Both (IBM's ecommerce and communities) suffer from the same essential malaise: IBM’s penchant for musing so far beyond the box that the end result is incomprehensible.

2013 was an interesting year if you’re an IBM Software website watcher.

It started with plenty of promise. A bold and lively home page. Interesting navigational options. A great social media footprint. An integrated focus on business and industry solutions you don’t see much on other competitive sites.

Then things started to go pear shaped. The home page turned in to a link farm. Expert social media behaviors disappeared. A site known for its consistent and innovative behaviors started wandering off the rails.

Which brings us to the question of the day. Did all of these activities add up to higher competitive rankings?

Based on our latest evaluations, the answers are yes…and no.

IBM SWG Competitive Rankings

Usability | IBM plays third fiddle to SAP and Oracle

In 2013, IBM Software ranked a close second to CA.com on the usability front. Fade into 2014, and my how the mighty have fallen. IBM Software’s usability dropped from second to third, CA.com dropped from 1st to fourth, and both lost their good practice ratings.

And what led this fall from grace? IBM Software’s incoherent ecommerce behaviors topped the list with 29 points (70 is an entry level good practice), followed by its community footprint which came in at a dismal 46 points.

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