Earlier this year Gartner announced its prediction that the social business market will be worth nearly $30 billion by 2015. Such scale has prompted most of the big software companies to enter the fray.
Despite the growing competition however, it's IBM that continues to come out on top. At least that is, according to an annual IDC survey into social business software.
The report also announced that the enterprise social market reached 1 billion in 2012, a 25% increase on 2011.
"Businesses today are operating in the social age where innovation, speed and exceptional client experiences are critical," said Alistair Rennie, general manager of social business at IBM, in a statement. "Our social business platform is accelerating that transformation and helping change the way leaders are working."
As companies increasingly look to fully utilise the knowledge and collaborative potential of their employees, IBM predict that the social business industry will only grow.
IBM reveal that 60% of Fortune 100 companies have been using IBM's software for social business, including 80% of the top 10 retailers and banks.
IBM Connections is the bedrock of their social business offering. It allows for instant collaboration, allowing employees to build social communities both inside and outside the enterprise.
Last year the company released a whitepaper on successful deployment of social business tools within the enterprise. The aim of the document was to find out how companies are using social business, and which areas were currently most successful for them. Three main areas jumped out as being particularly successful:
- Creating valued customer experiences
- Driving workforce productivity and effectiveness
- Accelerating innovation
Such outcomes have become commonplace amongst IBM customers. Construction company Caterpillar are one such example. Jeff Bowman, head of global e-business at Caterpillar, said his company is just getting started with e-business and social media.
"We're using it because we're focused on growing loyalty in the customers that we have," Bowman said.
Craig Hayman, general manager of industry solutions at IBM Software, said one of his key goals in this social strategy is to enable both IBM and its customers to have better relationships with customers.
"Providing an effective customer experience is all about perception—from awareness to customer loyalty," he said. "Customer experience is more important today than ever before."