IBM wants to change corporate e-mail with a new, analytics-driven, socially orientated e-mail platform, which it’s calling Verse.
Verse will get to know users by bringing to the fore information that is most important, along with the people and groups that users interact with most, the computer giant says.
Verse is one of the first technologies to come out of IBM’s recent US$100m investment in user interface and software design. The new mail platform features a redesigned user interface that is far removed from the traditional e-mail inbox. It was created by a team of computer scientists, who are working alongside experts in product design and the visual arts.
According to IBM, analysts estimate that 108bn business e-mails are sent daily, with employees checking their inboxes 36 times an hour on average and spending half their day on e-mail alone. But it’s estimated that only 14% of those e-mails are critically important.
IBM says it expects these numbers to change dramatically with the launch of Verse next week.
The announcement by IBM comes less than a month after Google revealed a new e-mail platform called Inbox, which the search giant hopes will change the way Gmail users interact with their mailboxes.
Inbox is not yet compatible with the business-focused Google Apps platform, but the company has said that a business version of Inbox is in the works.
How Verse works (video supplied):
IBM plans to provide a different approach to e-mail by integrating all the ways that employees connect with each other. This means that calendars, file sharing, instant messaging, social updates and video will now be hosted on a single collaboration environment within Verse. This will also be the first messaging system to feature “faceted search”, allowing users to pinpoint and retrieve specific information they’re looking for across all the various types of content within their e-mail.
In a future release, IBM Verse will give businesses the option to embed Watson — a cognitive technology that processes information more like a human than a computer — into their collaboration environments, allowing users to query Watson on any topic and receive a direct reply with answers ranked by degree of confidence.
A limited beta release of Verse will be available towards the end of November and a “freemium” version, delivered via the IBM Cloud Marketplace, will be available in the first quarter of 2015. IBM Verse will also be offered as an app for both iOS and Android. — © 2014 NewsCentral Media