I started to write about industries that love IBM Connections, along with some reasons why, but quickly figured out that it would be easier to write about industries that don't, since there are none. There are companies in every industry segment that do, or at least should, love IBM Connections. To be fair, if you operate on an island and do not have multiple staff or vendors and partners collaborating on projects or processes, then IBM Connections might not have much to offer you. But if that is your business model, and you are truly a solo flier, it is surprising that you found this site and are reading this article. For everyone else, regardless of what industry segment you are in, please read on - there is a lot to love about IBM Connections in every industry - anywhere multiple players need to work together to define, develop, document or deliver business outcomes.
When the average consumer thinks about the retail industry, we tend to see the brick and mortar store with aisles full of merchandise and sales associates scurrying about to keep the shelves stocked and help customers find things to buy. IBM Connections may not offer much on the floor, but that changes rapidly starting with the customer service desk, and clearly working back into the back-office supply chain, corporate support, web and IT management functions. All of the backbone of the retail store is dependent on collaborative work efforts. A particular key value of Connections is the ability to involve external suppliers and keep them securely limited to functions and communities that pertain to them, and not their competitors. Are you sourcing product for a special holiday promotion and working with multiple suppliers? Are you deploying a whole new web experience and need to partner closely with your IT service provider? Connections addresses these points of collaboration well.
Most financial institutions these days are a mixture of multiple lines of business from banking to credit cards to consumer and business loans, and even more. Add to that multiple branches, and you have an environment that is ripe for social collaboration tools. The need to coordinate and collaborate across departments and branches is perfect for things like the instant messaging, file sharing, and file version control aspects that Connections provides. Individual departmental communities can be nested under tiered organizational hierarchical structures, enabling a simplified roll-up of reporting. Each community level can have it's own discrete security model, keeping the appropriate level of data available to the appropriate levels in the organization.
Space prevents continuing with examples from the Public Sector, Healthcare, and Hospitality, but the general principles continue to hold true. Collaboration, Social Computing, and Security are key elements to being successful in business today. Connections brings a versatile, flexible and intuitive platform on which you can drive innovation and efficiency. And with a well documented application programming interface (API), you can bolt on and integrate other mission-critical applications. This allows continuity of those function-specific applications while gaining the benefits of a socially-aware collaborative platform. So whatever industry segment you are in, Connections can be valuable for you.
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