In this the age of information dominated by the power of social collaboration using technology, the case for investing in social business is strong. A step beyond social media and networks, social business is the new frontier of business-to-business and business-to-consumer engagement and one that is likely to last a long time.
This is the view of executive management at Ukuvuma Solutions, an established South African provider of ICT solutions and consulting.

The solutions provider company has incorporated IBM Social Business technology into its service portfolio and strategy to help companies embrace Social Business, and believe the global enterprise software solutions company has the upper hand in this growing space.

According to Ukuvuma Solutions IBM has enjoyed dominance in this area of ICT and advocated Social Business as far back as 2009, at a time when other companies were only getting excited about social media.

Dawid van Heerden, CEO of Ukuvuma Solutions, says a social business is one that is agile, transparent and innovative.

“It is also one that has accepted and leverages off the concept that generational changes and the fact that people are intrinsically social necessitate new collaborative strategies versus an e-mail-only approach.”

This is different from dabbling in social media and social networks. “These live outside the organisation, whereas social business is entrenched into the culture of an operation,” Van Heerden adds.

Patterns show that Social Business can quickly produce tangible business value in the following key areas:
* Finding expertise within the organisation;
* Knowledge sharing and ideation;
* Improving workplace safety;
* Gaining external customer insights;
* Recruiting and on-boarding; and
* Managing mergers and acquisitions.

Ukuvuma Solutions has enveloped several IBM solutions into its service offering including IBM Connections (on IBM WebSphere) Social Business Software; IBM Domino: Email, Calendaring and Workflow, and IBM SameTime for Instant Messaging and video conferencing; amongst others.

Van Heerden believes that companies who do not embrace Social Business will become increasingly irrelevant in the next five years.

It is for this reason the company is aggressively campaigning for the continued uptake of Social Business infrastructure to position companies to take real advantage of collaborative social engagement.