EMC delivers strong Q4, outlook for 2013 a bit light
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Social business experts name 4 trends to watch in 2013
ORLANDO -- While the majority of the attendees at IBM Connect 2013 this week are presumably keen on the idea of social media in the workplace, there are still plenty of businesses out there still looking to catch up -- or hoping this will all just fade away.The reality of the situation is that social media will not fade away. What remains to be seen is how long it will take businesses to understand and implement social in a productive, profitable method.Attending powwows like Connect could certain help in terms of advice, and IBM (and plenty of other tech giants) would be quick to tell companies that it has the resources to set it all up for you -- much like with the cloud over the last two years.But education (and a dose of caution) would also be in order, based on a panel discussion on Monday with Beverly Macy, CEO of consulting firm Gravity Summit, along with Sandy Carter, vice president of sales and evangelism for IBM's Social Business group.The two women outlined the following four themes that they deemed most relevant for anyone curious about the social business bonanza:1. Beyond Marketing While social business is still in its infancy as a strategy (and arguably as a concept and term itself), Carter said we're now seeing social moving beyond the marketing department into the intellectual capital area. She added that this is "great for marketers because they're starting the trends and teaching colleagues" at the same time.This asks the question about whether or not CMOs should start hashing out a "shared social agenda" with CIOs given the technological resources needed and being used to accomplish this. Macy added that with the cloud, the CIOs will be playing an even bigger role with social business as "data management is coming back to data centers."Nevertheless, she acknowledged that a lot of companies "haven't even mastered social media marketing yet," adding that the idea that "every functional area of your business is going to be affected by social is a big pill to swallow for a lot of companies," including every department ranging from sales to legal to R&D."It means that companies have to start thinking about policies for engagement, both internally for employees and externally for customer relationships," Macy said, adding that the hard part is to make sure this doesn't get out of control.
IBM suggests how social business can work for healthcare, retail, gov't
ORLANDO -- The big topic at IBM Connect this year is how social media and big data are changing the way we do business.On Tuesday, the discussion started shifting away from booming rhetoric towards how these technologies are actually being implemented and producing change.Here's an overview of three industries where IBM touted social business philosophies and methods are already making strides.HEALTHCARE Bill Fandrich, chief information officer of Blue Cross Massachusetts, suggested that to understand how to enable social business changes is to understand the "ever-changing technology marketplace" as well as the healthcare system."All of you are going to make a very important decision this year -- different from the ones you've ever made before," Fandrich asserted, continuing on to say that's because the healthcare industry is going through a significant change too.Describing Massachusetts as a "canary in the coal mine," Fandrich noted that the state launched its own revamped healthcare scheme ahead of the rest of the nation in 2006. What made it experimental, he said, was the new "retail-like" business model, making insurance companies more competitive."The solutions we put in place need to evolve with advancements not on the market yet," Fandrich said.But Fandrich added that retail model has also driven the demand for information.At Blue Cross Massachusetts, Fandrich outlined the insurance company's member data breakdown as a "360-degree view" of each user broken down to member savings, clinical information, grouper information, and multi-channel touch points (i.e. wellness and primary risk programs).Fandrich stressed both the amount of data that insurance companies accumulate from a multitude of sources and the need to draw better decisions from it, describing that "we are the glue and integrator" connecting consumers, providers and regulators together. Some examples of the data fueling in ranges from purchasing cycles to family needs, benefits, services.But what might be most important -- at least technology-wise -- is room to scale.Fandrich recalled that when the CEO asks what his five-year plan is, he just laughs and says, "Your guess is as good as mine."Fandrich added that "the focus isn't specific solutions" but an adaptable but comprehensive approach that will enable live-changing and life-saving decisions."The solutions we put in place need to evolve with advancements not on the market yet," Fandrich said, noting that when Blue Cross Massachusetts first teamed up with IBM, the iPhone and iPad weren't even available yet.Now, Fandrich said, they're the most used devices by Blue Cross members when accessing information about their benefits.
EMC delivers strong Q4, outlook for 2013 a bit light
Storage giant EMC reported strong fourth quarter, but delivered a 2013 slightly below expectations.EMC reported fourth quarter earnings of $870 million, or 39 cents a share, on revenue of $6 billion. Non-GAAP earnings were 54 cents share in the fourth quarter. Wall Street was looking for earnings of 52 cents a share on revenue of $5.97 billion.For 2012, EMC reported earnings of $2.7 billion on revenue of $21.7 billion, up 9 percent from a year ago.As for the outlook, EMC projected 2013 revenue of $23.5 billion with earnings of $3 billion, or $1.35 a share, under GAAP. Non-GAAP earnings in 2013 are expected to be $1.85 a share.Wall Street was expecting earnings of $1.90 a share on revenue of $23.56 billion.EMC's news comes a few hours after VMware reported a strong quarter, but had a weaker-than-expected outlook. VMware is rolled up into EMC's results so the 2013 outlook isn't that surprising. Related: VMware's Q4: $1.29 billion in revenue, beats estimates, cloudy outlookVMware to cut 900 jobs, focus on strengths In a statement, EMC CEO Joe Tucci reiterated that the company is in the middle of cloud and big data trends. The company is planning to repeat its "triple play" of increased market share, investing for growth and improving earnings.
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