IBM Corp. is hosting its annual social media themed conference in Orlando and staying true to the spirit of that event, made two announcements yesterday about new product updates that will integrate further social media features into two of its software products, reports Nestor Arellano of our sister publication IT World Canada.

The Kanexa Talent Suite has been part of IBM’s portfolio since it acquired Kanexa in 2012. Now it’s updating the cloud-based software to include more information about individual employees, such as work experience, skills being developed, and other traits. The idea is to help ease the onboarding process and get better insights into employee-generated data.

One new feature will help HR managers pair employees within their organization with open positions in the company matching their skills and experience. Reporting capabilities will help manage employee career paths down to the individual, IBM says.

Adding social capabilities to its Kanexa Suite may show IBM is paying attention to its competition. Other cloud-based software suites catering to HR professionals have pedalled social integration as a central feature in recent years, including Waterloo, Ont.-based TribeHR (recently acquired by NetSuite) and Salesforce.com’s Work.com offering.

Read the full story with quotes from IBM’s general manager of industry cloud solutions Craig Hayman on the IT World Canada site.

IBM also announced a new email tool, Mail Next, adding it to its IBM Connections suite of social networking tools. Mail Next will combine mail, meetings, chat, content management, and office productivity capabilities and a beta version will come out in the first half of this year and the full version is slated to launch in the latter half of the year.

Both enterprise and SMB customers will have cloud-based or on-premise options to run the software. It also promises to make better use of data by helping users organize their inbox around the tasks they need to complete.

Arellano gives the full scoop on IT World Canada’s site.

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