IBM today announced new software and services to help organizations improve business performance in an increasingly connected global environment.

The new enterprise social software delivers advanced analytics capabilities that helps users gain access to information and people on the fly to accelerate collaboration and be more effective in their jobs.

Increasingly, an organization’s brand is experienced through its people, leading to a significant increase in customer demand for social networking capabilities in business. IBM is responding to this market opportunity by launching a new Global Business Services initiative to help companies understand how social networking is being used today and how it can best fit into their business.

A transformation is taking place as a new generation of social media savvy workers are emerging. In fact, according to the 2010 IBM Chief Human Resource Officer Study, financially outperforming organizations are 57 percent more likely to allow their employees to use social and collaborative tools. However, fewer than 23 percent of employees use social networking or collaborative technologies to preserve critical knowledge, while just over a quarter use those tools to spread innovation throughout their organizations.

To help organizations transform into social businesses, IBM today is unveiling IBM Lotus Connections 3.0, the first social networking platform with advanced analytics capabilities that helps people gain faster insight and access to relevant information for improved productivity. The new software helps users more easily connect, create global communities, and find information and resources.

“Social business helps organizations transform the way they work by connecting people and accelerating decision-making,” said Alistair Rennie, general manager, collaboration and social software, IBM. “IBM is at the forefront of enabling social business, and driving a new generation of organizational productivity, with a secure and compliant social collaboration platform.”

The next version of IBM’s industry-leading social collaboration platform, including IBM Lotus Connections 3.0, provides tools such as communities, forums, wikis and blogs to help users discuss and refine ideas. With new capabilities like advanced social analytics, users can expand their network with recommendations of people to connect with based on prior connections and similar interests. Lotus Connections users are also given recommendations of content they would be interested in based on their actions — for example, if they commented on a specific blog or tagged a Web site. The new software allows users to discover people and content in a network, helping users to build broad, powerful networks to reach new resources and experts, especially those that a user did not know previously. These advanced analytics capabilities were born out of IBM’s social software Research lab in Haifa, Israel.

In addition, expanded mobile support allows users to access their Lotus Connections home page, bookmarks, communities, forums, files and wikis all from their Apple iPad or iPhone, Android or Nokia S60 devices. In addition, LotusLive Connections, the cloud-based version of Lotus Connections, can help advance an organizations’ ability to collaborate both inside and outside their enterprise.

For more information on IBM Lotus Connections click here.