IBM announced it will lay off a large number of U.S. employees. The number of jobs that will be affected was not reported.
A new article in Fast Company says the turning point in IBM's trajectory is a new suite of applications that hinges on social media. The paleolithic computer company is poised to ride the wave of Web 3.0, according to the magazine.
But social media isn't a new idea for the company. According to executives, the company's personnel directory goes back 15 years and shares many features with modern social-networking platforms. That informed the development of the company's new Customer Experience Suite, an array of technology that allows companies to create "engaging, personalized, and differentiated customer-facing web experiences."
Not quite as catchy as "Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life," is it?
IBM's emphasis with its new tech is on ease of use and on building relationships. Those aspects are seen as key to online experiences, where users are quick to abandon any site that's hard to use and seek out deeper engagement on sites they like.
Don't expect to log into IBM-branded social sites anytime soon -- the company's software is for companies, not end-users. But it's a clear sign that the dinosaurs of the digital age recognize the importance of playing catchup with more nimble startups.