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Full IBM Connections Web Collaboration Software Review – All You Need to Know About IBM Connections

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IBM Connections
IBM Connections

What is IBM Connections?

This product from IBM is a collaboration tool that allows you to integrate all your activities, emails, instant messaging, document editing, and task management using just a single platform. You can easily grant access to your team members from their own terminals or mobile devices to speed up their work. This also enables you to always be in touch with each of the team members owing to the many communication solutions offered by the software.

With IBM Connections, it’s now easier to find and share the files, documents, images, PDF, presentation, and reports. You can sync the files with your mobile devices so you can bring your office anywhere you go. You can also prevent redundancies and duplicates, as well as the volume of messages in your inbox. The Files feature is part of the IBM Connections basic package and the Premier package.

The Content Manager will allow you to create and edit content and manage their delivery across multiple channels. You can also keep track of the performance of your content. In this way, you can easily edit the content until it performs better. The Wikis, meanwhile, allows each of your team to contribute to the content, edit it, and publish as long as they have user permission. The communities will allow you to narrow down your messaging to meet your desired business goals. The microblogging social tool, meanwhile, allows you to connect and communicate directly with your followers, just like Twitter or Facebook, so you can generate immediate feedback on your social campaigns.

However, the software comes equipped with AI capabilities. Not only will it allow you to communicate with each other but the machine learning capability will study your interactions, as well as your own systems, for more accurate report generation and recommendation.

IBM Connections Benefits

There is a myriad of benefits that you can get from implementing IBM Connections in your workplace.

Optimize your employees’ talents and skills

IBM Connections allow you to focus more on your work rather on the tool itself. Indeed, it doesn’t make sense to install software that will demand a steep learning curve. If that happens, the staff would be more focused on learning all the nuances of the product, which only adds to their burden. This product requires almost zero training. That will allow you to go live immediately after installation. With that, your staff can focus more on the more important aspects of your operations rather than waste their time learning about the software.

The software adapts to your workplace, not the other way around

This is how it should be. The tool should be the one to integrate into your workplace, and not the other way around. Fortunately, the IBM Connections is extremely cognitive. The AI function will learn your systems and the way you interact with each other and with your customers. The more data and information it gathers, the more accurate the recommended actions are going to be. The custom reports will also be more accurate as time goes by. The user interface is also very intuitive. Pretty soon, your staff would be using all its features subconsciously. Meanwhile, this powerful tool will work in the background as support to your business goals.

You can prioritize your tasks according to the order of priorities

Another way this software will benefit your workplace is that you can classify tasks according to their order or priorities. The team members can also mark the task as complete when they finish their assignment. This will allow everybody to view the progress of the project in real time. You can invite users to a collaborative workspace that is related to a specific campaign. Create teams that will be included in the campaign. The different tools of IBM Connections will allow you to communicate with your team, and the team members can also communicate with each other. They can share documents, images, and reports for everybody else to review.

IBM Connections

Security of data

You know you are protected because the platform works under the IBM brand. The vendor has pulled no stops in making sure IBM Connections is equipped with the highest security standards in the industry today. This ensures that your private data, and that of your customers, is always secure. You can also leverage the IBM brand in your marketing efforts since your customers now would be more amenable to sharing their private information with you because of the IBM brand.

PROS

  • Almost no training required
  • The price point is quite affordable for small businesses
  • You know you’re getting the highest security protection with the IBM brand
  • The Wiki allows you to store all your files and documents
  • It’s also easy to edit and share information down the hierarchical chain
  • Seamless integration with third-party apps
  • It’s easy to assign tasks and let team members determine where they fit in the organization
  • The Calendar function allows you to schedule tasks, determine timelines, and deadlines
  • You can easily find the users and create groups and segments

CONS

  • There are some issues with syncing, either they fail or too slow
  • Onboarding may be problematic, especially for some with no prior experience with social tools
  • The search function should be more accurate

Companies and organizations want results. They don’t want to spend all their time learning about a software. The best collaboration tools are those that allow you to forget about them after installation, and IBM Connections seem to deliver on this regard. Some users may complain that the software has more functions than they care to use. However, that’s really a good problem to have. It’s better to have features that you are not using in the meantime, rather than getting a product that is thin on functions and offers.

IBM Connections

IBM Connections Features

Collaborative editing – If you’ve ever worked with Google Docs, that’s pretty much how the IBM Connections Collaborative Docs work. The idea is everybody can contribute or edit the content until the standard of quality is met. In an era where most of the marketing projects are content-driven, you need your team members to be working together. The real-time capability of the tool means campaigns are finished and launched quickly and efficiently. Today, content is no longer limited to text as you have images, GIFs, videos, PDF files, etc. You can enhance each worker’s talents as they collaborate to come up with a product worthy of release.

Collaboration analytics – The analytics entrenched in the IBM Connections will analyze all the interactions and activities for each project and campaign. The tool will then present the information to be distributed to the teams based on the priority and relevance. This will be included in the workplace that is being shared by everybody. You can then view on the dashboard all the email messages, calendar, tasks, contacts, communities, wikis, forums, and many more. This means that they don’t have to shift from one app to another thereby saving a lot of time when they are working on tasks.

IBM Connections

Social Analytics – According to data, there are over 3 billion people in the world who are using some type of social media. That translates to about 4 in 10 people across the globe. You have virtually a gold mine of information that you can use to enhance your products and services. It’s only recently when companies realized that analytics will provide them with a unique insight into how their customers think and behave. Before, they think that being present on Facebook or Twitter is enough to reach out to their target customers. Now, more and more companies are aggregating information to leverage their own marketing strategies.

Compliance – This feature allows you to comply with all regulatory reports. This means that you don’t have to worry about meeting the minimum standards of compliance because the software will do that for you. For instance, security measures, policy regulations, content inspection, and archiving. This will allow you to avoid the legal costs of litigation, as well as protecting your brand. Imagine how damaging it would be for your brand if your non-compliance will go viral.

Orient Me – Orient Me is designed to provide advanced analytics. This will allow you to pick out customers and profiles that are most relevant to your business. There are also filters for an even more accurate report. In the same vein, the updates and alerts would be relevant to those filters and parameters. You can segment customers according to groups, locations, and community. You can then share the content according to relevance and priority.

Engagement Center – This is an add-on feature but it will enable you to consolidate different workspaces all at once. You will immediately notice an improvement in the collaboration and engagement, thus increasing your productivity. With the digital hub, you can integrate all content, apps, users, and campaigns. You can now control all activities on one dashboard. You can also check emails, news, apps, and social media channels on the Engagement Center.

IBM Connections

Pricing

IBM Connections

This is a full-featured app that will help scale up your business. Among the features are:

  • Create profiles and wikis
  • Bookmarks
  • Files
  • Forums, blogs, and communities
  • Analytics for collaboration
  • Create polls and surveys
  • Orient Me

Engagement Suite

  • Create profiles and wikis
  • Bookmarks
  • Files
  • Forums, blogs, and communities
  • Analytics for collaboration
  • Create polls and surveys
  • Orient Me
  • Engagement Center
  • Collaborative document editing

You can also add some modules to your plan. Some of these add-ons include:

  • Email and calendar
  • Compliance for Social and Compliance for Male
  • Content Manager

There’s also the Social Cloud, which costs $6 per user per month. You will enjoy the following features for that price point:

  • 1 Terrabyte of storage
  • Contacts list
  • Mobile access
  • Meetings
  • Instant messaging
  • Communities (as much as 50 GB)
  • File sharing

IBM Connections

The Connections Cloud S2 costs $8 per user per month and you will get the following features:

  • 1 Terrabyte of storage
  • Contacts list
  • Mobile access
  • Meetings
  • Instant messaging
  • Communities (as much as 50 GB)
  • File sharing
  • Online meetings (as many as 200 users)
  • Guest access (unlimited)

Another option is the Connections Cloud S1, which costs $10 per user per month. The features are:

  • 1 Terrabyte of storage
  • Contacts list
  • Mobile access
  • Meetings
  • Instant messaging
  • Communities (as much as 50 GB)
  • File sharing
  • Online meetings (as many as 200 users)
  • Guest access (unlimited)
  • Collaborative document editor

You may also contact the vendor for a customized plan for your business.

IBM Connections

 

Technical Supports

Devices Supported

  • Windows
  • Mac
  • Android
  • iPhone/iPad
  • Windows Mobile

Supported Language

  • English

Pricing Model

  • Monthly payment

Deployment

  • Cloud-hosted
  • On-premise

The software is designed to meet the needs of small businesses but it can be scaled up to fit the requirements of mid-sized operations, as well as large enterprises.

Support Details

There’s no email support offered by IBM, however, there’s phone support and Live Support. The Live Support allows you to talk to the customer representative or a technical expert on the other side. You can throw in your questions and relay your problem for troubleshooting. Your staff will also be trained on how to optimize the features of the software for your business. An online portal is also available for users.

The IBM Connections has a 60-day trial period, which is longer than the industry standard. While other similar software products offer only a two-week trial for the free version, you have two months to yourself to fully soak in the capabilities and functions of the software. Participating in the trial version also doesn’t oblige you to upgrade to the paid subscription so it’s really no risk on your part. In fact, IBM won’t require you to turn in your credit card for the free version.