My Social Connections VI session: ‘Social Business: The unstoppable force to overcome immovable objections’

As you may have heard by now, we took the significant step of recording every single session at Social Connections VI back in June.  As the videos have been processed and uploaded, the team have been publishing them on our Vimeo channel as well as highlighting some of the most popular sessions on the Social Connections blog – it’s worth checking them out if you haven’t already.

I’m pleased to say that my own session is now online.  Here’s the abstract:

“I’m too busy” “My work is confidential” “I’m never in the office” “My position depends on me being the only source of my knowledge” We’ve all heard objections like these – reasons why key individuals cannot spare the time to share knowledge or to collaborate with others. Whatever the role, be it as executives, consultants, sales people or any other part of your organization, for social business to truly revolutionize your organization’s culture and productivity, these objections must be overcome. In this session, you’ll hear about driving adoption in organizations around the world. Find out how to make the benefits of social business irresistible for all your staff, no matter how immovable they might appear!

I’ve embedded the recording here, or you can watch it on the Vimeo site.  The deck is available on Slideshare (I appreciate it is difficult to see in the video – apologies for that!).

I’d love to hear any feedback you have…


Amazon Prime Video vs. LoveFilm

Amazon Prime Instant Video comes to the UK

In 5 days Prime will include unlimited streaming of movies and TV episodes.

You will be able to stream exclusive movies such as The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and Tower Heist, and TV shows such as Vikings and Downton Abbey.

Starting February 26th, you can watch Prime Instant Video on game consoles, streaming players, smart TVs, mobile devices and Kindle Fire HD.

I’ve been a huge fan of Amazon Prime for a good number of years now – free next-day delivery of a vast range of products from the Amazon store, available to everyone in our household for just £49 a year has been a great deal for us (the downside being that that our Amazon ‘habit’ has increased, and that there are few days when an item doesn’t turn up in the unmistakable branded packaging).

However, Amazon Prime Video is something new to the UK.  So what is it?

Amazon Prime Video vs. LoveFilmLooking a bit deeper, it turns out to be a rebranding of LoveFilm Instant, the library of online movies and TV shows available to stream via computers, tablets and smart TVs that was acquired when Amazon bought LoveFilm a couple of years ago.  This extensive library of content will now be available free of charge for all Amazon Prime subscribers – it previously cost £5.99 a month (£72 a year) for LoveFilm subscribers.  This seems a great deal – there’s over 15,000 popular movies and TV episodes included and streaming is unlimited.  So if you’re a digital-only Lovefilm Instant user you can switch from paying £72 a year to using Amazon Prime and you get the same content plus all the benefits of the next day delivery etc.

The downside?  The cost of Amazon Prime will rise from £49 a year to £79 for all subscribers – whether you want the digital content or not.

So what does this mean for the various different subscriber types?

The current Amazon Prime customer

Your annual subscription rises from £49 to £79.  You now have access to a significant library of new digital content.  That may represent a good deal for you, however if you already have a subscription to another digital content library, or else just don’t watch online content, then it represents a sizeable increase in cost for no benefit.   It might be time to cancel your service.  Verdict: Mixed.

The current LoveFilm Instant customer

For now, you can continue to pay your £5.99 a month to Lovefilm, or switch to paying an annual fee of £79 to Amazon for the Prime Service.  The online content is the same, but you get all the benefits of the next-day delivery service.  If you don’t mind paying an annual fee versus a monthly one, then this seems a no-brainer for most subscribers. Verdict: Win.

The current LoveFilm by Mail customer

This is the equivalent of the old Blockbuster and Netflix DVD by mail services.  You subscribe for a cost of up to £13.27 a month to have up to 3 DVDs or Blu-Rays continuously on loan, plus access to the online library. Nothing changes right now for these customers – they can continue to access the library and the disks the same way they have for the past number of years.

The current Amazon Prime and LoveFilm customer

If you subscribe to both Amazon Prime and LoveFilm Instant, then it makes sense to cancel the LoveFilm subscription ASAP once the Amazon Prime Video service kicks off on 26th February.  You’ll get to save the £5.99 a month but will have to pay the increased Amazon Prime service renewal cost when it comes up.

If on the other hand you pay for the LoveFilm by Mail option then things are very much more difficult.  Amazon Prime Video does not have an off-line option, and whilst LoveFilm does allow a disk-only subscription, it is less than attractive – £7.99 a month for only one disk.

What about my situation?

As a household, this is the situation we’re currently in – we pay for Amazon Prime and for the top LoveFilm ‘Have It All’ package.  We love getting the Blu-Rays through the post, and value being able to watch movies in 3D and to have access to the extras that are not available when streaming.  In addition, living in a rural area means that network speeds are poor and that online streaming is patchy at best.

Therefore with this rebranding, our cost per annum has just risen from £208 to £238 with no significant addition to our service.  If we still want the 3 x Blu-Rays on loan, we have no option but to pay this additional cost.

The new customer

Sign up to Amazon Prime today and you’ll get the next-day delivery, the movie and TV show library and Kindle lending library all for one annual cost.  Do that before 26th February and you can lock in the £49 annual fee for 12 months.  Even better, Amazon will allow you to take a 30-day Amazon Prime trial and then pay the £49 fee if you decide to stick with the service.  This seems a great deal and one not to miss…

UPDATE – 25 February 2014

An email from Amazon today details the following:

We have worked hard behind the scenes to ensure this change is seamless:

• Your monthly LOVEFiLM bill will be reduced by £5.99 as the cost of the streaming service will be included in your Amazon Prime Membership.
• You will continue to enjoy the same selection of great movies and TV shows on DVD and Blu-ray with your LOVEFiLM By Post subscription.
• Your Rental List, Watchlist and account settings will all be available on

That means that existing LoveFilm and Amazon Prime subscribers such as myself will now pay £5.99 less a month (£58.61 per annum), which more than offsets the £30 per annum Prime increase (from £49 to £79).

I still have questions regarding support for Amazon Prime Video versus LoveFilm Instant (e.g. on LG and Samsung SmartTVs etc.), but otherwise, I’m getting used to the idea of the change.  We’ll see!

McKinsey Quarterly: Making internal collaboration work – An interview with Don Tapscott

One of the best resources for those interested in Social Business has to be the McKinsey Quarterly.

As many of you will know, McKinsey & Co are one of the most respected management consultancies around, and are involved in a significant volume of work with organisations around the world on Social Business and internal productivity. The McKinsey Global Institute produces a regular annual report into the use of Social Business – a must read for sure.

However, the reason for this post is to direct you to this interview with Don Tapscott where he describes why effective knowledge management within enterprises requires replacing e-mail with social media. Filmed in September 2012, Don does a great job of explaining how Social Business tools will revolutionise business in this decade, and how it should be approached differently from previous collaborative technologies.

(If you prefer to read these kinds of interviews, the transcript is also available).

I particularly like Don’s example of an organisation cancelling 80% of their meetings that were ‘informational’ by sharing the information online in place of the meeting.  

Collaboration Matters believes that this Social Business ‘revolution’ is as significant as Don and others state, and are working with organisations to make massive gains in productivity through the shift from meetings and email into a much more efficient social strategy.

Videos – Using features in IBM Connections 4.0

More on the latest greatest version of IBM Connections, 4.0 – released today!

Using Activities:

Using Bookmarks:

Using Blogs:

Using Communities:

Using Forums:

Using Wikis:

Alistair Rennie on becoming a social business

IBM’s GM for Social Business, Alistair Rennie, explains what it takes to become a Social Business.

A couple of interesting points to note.

Alistair’s job title seems to have changed from being GM for IBM Collaboration Solutions to being GM for Social Business. This seems to be a common shift now, indicating that Social Business is becoming the external brand, whilst ICS is in the internal organisation. I think this is a good move.

It’s fascinating to see a 7 minute video on IBM’s vision of Social Business without a single mention of IBM Connections or any other products. This is fantastic, as it really is a discussion about the importance of cultural change, business process, user adoption and so on, with technology as the enabler rather than the key element.

Nice work, Alistair.

Different technology, same values

A Lotus Notes ad from the R5 days, circa 1999:

I am ready‘, ‘I am connected‘, ‘I am not alone‘, ‘The power to work the way you want‘, ‘Share work and ideas‘ and so on…

This was describing Collaboration, Messaging and Workflow software from 13 years ago, but could so easily be describing the impact of Social Media and Social Business tools (such as IBM Connections) today.

My goodness, Lotus Notes and Domino really was painting a vision of the future…