Gamification Blog

Beyond The Hype: IBM Proves Real-World Value Of Gamification

Dr. Prabu Ayyagari

02/13/2014

Dr. Prabu Ayyagari, Portfolio Director within IBM Software Group
@PrabuAyyagari

At first it may seem counterintuitive, but the truth is, too much hype and too much buzz can put even the best new business solutions at risk. After all, it’s difficult for innovation of any kind to live up to accelerated expectations once terms like “silver bullet,” “supercharged” or (my personal favorite) “secret sauce” become part of the mix.

But part of my job as a business development executive at IBM is to be able to distinguish hyperbole from reality, and over the years, I’ve been able to establish a rather straightforward litmus test.

So, how do I differentiate between a passing fad and technology with genuine staying power? It’s easy. I start by asking this:

Can this new technology offer true business value?

And from my perspective, when it comes to gamification, the answer to that question is a resounding “Yes.” Here’s one of the reasons I think so:

IBM recently incorporated gamification into its “IBM Connect 2014” conference. The final results are still being tallied, but initial reports are confirming what those of us in attendance knew to be true: Not only did gamification make the conference more fun, it also increased participation and social engagement. In fact, 20 percent of the amplification (retweets) for IBM Connect 2014 were earned by contest participants, and amplification was up 66 percent YTY.

Ray Bilyk, a customer, was a winner of a daily prize at #IBMConnectConference 2014 game. Photo credit: Oliver Heinz (@oliheinz)

Customers like Ray Bilyk (@RayBilyk) enthusiastically played the game at IBM Connect 2014 and found increased engagement. According to Ray, "Gamification during IBM Connect 2014 was a success in my opinion. Not only did I become more involved in the conference, but I was able to bring more people into the game with me. The games provided everyone with a way to become a participant in the social enterprise, not just an observer of it. It also allowed me an opportunity to win prizes and make new friends... who wouldn't want to do that?"

Of course, IBM isn’t the only company that has seen gamification produce results that can translate into true business value.Leading businesses around the world are finding that if they combine the innovative organizational research techniques with cutting-edge social business tools and game design technology, they can create work environments that:

  • Appropriately match skills and challenges
  • Engage more employees in their work and intrinsically motivate them to pursue higher career aspirations
  • Facilitate immediate access to subject matter experts anytime, anywhere
  • Offer real-time updates on client value creation
  • Increase productivity through contemporary communication, rather than email and ad hoc relationships and processes

Want to learn more? If so, please join me on February 20, 2014, when I’ll be hosting the webinar, Seven Habits of Companies Successfully Using Social Collaboration and Gamification.

During the webinar, I’ll be talking with Phaedra Boinodiris, Global Serious Games and Gamification Program Manager for IBM. She’ll share her experiences with IBM clients and discuss how gamification has borne fruit in several real-world scenarios. As Phaedra has seen first-hand, “gamification is no game.”

We’ll also be hearing from Rajat Paharia, Founder and CPO of Bunchball. Rajat is widely recognized as a leader in gamification and wrote the New York Times best seller, Loyalty 3.0 - How to Revolutionize Customer and Employee Engagement with Big Data and Gamification. He’ll explain how incorporating game mechanics into social collaboration in a business setting promotes adoption and usage in a user-friendly and highly engaging way, creating both immediate and enduring information-sharing within business processes.

Register today so you, too, can move beyond the hype and discover how companies have gained business value by gamifying their social collaboration platforms. 

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