ORLANDO: As one of the technology industry's biggest spenders on research and development, it was no surprise to find IBM showing off a range of projects that staff in its Center for Social Business are busy working on behind the scenes.
The project that most caught V3's eye was its Gamification Engine for the Enterprise product that looks to offer organisations a way to provide staff with a more engaging way to share knowledge or learn new skills.
The interface is heavily reminiscent of geo-location service Foursquare, with users able to acquire badges if they complete certain tasks or goals, as well as comparing their ranking with other users in a certain group or division on a public leaderboard.
The tool lets users earn badges, rewards and compete with co-workers.
Yaniv Corem, a software engineer at IBM, explained to V3 that, thanks to services like Foursquare, staff in organisations are "no strangers to gamification" and that the tool could have several uses within the business community.
"With this tool you can build databases of knowledge on key topics by allowing staff to share information in a competitive and playful way," he said.
Corem added that the firm is considering adding the tool to its Connections platform at some point in the future, but that nothing was guaranteed as yet.
Another tool the firm is working on is its "time-based storytelling" offering Historio, which it has already used itself to gather together information on its 100th anniversary celebrations that took place in 2011 (see image below).
Each blue dot represents a key moment in IBM's history, which links to more information on that topic, including text, images and video.
Jamie Rasmussen, another IBM software engineer, explained the tool could have uses for businesses to document their company’s history to the public, as IBM has done, or for staff to share knowledge of a product's history internally.
Another interesting tool the firm was showcasing was a Twitter analysis platform that attempts to gather 'human data' on users of the site to analyse the likelihood of them responding to a question or their interest in a given topic.
"This will help a brand know if it is worth trying to engage with a user, the best questions to ask and whether they should offer an incentive to encourage feedback," IBM research staff member Jeffrey Nichols told V3.
Such projects show that, after 100 years of being one of the biggest technology firms in the world, IBM has no intention of resting on its laurels and is keen to place itself at the heart of the social business revolution taking place in the market.
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