Rise and Fall of Kodak
Case Code: BSTR418
Case Length: 19 Pages
Period: 1997 - 2012
Pub Date: 2012
Teaching Note: Available
Organization: IBM Corporation
Industry: Information Industry
Themes: Social Media, Marketing Communications, Sales Management, Services Marketing, Marketing Management, Human Resources Management
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts
Social Media Evolution At IBM
The era from the early to mid-1990s marked the advent of the Internet. The growing interest in the Internet at home as well as in the company prompted IBM to encourage IBMers to use the Internet. During this time, IBM WebAhead, the research and development lab of IBM, came up with the idea of launching an online employee portal that would serve as an information resource for IBMers. Thus it launched its corporate intranet w3 in 1996. By the end of 1997, the w3 was recording 60,000 hits per day.
In 1999, IBM developed developerWorks, a free web-based technical resource for offering valuable resources and information to people who were not IBM's customers. The company had developed a website for developerWorks which did not resemble an IBM website. Moreover, the site did not mention IBM's products and strategies. The site also avoided the company's logo and the blue color which it mostly used.
A Decentralized Social Media Approach
The social media approach followed by IBM was decentralized. It comprised exceptional collaboration and innovation among its employees. The company believed that social media without intervention offered employees a vibrant forum to exchange ideas freely without having to worry about who was watching them. The employees were responsible for their social media activities. Experts felt that this was in contrast to other companies which feared that a post might reflect badly on them and create legal problems for them......
Social Business Transformation -The Blueiq Program
As IBM expanded into new markets, extended its partner network, and acquired several software companies, its sales teams were facing a difficulty in finding experts and information in the company within the time required. Concurrently, with the emergence of social software applications inside and outside the company, employees and customers were seeking knowledge about social software....
B2B Marketing-Leading IBM's Social Selling Arena
Having conquered the social media arena by rolling out several internal social networking technologies and helping IBMers adopt social software, the challenge for IBM was to integrate its B2B activities with social media marketing. IBM reported that it was difficult to automate messages in the social media. Moreover, the channel preferred personal content over social media marketing pitches. But IBM began to face a specific problem since 2011 – its traditional ways of finding B2B customers for its hardware and software products - e-mail and telemarketing - were not delivering the same results compared to selling web-based services.....
IBM's social media initiatives were commended by IBMers, customers, partners, and industry analysts. While the IBMers collaborated with each other and deepened relationships, the customers felt that the feedback on IBM's social media platforms helped them buy the right product or service. In addition, the feedback IBM received through communication on social media platforms was translated into fresh opportunities to revise or optimize services and solutions, to create innovative new services and solutions, and, over a period of time, enhance business relationships....
Can IBM Maintain Its Momentum?
In June 2012, IDC reported that IBM had become the market leader in the ESS market with a market share of 13.7 percent for the FY 2011. According to Mogen Naidoo (Naidoo), IDC's senior research analyst, software, security and enterprise solutions for sub-Saharan Africa, IBM recorded revenues of US$ 971.2 million with Connections alone recording US$ 105.4 million in revenues for the FY 2011. Commenting on these results, Naidoo said, “IBM has seen a strong growth rate in 2011, at 75%, which is on the back of the IBM Integrated Collaborations Solutions group placing clear focus on the IBM Connections portfolio, as well as the promise of ‘Connections Next', or IBM Connections 4.0, expected to go to market in the second half of 2012, initially in the US...
Exhibit I: IBM's Financials (in US$ million)
Exhibit II: Evolution of w3 Corporate Intranet
Exhibit III: IBM'S Other Collaboration Tools
Exhibit IV: IBM Social Computing Guidelines
Exhibit V: IBM'S Other Social Media Initiatives
Exhibit VI: A Note on the Social Media Market
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