Social Media at Ibm and a Case Study of Yammer at Deloitte

IT InfrastructureSession 01 Social Media at IBM IBM has been aggressively using social media to tie its far-flung and huge workforce together and, without a doubt, also with a mind towards selling these technologies as part of its service offering. IBM’s Beehive Social Network is a glimpse of how social networks might be used and received in the future. It is an Internet-based social networking site that gives IBM staff a “rich connection to the people they work with,” both professionally and personally.

Using it, employees can make new connections, track current friends and co-workers, and renew contact with people they have worked with in the past. In the first nine months of use, over 35,000 registered IBM employees created over 280,000 social network connections to each other, posted more than 150,000 comments, shared more than 43,000 photos, created about 15,000 ‘Hive5s,’ and hosted more than 2,000 events. Beehive seems to be succeeding “to help IBM employees meet the challenge of building the relationships vital to working in large, distributed enterprises. ”

Ref: IBM Watson Research Center (2008) “Project: Beehive”, available at http://domain. watson. ibm. com/cambridgeresearch. nsf/0/8b6d4cd68f, last accessed 28 Feb 2013. A Case Study of Yammer at Deloitte Social media technologies are making fast inroads into organisations. In the context of knowledge intensive work the propositions of improving communication, information sharing and user involvement seem particularly promising. However, the role and impact of social technologies in enterprises in general, and knowledge work in particular, are still not well understood, despite emerging scholarly works in this field.

Our case investigates emerging communicative work practices on the Enterprise Social Networking platform Yammer within Deloitte Australia. We uncover a set of emerging practices enabled by the platform within the case company and reflect on our results in the context of the knowledge-intensive nature of professional service work. We find that Yammer in the case company has become 1) an information-sharing channel, 2) a space for crowd-sourcing ideas, 3) a place for finding expertise and solving problems, and most importantly 4) a conversation medium for context and relationship building.

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Ref: Riemer, K, Scifleet, P & Reddig, R (2012), “Powercrowd: Enterprise Social Networking in Professional Service Work: A Case Study of Yammer at Deloitte Australia”, available at http://hdl. handle. net/2123/8352, last accessed 28 Feb 2013. 1. What aspects of social media technologies do the above case studies illustrate? • Information sharing • Communication • Joint problem sharing • Discussion forums • Networking • Events management • Generation of ideas/innovation 2. What other examples of the use of social media technologies for corporate communication are you aware of? Facebook for marketing, discussion boards, event notification • Dropbox for document sharing, joint authorship • Google docs for document sharing, joint authorship • Google talk, Skype for voice and video communications • Linkedin for networking, profile, job seeking, employ seeking, outsourcing • Share-point for document sharing, discussion board, joint authorship 3. To what extent can / should an IT Infrastructure Manager control the extent and mode of use of social media technologies? Can / Should Control Use |Cannot / Should Not Control Use | |Control access to some social media, such as personal email |Access to information | |accounts that deliberately bypass corporate mail pathways |Use of personal communication devices, especially for personal | |Access to and storage of certain type of content (pornography,|communication | |racial, anti-social) |Downloading of apps to non-corporate devices | |Privacy of corporate data – identifying realms of privacy: |Communication outside of work hours | |confidential, internally confidential, public, potentially |External threats – hacking, invasion, blocking, loss of | |public |external security | |Censorship of inappropriate non-professional communication – | | |through policies & governance | | 4. What are some implications of these developments in the use of social media technologies for the management of existing corporate IT infrastructures? • The company needs to choice between hard censorship approach, or open communication sharing approach Need to provide training and education for staff to understanding guidelines and penalties • Need protection against external threats by between fire-walls and software management • Need a communication policy framework that covers all aspects of information communication, storage, access and use within the company • Need to have staff sign communication agreements, based on these policies and completion of training and education • Want a better understanding of what social media are used in the company, how they are currently used and how they may be used 5. Are social media technologies really any different from the technology used in existing corporate IT infrastructures? Social Media Technologies ARE Different |Social Media Technologies AREN’T Different | |Global scope of communication and exposure |Underlying motivations are similar | |Policies of social media providers |Underlying mechanisms and technology are the same | |Motivation of social media – recognition, networking, |Accessibility is the same | |crowd-sourcing, accessibility, to make money |Company needs to manage different levels of access and rights | |Relative to the existing infrastructure of the organisation |to publish company information | |Higher functionality has a different purpose | | |Based on equity of access and right to publish | |

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