The fruit of a number of months hard work ripened in South Bank this week as we held the launch of the IBM London Analytics Solution Centre.

Deep insight
London Analytics Solution Centre Launch

From my point of view I was involved in the internal comms and social media side (internal and external). It was possibly a first chance to work more with local teams than world wide teams for some of the chairman events I’ve been luck enough to work on in the past.

(press release)

With a smaller (although still big), more local team it enables you to have a bit more sway over what happens.  But the experience I’ve gained from events in Turkey, Berlin and London have been incredibly useful to bring to the table.

It may seem odd but risk taking at a local level (country level) is not viewed as a good thing. It is seen in a single light of being risk, rather than balancing that with the opportunity that comes along. To an extent this is determined by experience on the ground, being comfortable that you can deal with what will come up and also not worrying that someone will shout at you.

The biggest perceived risk from this event was the livestreaming of video from the event. Not something we have done in the UK or possibly outside of the US Armonk events. Most people were a bit worried about what could happen in the room and having that streamed over the Internet.  My biggest worry was that the technology would fail (not that there is anything wrong with – I just worry about it) or that no-one would bother to watch. So we were coming from very different places.

In the end everything worked out great. We have had over 2000 people see the live and recorded video stream – which is now available on demand from our video studio.

Not sure I was making too many friends when I was pushing for this to remain available for external viewing but I had some great support from of all groups our press relations team. All quite clear that the risk was negligible. People used to getting difficult questions can answer difficult questions.

My comms plan

So being able to co-ordinate between the internal and external social media side of things gives you a great view of how it all links up. Sitting in the same office as the pr team also helps to keep in touch with how situations develop.

From a couple of weeks out we started talking about why analytics is important and the new centre, with article on w3 (our intranet) including videos helping people to understand the basics, which were animations with voice-over.

The week before we had an article that was supported by quotes from our Chief Exec. Brendon Riley.

From then on we ramped up the beat. Another article few days before with full details of what, where & when – with plenty on how to get involved at many levels.

The day before we sent all employees an email with a video from Brendon outlining details again, linking back the previous article, which consisted of a group of pages with information segregated for easy consumption.

Many of the items such as video and feeds could be embedded into peoples own blogs or wikis.

This was linked together with Twitter #ibmbao to enable to bring together internal and external parties to start talking, help with promotion and keep people up to date with the latest news, not to mention photos which we posted on Flickr.

BTW, the live event was streamed to all our locations via our InSite TV along with the feed from Twitter.

We also made use of blog and our smarterplanet tumblr.

It’s important to get employees and external parties in the same space for events like this and to do it as soon as possible. As well as to try all avenues of reaching people.


  • So from a first look we see over 2,000 livestream video views in first 24 hours
  • over 8000 page views on w3 so far
  • 91 short of 6,000 video downloads of Brendon (as I speak)
  • Almost 5,000 image views on Flickr
  • IBMer Day we had a very busy demo hall (awaiting numbers)

I think there is still more data to gather, we also have provided all employees with a post-event article, bringing together the main points and sources of information, both internal and external, for them to explore, bookmark (in Lotus Connections) and refer to in the future.

Overall a great event I think and I was very pleased to play a small role in it. When’s the next one?

There is probably a lot I’ve missed but it is Friday…and this is only a blog.

*** Update ***

Just seen we have now had over 3,000 views of the recorded video.