Published on 05-Nov-2009
Validated on 04 Oct 2011
"“Where we are creating something that has to be creditable from day one and withstand the test of time, I was committed to building on a platform I could rely on, from a brand of excellence. IBM was a simple choice.”" - Darian Hendricks, CEO, Robert R. Taylor Network at MIT
Robert R. Taylor Network
Cloud Computing, Mobile, Smart Work, SmartCloud - Solutions, Social Business for Knowledge Sharing and Innovation
Named in honor of Robert Robinson Taylor, the first known black graduate of MIT (in 1892) and the first professionally educated black architect in the U.S., the Robert R. Taylor Network (RRTN) is an economic empowerment and development organization focused on technology entrepreneurship and innovation and dedicated to widening the horizons of underserved and underrepresented youths, especially black youths.
The Robert R. Taylor Network (RRTN) organization sought a simple, secure and cost-effective way to support interactions among program staff, partners, youths and mentors who are widely separated by geography.
RRTN chose IBM SmartCloud Engage, a suite of cloud-based collaboration capabilities that can help bring people and information together quickly and easily across boundaries.
With the high quality IBM cloud-based collaboration service, RRTN eliminated the need for new hardware and IT support staff, saving substantial time and keeping the focus on delivery of products and solutions instead of building a global infrastructure.
Centered on the “ASTEM” fields—architecture, science, technology, engineering and math—the mission of RRTN is to educate young people on both the vast opportunities and the cultural legacy of black achievement in these fields, and to connect them to a supportive community in which related skills and aspirations can take root. A central tenet is “learn by doing” within collaborative partnerships.
The RRTN program currently encompasses three components: an online historical timeline with links showcasing black achievers, a series of summer institutes, and entrepreneurial activities advanced by promising students in partnership with MIT-affiliated mentors.
In its current phase of development, RRTN has more than 250 partners on its global network, including students, sponsoring organizations, CEOs, community activists, and engineers. An initial project centerson working with high-school youths from Brockton, Massachusetts, as that city undertakes economic redevelopment. Much of the organization’s work at this stage is in building its alliances and co-creating the norms and standards for doing collaborative work.
As a global initiative, RRTN needed a simple, secure and cost-effective way to support interactions among program staff, partners, youths and mentors who may be widely separated by geography. To achieve this objective, the organization chose IBM SmartCloud™ Engage (formerly IBM LotusLive™ Engage) services.
Delivered over the web as a Software as a Service (SaaS) offering, the SmartCloud Engage suite provides a collaboration infrastructure, helping to create the identity and sense of community critical to mobilizing a virtual organization. Using member profiles, a central documents repository, file sharing and web conferencing facilities, RRTN supports collaborative strategy and planning, community building, research, team projects and technology development.
RRTN will soon launch its Venture Network, using the SmartCloud Engage infrastructure to pair black youths with MIT graduates, venture capitalists, angel investors and mentors in project-driven relationships. The goal is to generate, validate and develop entrepreneurial ideas and bring them to market as viable products and services.
· Eliminates the need for new hardware and IT support staff and allows greater focus on organizational goals
· Overcomes connectivity barriers in underdeveloped areas with standards-based web access using browsers and mobile devices
· Helps win sponsor confidence with a highly secure and reliable infrastructure that enables rapid mobilization and demonstrates to students what it means to build business-grade solutions
For more information
To learn more about IBM SmartCloud for Social Business service offerings, contact your IBM sales representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit: ibmcloud.com/social
Products and services used
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
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