IBM has announced that it is reinventing email. IBM Verse – which stems from the company’s $100 million investment in design innovation and brings together its cloud, analytics, social and security platforms – is a new freemium social mail that offers built-in analytics to give users personalized inboxes.
Simply, IBM Verse takes a different approach to email by integrating the many ways people connect each day – via email, meetings, calendars, file sharing, instant messaging, social updates, and video chats, among others – through a single collaboration environment. IBM Verse uses built-in analytics to provide an ‘at-a-glance’ view that surfaces an individual’s critical actions for the day. By learning unique user preferences and priorities over time, it provides instant context about a given project, as well as the people and teams collaborating on it.
“By fusing what we’re doing, we give people the ability to seamlessly fuse information,” said Mat Newman, IBM ASEAN collaboration executive.
For over 30 years now, email has been one of the most significant advances in workforce productivity. According to IDC, email remains the single most widely used collaboration tool, with worldwide revenue for enterprise email expected to reach $4.7 billion in 2017.
However, it is also one of the greatest organizational burdens. This is because only 14 percent of emails are of critical importance.
“The convergence of analytics, cloud, social and mobile technologies is not just impacting our personal lives, it’s profoundly changing how we work,” said Bob Picciano, SVP, IBM Information and Analytics Group. “These forces are reshaping how people make decisions, create and share new ideas and collaborate across teams to get work done. With IBM Verse, we challenged our design teams to use analytics to completely reimagine the social collaboration experience to focus on engaging people and driving outcomes, not managing messages and inboxes.”
According to IBM, IBM Verse is different from most freely available mail services, like Google Inbox, in various ways. For instance, IBM Verse does not mine a user’s inbox and personal data for use by IBM; IBM Verse includes built-in advanced security features like channel encryption, policy management, end point management, data wipes and other enterprise security protocols; and IBM Verse integrates with IBM’s suite of social collaboration tools, including calendars, video messaging, and blogging.
Users of IBM Verse will also have the future option to embed a Watson feature into their collaboration environment, which enables users to query Watson on a given topic and receive a direct reply with answers ranked by degree of confidence.
The launch of IBM Verse expands upon other IBM initiatives. In July 2014, IBM launched a partnership with Apple to develop a new class of industry specific business apps to transform enterprise mobility. In September, IBM unveiled Watson Analytics to put predictive and visual analytics tools in the palm of users’ hands. In October, IBM launched Navigator to allow users to access, edit and share business documents. Most recently, the company formed a partnership with Twitter to transform how businesses understand customers, markets and trends by using Twitter data to make more informed decisions.
IBM Verse will be generally available on March 31, but it is already downloadable HERE.