Last week we launched our Get Social Tour. We’re already riding high on the energy of our audiences, who are enthusiastically embracing Social Business Software (SBS) and the monumental change to business practices SBS can deliver.


On June 17th we’ll be in the ninth week of the tour, stopping in Philadelphia, where David Michael, Chief Information Officer at United Business Media (UBM), will be showcasing one of the strongest business imperatives for Social Business Software: unifying complex global business operations.


One of the world’s largest business media companies, UBM operates in 30 countries, providing information, data, and marketing services through 78 businesses in nine independently run divisions. UBM has grown to its current market position primarily through acquisitions, and they run their operations as a federated company.


They credit much of their success to preserving the autonomy of the companies they acquire.  (UBM deliberately doesn't maintain a corporate-wide email directory.) However, decentralization proved to be a barrier in terms of reducing costs and increasing efficiency. And it was clear that a number of business synergies were going untapped.


How UBM leveraged Social Business Software to address those challenges is a hell of a story, and David tells it well. In a nutshell, they launched their first—and only—corporate wide software solution, a secure online community powered by Jive SBS. They’re still decentralized—and they still don’t have an email directory—but they’re working together in ways that they’ve never had an opportunity to do before


UBM told Nigel Fenwick, an analyst at Forrester, that there was an overwhelming agreement among employees that the Jive system has completely changed the culture of UBM ― from independent companies that didn’t talk to each other to a culture of collaboration where the first thought is to see if someone else has already tackled the same problem.

They also reported tangible ROI: hard savings where companies have joined together to negotiate better terms from suppliers and a rough estimate that 7% to 10% of usage has driven new innovation in the business leading to top-line or bottom-line growth.


Their deployment of Jive SBS – called the UBM Wiki – was recently highlighted in the company’s 2009 annual report. In fact, the report states:


“…the UBM Wiki has become an increasingly important tool for UBM’s management teams, enabling all of UBM’s employees to connect and collaborate for business benefit across geographies and operating companies.”


Since it was launched in September 2009, the community has grown to nearly 5,000 users working in 39 countries.


Forrester has published a case study on UBM, and UBM talks extensively about their Jive SBS deployment (which they call the UBM Wiki) in their most recent annual report.


Or you can just hear all about it from UBM’s CIO David Michael. We’d love to see you in Philly.