International Business Machines Corp (IBM) reimagines Enterprise Email with Verse
International Business Machines Corp (NYSE:IBM) reimagines email with Verse
Email is one of the oldest online services that is still being used. It’s been around for over 30 years. But unlike many other parts of the Internet, it hasn’t really evolved much. While new email clients and web-based services have been released over the years, they did very little to change the fundamental nature of how email works. It is still just a list of messages that Internet users go through in both their personal and professional lives. Important messages are right there among trivial ones. Of course, it is possible to set up filters and do a search of your inbox if you need to find that one important message, but this doesn’t change the fact that it is still one of the least advanced computing services around.
If you ask various people what word will first come into their minds when they think about email, many will answer “frustration.” It is exactly this frustration that has driven a team of user experience designers and engineers at IBM to reinvent how we do email by making it something that is centered around people and relationships.
In order to accomplish this, they have put together various online services, like email, social networking, analytics, collaboration, mobile, security and cloud computing to create a completely new product.
Little has been known about their work until it was just ready to be launched. Their creation is called IBM Verse, which is a new social collaboration platform designed to give people new ways to have conversations, find the people and information they need and above all, to be able to do the work they need done.
IBM Verse has been made to be practical and convenient to use, with features that can help users save time, increase productivity and share their ideas in novel ways. There will be different versions of Verse available to meet the needs of various categories of businesses and organizations. IBM is also going to release a freemium version suited for the needs of individual and small business users, which makes the product accessible to everyone and not just larger organizations.
IBM has created a video that shows how Verse works and just how powerful it can be. When Verse is first launched, users will be able to see photos that represent topics, teams and individuals. Clicking on one of them will result in a sub-menu appearing that can take you to email messages, allow you to perform an advanced search, or view more information related to the individual, team or topic. If there is something that requires your attention, such as a new email message, red dots will appear on the photo to draw your attention to it.
The interface can be customized by the user, giving you a lot of flexibility on how you organize your screen. The left side of the screen shows a list of to-do items. The right side shows items that the Verse analytics engine believe are important for you based on your previous interactions with the system.
There will probably be many users who would prefer to have a more “classic” interface for their email and Verse allows them to choose that option if they want to, thanks to the inbox list view feature. Even then, all the other Verse features will remain functional, so that users can access collaboration tools, file sharing, social media and an instant messaging app.
As Verse is a new product, it is difficult to say what impact it will have on the way we use email in the long run. Due to its unique approach, it could very well set a precedent on how individuals and businesses view email, not just as a list of messages to go through, but more as a way for everyone to use the Internet to share important ideas and work together.
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