Matt Collins would be presenting later the IBM Social Business vision with a lot of customer examples, I decided to go down a different path and tell the audience how I am personally living social as a Marketer within IBM. Obviously there is the external Social Media-Stefan DigitalNaiv – the name of my blog and Twitter account – out there listening, communicating and engaging through the public social media channels. But this is only the so to say public face of the coin. Social Media does not equal Social Business. It is part of it. As important is how I leverage social in my daily work.

I used Dion Hinchcliffe’s graphic, where communities are used in the Next Generation  Enterprise and mapped my personal use cases to it.

Owly Images

One of the most appealing use cases for me is working with my supply chain and my partners. As a marketer I am obviously organizing campaigns and events. External suppliers are always involved in these projects, e.g. our PR Agency Text100, our event agency, my partner in crime CPP, Freelancers, Speakers etc. What are you doing in these projects? You define Milestones, you are assigning and hopefully tracking tasks, you are sharing and collaborating on files, you write meeting minutes and much more. Of course you need to share and track all this information. So typically files and info’s are send by Email, tasks are managed in extensive spreadsheets, which are again being distributed by Email.

And we all experience the disadvantages of Email for sharing and tracking projects, information and files. Big files are filling up your inbox. Even more important: You never know, if you do have the most recent version of a file. Email is for sure not the tool for managing deadlines and tasks. And spreadsheets? Are spreadsheets with numerous columns and rows really the ultimate answer to manage a project? I know, we are living very much out of spreadsheets but I doubt that spreadsheets are the best solution for managing and collaborating on a project. OK, some people might be using professional „big“ Project Management software to manage a campaign. I am not a friend of this. For me it seems to be a real overkill.

A few years ago I changed the way how I manage projects and in particular events away from the Email centric approach to I would call the the „Social Business“ way. I am using with my suppliers IBM’s Smart Cloud for Social Business. I am setting up a project community and activity in the cloud, invite the internal IBMers to the project, include my external suppliers and manage the whole project collaboratively in this community This starts with the brainstorming and ideation on the project (Who should be speaking? Who is contacting the potential speaker? What is the best location? …) up to managing and closing the project and event. Obviously files are shared and versioned through the community, activities and tasks are tracked with clear responsibility and deadlines.

Usually a project starts with a small team collaborating. More and more people become members during the launch and in particular for these new members it is easy to get up to speed extremely fast and have all the necessary information on the project and its status through the community. As important as bringing new team members into the project team is the whole ideation, discussion and collaboration process. The development of the event or campaign happens in a transparent and open way, ideas are being added, discussed, declined. Not sure if this is already wisdom of the crowd, but for sure it is in comparison to Email inspiring, more productive and the more social way of managing projects. When describing how I work in a IBM Smart Cloud community with my suppliers I should not forget to mention the aspect of Social Communications. Of course Online Meetings and Instant Messaging are integrated part of managing projects with my partners in the cloud. The external partners can easily participate in Online Meetings and without local software they are able to chat with me. So real-time communication and Online Meetings are important part of the whole Social setup and add enormous value.

Of course I am using the same social way of managing Marketing projects IBM-internally behind the firewall. What I want to re-emphasize is the external aspect I am describing. There is a huge potential within the Enterprise. But there maybe as much potential in collaborating the social way with suppliers. For sure it is improving my daily work. For sure it is improving quality and transparency of the project. And for sure it makes life for our suppliers much easier to work in an extended social enterprise. Of course it still needs a lot of evangelizing, discussing, educating to convince people to move away from their traditional Email centric way of working to the social way. But I will continue preaching and convincing to move all our projects with external suppliers into the IBM Smart Cloud and create an extensive extended IBM Marketing community for smarter, better Marketing events and campaigns. Think about your daily work and your use cases and benefits. Where does it make sense for you to work in an extended Next Generation Social Enterprise?

The presentation I gave at the Dachis Summit is available here on Slideshare. I will continue mapping out my use cases in upcoming blog entries hoping to inspire you to work social in your daily work, not only as a marketer.

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