Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

IBM Acquires TIMETOACT GROUP’s XCC Solution; Introduces IBM Connections Engagement Center


Earlier today IBM announced that we have acquired the XCC solution from TIMETOACT Group and that we will be making it available in 3Q as IBM Connections Engagement Center, an add-on to IBM Connections.

I’m guessing that many of you may be familiar with XCC already, but for those that are not, it extends the collaboration functionality in IBM Connections by making it very easy to create a “social” intranet homepage and landing pages based on content from Connections (and elsewhere).  It can have you up and running in a matter of hours, with setup and customization as simple as dragging and dropping widgets around on the page.

There are many advantages to this approach. It makes it easy for companies (and Internal Communications teams, in particular) to aggregate and surface important and relevant content from Connections without requiring that people jump around to multiple communities, blogs, or other sites.  For example, you can automatically present employees with the latest updates from the CEO’s office, from HR, and from a departmental or regional head, as well as listings for upcoming events, search tools, and so on, all aggregated on a single page.

This approach also removes the need to manage separate content stores and authoring tools, and since content is all stored in one place (Connections), it eliminates the need to separately search across the intranet and Connections to find the content you may be looking for.  On the authoring side, anyone who can author a blog post can now become an author for the homepage or landing pages, greatly increasing the number of potential content contributors.

The biggest benefit, however, may be that all of this is integrated with the social tools in IBM Connections.  Each post on the homepage includes like and comment capabilities, which all feed back into the Connections activity stream.  Similarly, personalization is tied into Connections and Profiles roles, eliminating the need to maintain that information separately in order to tailor the content each employee sees on the intranet.

The end goal here goes beyond simplifying the environment and reducing redundant content.  As the product name indicates, our goal is to improve employee engagement.  A traditional intranet is focused on one-way company communication to employees.  We are looking to help companies establish an “engagement center” that can be a single destination for both company-to-employee communication and peer-to-peer collaboration.  

The use of the same underlying content store, expanded authorship and integrated commenting turns what for most companies is likely a slow, rigid intranet into one that is dynamic and responsive and allows for two-way dialogue that will help employees feel heard and will ensure that management understands how they are being perceived. It also opens up the possibility of extending Connections content to employees who might not have been given access in the past, or might not have been comfortable navigating through Communities and the other components to find the information they need.

I’m really excited about expanding on the success XCC has seen to date by making it a formal part of the IBM Connections portfolio, and look forward to increasing awareness for everything it stands to offer to both existing and new IBM Connections users.  

You can read more about today’s acquisition and the existing solution at the links below.




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