I can't tell you how excited I am to finally announce Kudos Badges for IBM Connections! I have been holding my tongue over the last few weeks before we were finally ready to launch what I believe is an awesome capability for Connections. I have been doing a few sneak peak demos for a few clients, friends, and colleages and have received fantastic feedback so I am pumped to finally put it out there for all to see.
We have put together www.kudosbadges.com with plenty of information and screenshots of the product so that is the best place to get the details.
So in short what is it?
Kudos Badges for IBM Connections is a flexible gamification engine for IBM Connections. By providing achievements and rewards (Kudos Badges), rank and leaderboards (Kudos Rank), and missions (Kudos Missions), organisations can dramatically improve their user engagement and adoption of IBM Connections.
In addition Kudos Badges is an extensible platform that can leverage game theory to provide performance management mechanics and reward systems for applications outside of IBM Connections such as HR, Sales Force Management, Help Desks, and many more.
So why have we built it?
Well ISW done plenty of roll outs of IBM Connections and we firmly believe that the key to success with Connections is driving user adoption. We have a number of strategies to this effect that we execute with our clients and this is now a new one to add. Gamification really does work. I have seen the results in our own organistion and look forward to seeing the results with a few clients. In designing Kudos Badges for IBM Connections we have put a lot of effort into trying to ensure it isn't just about earning Kudos Badges or moving up the Kudos Leaderboard, but rather encouraging users to explore features they may have not tried yet. Education of the capabilities and the "Why I should use it?" is a key driver for user adoption so we have tried to ensure Kudos Badges helps deliver on this.
In addition we wanted to be able to add value to Connections and enable our clients to reward users for not only their work in Connections but also their work outside of Connections. I will blog more above it in coming days however in short the Kudos Badges engine is AWESOME! The system is driven by creating metrics that track activity, both inside of and outside of Connections. These metrics are then used to create rewards, Kudos Badges, and allocate Kudos Points for leaderboard advancement. For example one client after a early demo of Kudos Badges asked if we could use it to recognise people that have been thanked by their peers. After about 3 minutes thinking the answer was absolutely yes! We now have badges awarded for people that are thanked within Connections by their peers a number of times. The great thing about all of this is that the Kudos Metrics and Kudos Badges are all configured via a special interface within Connections that administrators can have access to.
So how does it work?
Kudos Badges works by tracking metrics around what users do within IBM Connections. For example when a user posts a Status Update, they get a Kudos Point. When they create a blog, they might get 5 Kudos Points. When someone recommends a file that someone else created, they get 1 Kudos Point and the receiver of the recommendation gets 3 Kudos Points. There are hundreds of potential actions within IBM Connections and Kudos Metrics enables us to track them and reward users for their behaviour.
Kudos Metrics are used to award both Kudos Leaderboard points as well as award Kudos Badges. All of the metrics can be customised and you can even create your own metrics and badges. Kudos Badges comes with a heap of predefined metrics and badges to make it easy to get started. They have been designed to not only reward behaviour but also to encourage users to take further action and educate them on the broader capabilities of IBM Connections.
In addition to metrics within IBM Connections, Kudos Badges enables you to create metrics for actions and behaviour in external systems. These external metrics can then be used to award custom badges as well as contribute to a users leaderboard score and rank. For example you may have a sales force system that you want to encourage specific behaviour. Or maybe HR Performance Objectives that you want to reward users for achieving. The options are endless!
One of the keys to Kudos Badges is the fact that while you get rewarded with Kudos Points for your actions, such as uploading a file to share, you gain even more points for the actions of others, such as recomending your file as valuable content. As in real life the most valuable Kudos is awarded to you by others!
Another great capability is the fact that all the Kudos Metrics and Kudos Badges are completely configurable all via a Connections interface for Administrators. If you think a particular action is worth more, you can change it. If you want to create your custom own Badges then go ahead! The system is incredibly flexible and while we have provided heaps of rewards by default you can tweak them or add to them as you please.
I would like to recognise the efforts of the Kudos Team. You have each done a great job in taking the vision of Kudos Badges, and not only making it a reality, but taking it well beyond the initial ideas.
We are already planning the next release of Kudos Badges for the next quarter and have some great ideas that will take the product to another level. We are also working on our next Top Secret solution for IBM Connections, this one being a whole new capability for Connections! We would love to hear your ideas of what else we could do and off course if you would like to try Kudos Badges out please do get in touch!