Monday morning's USA Today features a good market overview of social business platforms. It highlights Newly Weds Foods, who use IBM Connections:

[T]he chefs who develop recipes at Chicago-based Newly Weds Foods, a wholesale food supplier to restaurants and institutions, use a similar social-media suite — IBM Connections — to carry out time-sensitive projects with experts scattered in several nations, says Bob Brindza, Newly Weds' director of management information systems.
The company has 2,700 employees, and its chefs have shaped a global online community of co-workers and consultants to more pervasively share information about producing sauces, batters, breadings and seasonings.
A European customer was recently looking for an exclusive batter recipe. Using Newly Weds' internal social network, chefs at culinary centers in Chicago and Sydney, Australia, quickly developed the recipe and invited the client to join the social network to weigh in on particular ingredients.
Brindza says his superiors' initial skepticism about social-media tools has been reversed. Now, he says, they acknowledge that social media has "helped us build relationships, make our world smaller and increase our speed to market."

IBM's Jeff Schick is also quoted:
Jeff Schick, IBM's vice president of social software, says that one of the most powerful things social-media tools do is "connect the people that need to know with the people that do know. Really remarkable things can happen when you open up who you listen to."

After I blogged an update on my book project last week, an IBM sales vice president reached out to me to say that we can prove Schick's statement. A forthcoming case study on IBM's own use of Connections and Sametime demonstrates that in one segment of our sales organization, "digitally enabled sellers" are outperforming their peers by several percentage points. One of the key differentiators is the network effect of locating the right expertise, building relationships, and improved sharing. Newly Weds foods and IBM, of course, are but two great examples of how IBM is providing the right social business solutions, inside and outside the organization.

Link: USA Today: Social-media tools can boost productivity >

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