E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

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BlueIQ at IBM Finally Goes External!

(Note: You see? This is what happens when you go away on holidays and your team decides to have plenty of good fun without you hehe and they embark on launching our first external blog to talk plenty more about IBM’s internal and external Social Software Adoption Program: BlueIQ, which this year will be making our 5th anniversary… Here is a cross post of my introductory blog entry over there, so you can see what you can expect from it, should you decide to subscribe to it and keep the dialogue going… I will probably be writing one or two articles per week over there, along with the rest of my team, so let the fun begin! … And thanks for reading!)


One of the many things that you realise about, while you are on vacation, and something that over the course of the years you tend to come to terms with is the fact that, while you are away, life goes on, work goes on; with or without you. And that’s just fine! That’s how things go by and probably very little left for us to do on that matter anyway. So, as I am ramping up the last few hours of my holidays, yesterday afternoon I found out, through my colleagues, that, after a long while, our IBM Social Software Internal Adoption Program is now ready to transcend the firewall and go external. And, as such, a couple of days back we have now launched an external blog, called BlueIQ at IBM where, from now onwards, my team, along with myself, will be blogging every so often about IBM’s own adoption of social networking tools, as well as our full transformation, over the course of the years, on becoming a fully Integrated Social Enterprise. Yes!, folks, BlueIQ, finally, goes external!

And as you may have noticed already, a couple of my colleagues (Including our boss) have already been blogging away earlier on this week setting up the stage of the kind of articles you can expect to read, and engage with, hopefully, in our team blog. The vast majority of the topics that we will cover will describe how BlueIQ works, what we do to help accelerate IBM’s own adoption of social technologies, both inside and outside of the firewall, and at the same time you will also find interesting and relevant articles around topics like The Social Enterprise, Social Business, Social Networking, Adoption, Collaboration, Knowledge Sharing, Communities and Community Building, etc. etc. Pretty much along the lines of the kinds of articles I have been sharing myself on my own personal Internet blog as well over the course of time.

The thing is that it’s not the first time that BlueIQ goes out there to the general public. In the past, there have been a good number of resources made available from our team on what we currently do at IBM, whether it’s our public wiki site available here, or the free whitepaper that both Jeanne Murray and Rawn Shah co-published a few months back and which covers our entire methodology on our social software adoption program (What’s worked, what hasn’t, lessons learned, program activities, metrics, etc. etc.), or the several presentations we have done at various conference events where we have been telling the BlueIQ Story.

However, this is the first time that we are working our way through our first public Internet team blog, where we are surely hoping to keep sharing further stories, experiences, know-how, lessons learned, hints and tips, and whatever other anecdotal evidence on what’s worked for us with our own social software adoption program and what’s happening in this very same space out there for other businesses. However, since this is also my first entry over here I thought I would point you folks to perhaps the most comprehensive BlueIQ Story we have got out there at the moment and which would certainly help serve as a good Introduction of who we are and what we are working on…

Yesterday, Rawn Shah, who, by the way, has now moved into another role within IBM as a Social Business Strategist, but you know how it goes, once a BlueIQer, always a BlueIQer 🙂 tweeted about something that is pretty exciting for all of us at BlueIQ:


Indeed, over at “Cutting through BigBlue Tape: Using Collective Passion to Scissor Bureacuracy at IBM“, you will be able to see how our very own “BlueIQ at IBM” program is now one of the finalists on the “Beyond Bureaucracy Challenge” that Gary Hamel is sponsoring. And to say that we are incredibly eager and over-excited about the great news of even just being the final round would probably fall short pretty badly. We don’t know, obviously, who the winner will be, but to us all, on the BlueIQ team as well as our army of volunteers, the BlueIQ Ambassadors community of social software evangelists, it’s already a huge success and something to be very proud of.

But for you folks out there, you may be wondering what it is all about, right? Well, like I said, on that nomination paper that Rawn submitted, you would probably be able to find one of the most comprehensive and thorough descriptions of how, when, why, and for what purpose BlueIQ came into existence nearly 5 years ago to help fellow IBMers accelerate their own adoption of social technologies, both inside and outside of the firewall.

In a recent article I shared over on my Internet blog, I described a little bit IBM’s own journey to become a fully integrated socially enterprise, which would certainly be a rather nice complement to plenty of the historical and anecdotal evidence you would find also on Rawn’s piece of how IBM got started living social in the first place. However, what’s most interesting about that nomination piece is the various different sections that put together a rather nice picture of the kind of work we do and what triggered us to get started in the first place. So, to give you a taster of what you could find in it, allow me to include over here the headings of the various different sections, so you could have a look and read further on about them:

  • Summary
  • Moonshots
  • Context
  • Triggers
  • Key Innovations & Timeline
  • Challenges & Solutions (Which covers “Building an environment that fosters social collaboration”, “Enabling social collaboration skills by tailoring to specific needs”, “Gaining support from executives” and “Developing country-specific focus where needed”)
  • Benefits & Metrics (With plenty of anecdotal evidence, and success stories from fellow IBMers who were facing real problems and found real solutions with social technologies)
  • Lessons (Which covers “Keep the eye on the prize”, “Teach tasks, not tools, and help people learn socially”, “Engage your peers”, “Showcase executive participation”, “Use a deliberate approach”, “There is no “finish””)
  • Credits
  • Tags
  • Helpful Materials”

Like I said, a rather extensive and pretty comprehensive resource, no doubt, that will surely give you all a pretty good base of what BlueIQ at IBM is and perhaps get also some other ideas you folks may want to give a try for your own internal or external adoption programs, and which we would all be more than happy to help out where we possibly can. Don’t forget to check out the extensive list of Helpful Materials as well, where you can find plenty more details about our overall program.

From here onwards, I would just personally want to thank Rawn very much for the wonderful piece of work done on that nomination piece and for making it into the finalists and I do wish him, and us, I suppose 😉 lots of good luck with it, knowing that we are already feeling winners just being on that final round, after checking out some of the amazing initiatives other people have been working on. Exciting times to be working on the Social Business space, for sure, and even more exciting when next week our entire team will be in Orlando, Florida, attending this year’s IBM Lotusphere 2012 event, where we hope to see all of you, face to face, to keep the conversations going about the Social Enterprise and its / our / your own adoption of social technologies.

Oh, and don’t forget we will be posting several articles per week in this blog with the whole purpose of keeping the dialogue going, before, during and after the event, because as Rawn mentioned, “there is no “finish””

“Innovation never stops, and culture change takes time. Understand that victory is in the daily accumulation of social exchanges, content, and connections that lead to value. Understand that serendipity happens because the seeds of collaboration are sown throughout the organization. And understand that innovation never stops. You are not reaching an end line with social business adoption. Rather, you are creating patterns of behavior for collaborating and connecting that will transcend today’s innovations and position your business and your people for tomorrow.

And if you would want to meet us up while at Lotusphere next week, to talk about adoption, enablement and share / exchange some further experiences around social technologies, here you have got some contact details from yours truly on where you can find me online, and, with me, the rest of the team as well … 😀

Luis Suarez a.k.a. @elsua
Blog: http://elsua.net
Google Plus Profile

Welcome everyone to BlueIQ at IBM! Glad you could join us on this exciting journey!

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  1. Hi Luis, Catching up on a lot of your posts… 🙂
    I read about this move some time ago. Thanks for more details on it. Looks very interesting. One thing I was wondering: Is the intranet and the extranet the same thing, based on the same platform? Can you basically write a blog internally and decide to publish it on the intranet and/or extranet?

    1. Hi Samuel! Thanks a lot for dropping by and for the kind feedback! Glad you are enjoying the catchup! Lots in my head that needed to be out there! 🙂 hehe

      RE: your query, no, Intranet and Extranet are different. At least, for now. Right now it’s not possible to post a blog entry and decide to publish it whether internally, Intranet, or externally, Extranet. However, it’s IBM’s vision to eventually blur that thin line even more and provide a platform where it would allow you to do that eventually, but we may need to wait for it a bit longer… I will keep you, and everyone else, posted on progress as we come closer to it!

      Thanks again for the heads up and looking forward to seeing you in Paris in a couple of weeks if you are heading over at #e20s 🙂

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