Yet again I have to apologise for the sporadic nature of my blogs… and the excuse is still the same, that I am doing so much fun stuff at IBM at the moment that my feet haven’t touched the ground in weeks.
On Tuesday I headed off to Twickers in the glorious sunshine to spend the day at the IBM Software Group Business Partner College – which is an annual event where our BPs are able to attend different tracks on key subjects, delivered by IBM and agency subject matter experts, to help them enhance their skills & grow their businesses.
The college was opened by Dom Poloneicki (@, Director of Enterprise and Channel for Software Group, who explained the overarching theme of the day was “Breaking New Ground”, with the additional mantra of Simplicity, Profitability and Growth. He talked about the importance of Data and Analytics, and one of my favourite sound bites of the day came from him when he said “we used to use intuition to make decisions…now we use analytics”. Dom talked about IBM’s commitment to key strategic areas of Cloud, Analytics, Mobile and Social – all underpinned by security. He talked about the amount of investment IBM is making in these areas, both in terms of resources and R&D.
Next up was rugby legend Will Greenwood – who talked about IBM’s relationship with the RFU, in particular how the IBM Try Tracker is changing the way the game is played. Analytics have had a massive impact on coaches insights and decisions, and explained how he thought the marriage of gut feel and data is a fascinating concept. Will said that using data is helping to simplify the game – he called it the “mum test”! It means that the understanding of the game is expanding to a wider audience, it’s getting more people talking. Here is a photo of the IBM Try Tracker in action.
Rebecca Sinnatt (@RebeccaSinnatt) then spoke, who is the IBM Software Group Channel Leader, who also emphasised the amount IBM is investing in the key areas mentioned above. Rebecca spoke about how IBM wants to work in conjunction with our Business Partners to Be Essential is our customers. She also talked about how she believed that it takes true courage to abandon a practice that has made you successful in the past, and reinvent your business, to say “I am going to break new ground”, and successful CEO’s are able do this. Rebecca closed by saying that it is her vision that all her team are embracing the Business Partners and are working collaboratively with them to ensure our customers are experiencing the best we can offer.
The next session I attended was by Alison Orsi (@Alisonorsi), IBM Software Group VP Marketing, who took the audience through some key findings from IBM’s work with CMOs, and the shift we are all seeing in how customers are engaging in this digital age. Alison spoke about how the main catalysts for this is the mountains of unstructured data. Customers expectations are changing, they want to be seen as individual buyers by name and they want to be able to instantly be able to share things with their networks. In fact in IBM’s CMO study – we found that 90% of customers expect personalisation, but only 32% of companies are doing this. Alison talked about how the CMO study also showed how there is a gap between aspiration, action and reality of where companies are in their digital journey, but really technology really can help you do anything now – and companies should aim to become digital pace setters, rather than just traditionalist.
Here are couple of interesting slides from Alison’s session (sorry they are a bit grainy).
The last session of the day I would like to talk about is my favourite Social Business evangelist Stuart McRae (@SMcrae). Stuart talked about the social internet is changing IT, and it’s challenging the way we work. Our customers are now vocal 24/7, and we need to make sure we take advantage of this. Social Business, in particular collaboration is crucial to this. Here are a few of my favourite slides from the session. Again sorry for how grainy they are!
Our Wimbledon stand was also at the event – telling the story of how we have been working with them now for 25 years. Here is a photo of me with the stand and my colleauge Emma Beattie (@emmajbeattie).
Remember, as usual, you can catch real time updates from me by following @RSwindell.
In other news….
I got Brazil in our World Cup sweeptake!! Here is a picture of me showing my support.
I also made a strawberry and jelly flan for our Punnet meeting (Social Media around IBM at Wimbledon – see my previous blogs!) You can just make out #thepunnet in strawberries (if you look hard enough).