Enterprise social collaboration software from IBM gets a boost in 2013 with the announced release of Connections 4.5 at the company's Connect Conference this week.

Along with a planned March 2013 release date, IBM also gave some insight into what it's come up with via the Kenexa technology it integrated from the US $1.3 billion December buyout.

Connections 4.5 Update

During the dot.com boom years ago, buying books online seemed novel. The same thing is happening now with social collaboration tools, and it's gaining acceptance at an even faster rate compared to back then. Companies now are working to connect experts and flatten out the learning curve on just about every business task and process using social business tools. That includes things like human resources and marketing, two areas IBM is focusing on quite a bit at the Connect Conference.

With additions like embedded document management capabilities, Connections 4.5 will allow for quicker sharing of critical files for faster decision making. Additionally, social profiles, communities and files will be available in the Communities' Microsoft Outlook client for more integrated Facebook and Twitter integration, for example.

Kenexa Integration with Employee Experience Suite

Kenexa has been integrated into IBM now and will live on as part of the announced Employee Experience Suite. It's aimed at HR teams for adding, keeping and training up the best talent. Workers will be able to network, e-meet and IM about needed apps, media sources and videos, for example, to better collaborate across regions or departments.

Specifically, the Kenexa Applicant Tracking System will be folded into the suite for improved training and helping to find prospective hires. It can be used to set up recruiting websites, sending out surveys and, of course, training new and existing employees.

Learning Opportunities


Community Pages can be pinned to Connections content so the most relevant info doesn't get lost.

A sort of sister application, the already built out Customer Experience Suite will also be getting some new tools, IBM announced. Marketers will now be able to push out ads and promotions to social networks without invloving IT teams. We also finally have a ship date on IBM Notes and Domino Social Edition 9. It arrives at the same time as Connections 4.5, in March.

Tell us in the comments if you're visiting the #ibmconnect conference or if you're following along on Twitter.