Thursday, October 18, 2012

IBM to Invest in “Social Business” Support Center in the Philippines

New Level 2 Support Center To Help Organizations Reap Benefits from Embracing Social Practices

IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a significant investment to establish a Level 2 software customer support center in the Philippines in Q4 2012 to support the rapidly increasing demand for social business solutions globally.  IBM will open a “social business” customer support center to be located at the UP-Ayala Techno Hub in Quezon City to serve IBM's North America market.   

This shift of consumer to business networking, also known as "Social Business", has become the next big challenge for organizations who are looking to more quickly adopt these skills into their businesses to better reach clients and suppliers, while swiftly gaining insight on the data being created in these networks. The winners in this challenge will be able to react more swiftly to customer trends, and out innovate competitors. Social combined with cloud and mobile have had a tremendous impact on how people work. 

This major IBM Software investment in the Philippines, which will be operational in January 2013, supports the rapid global adoption of social business tools.  The Philippine center will be supporting IBM social business software such as Connections enterprise social networking software, Sametime instant messaging software, Customer Experience Suite, Traveler for mobile access, and more. 

IBM's social business platform provides organizations with the ability to not only instantly collaborate across an organization, time zones, and geographies with one simple click, it also allows organizations to tap into their corporate brain creating a smarter workforce that in turn leads to better customer service and increased business value. 

“We see social media morphing into what we view as a key requirement for "social business" -- as tools for organizational productivity and culture change, for engaging with diverse constituencies of clients and experts, and for spurring revenue growth and innovation for our global workforce,” said Luis Pineda, Vice President, Worldwide Technical Support, IBM Connections Solutions, IBM Software Group.  “The plan is to cover other IBM software products and solutions in the future.” 

“This support center is a testament of IBM’s commitment to social business and  a significant opportunity for the Philippines as the country shifts toward the next generation of higher value business outsourcing.  Aside from the competitive cost of doing business in the Philippines, the Filipino knowledge worker is widely recognized as world-class.  Leadership and growth in this area will mean economic growth for the nation,” said Mariels Almeda Winhoffer, President and Country General Manager, IBM Philippines.
The Philippines joins a roster of IBM social business customer support centers in North America, Dublin, Japan, China, India and Brazil.
To be a successful social business each and every part of the organizations needs to embrace social practices, from the C-suite to the sales team visiting clients. According to Insights from IBM's 2012 CEO Study, today only 16 percent of CEOs are using social business platforms to connect with customers, but that number is poised to spike to 57 percent within the next three to five years. 

Although face-to-face will remain the most prevalent form of customer interaction, CEOs expect a step-change in the use of social media. Over half expect social channels to be a primary way of engaging customers within five years. Currently, social media is the least utilized of all customer interaction methods. However, CEOs predict it will push past websites, call centers and channel partners, and become the number-two way to engage customers within the next five years. 

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