Friday, April 29, 2011

Got my answer in 30 minutes... with IBM Connections.

How often does this happen to you?  You have a question on how to do something.  It is 5:30 p.m. or perhaps it is Saturday night... and the people in the office you'd normally ask are home or otherwise unavailable and may not be looking at eMail.

Leverage the network for answers.
Sinking feeling, right?

I have a solution that may help you in your moment of need.

It Happened To Me

Recently, I had a question and I was desperate.  My question was technical, and I knew of only one person that could answer my question... George.  It was Saturday night at 10:00 p.m. and I was sure George was not checking his eMail over the weekend.

The Question

What I did next was clever. 

George and I both use IBM Connections.  IBM Connections works somewhat like Facebook in that I invite people into my professional network.  I also can post a question on my profile board that everyone in my network would see.

Looking at Georges profile in IBM Connections, I realized he is professionally networked with many other technical people across the company.  I thought... If I post my question directly on George's profile board, every one of the people in his network will see the question.  Perhaps one of them could help me.

I posted my technical question right on Georges profile board.

I am typing a question directly on George's profile board in IBM Connections.  This question will likely be answered by one of the people in George's network on the right if George is unavailable.
The Solution

Within 30 minutes I got my answer!  One of George's colleagues in France, named Pierre, answered my question by replying to the question I had placed on Georges profile board. 

Key Benefits

  • I was able to leverage the professional network of a colleague to answer a question.
  • I took advantage of people in other time zones.
  • Everyone learns together
  • The information is indexed and searchable by others in the future.
  • No eMails were used in this process!

What is really interesting here is that I was able to leverage George's professional network to get a question answered.  These are people that I may or may not even know.

I love this example of how IBM Connections will help your employees collaborate, be engaged, and ultimately assist the company to be a faster and more nimble organization.