It is heartened to see the ever-increasing number of clients differentiate from their competitors through innovative and non-traditional applications to develop on-line communities driving customer loyalty and insight into the marketplace. In 2009, I see even more will harness the power of social software.

Be it a blog, wiki or social network, these Web 2.0 and web-based technologies provide access to link partners, customers, suppliers into end-to-end business service based processes seamlessly, allowing companies to innovate their business models internally and bring this to their customers through different channels with new interaction paradigms. In addition to connecting with the younger generation (Gen X & Y) who are more comfortable with the newer interface paradigms, Web 2.0 allows companies to get ideas, feedback from employees, partners and customers. Older employees/customers can also share experiences on such platforms. Another attraction of technologies such as blogs and communities is the ability for companies to identify and locate in-house expertise. IBM’s Lotus Connections for example, has more than a directory of employees; it helps their clients connect their employees across countries, identifying in-house subject matters to help solve customer issues.

In Singapore, the National Heritage Board bridges the past and present with an integrated social software suite from IBM. Built using IBM WebSphere, Lotus and Information Management technology, the new MyHeritage Portal brings heritage to the desktop, opening up a new era in collaborative, social computing. Importantly, leveraging new technologies, the NHB created a unified online portal for the public to access, embrace heritage and culture.

For a video description of WEB 2.0 click on video below: