IBM developerWorks: Empower your Customers to help themselves

Believe it or not: People like to help each other. People like to show their expertise. Give them the environment to do so and it can save you time and money. Take IBM developerWorks as an example of a vital network, of an outstanding Customer Self Service community powered by social – and the people:

IBM developerWorks is the premier web-based resource and social network for millions of developers and IT professionals worldwide. …

In the late 1990s, IBM realized that it had a problem: Because technology changes so quickly, it was not always easy for software developers to stay up to speed and communicate with each other on the most current technologies, techniques, and standards. Since the IBM software product line is built on open standards, there was a concern that the community skilled on these standards would gradually erode and IBM software products would suffer as developers had a hard time solving problems on their own without in depth information or a community where they could ask questions. At the same time, with high costs for the average support call, the IBM software support team needed a way to cut spending as much as possible. …

In September 1999, IBM connected open standards developers through an online community, to make sure that developers had a central location to visit to build a professional network .. , and a thriving new online community around this content, launched in April 2009. …

Since its inception, developerWorks has become the destination on the web for developers and IT professionals to stay abreast of open standards, develop skills, solve problems, and collaborate with peers. Our results demonstrate that through our forums and online community efforts, developerWorks has both encouraged the growth of the open standards development community while driving down IBM support costs. The net result of the following activities is over $100M in annual support savings …:

via IBM developerWorks : IBM developerWorks.

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