Email. Most of us have a love-hate relationship with that word. For better or worse (okay, mostly worse) it is the primary means of business communication. Even with the prevalence of texting and social networking, email is a staple of personal communication too. Despite not being designed for it, IDC research reveals email is also the most widely used collaboration tool.
“For more than 30 years,” Jeff Schick, the IBM VP of Social Software, blogged, “email has been stuck in a rut. It’s still basically a list of messages that we plow through all day, every day—in our private and professional lives. The important stuff is hidden among the trivial and the routine. Sure, you can fiddle with rankings and do rudimentary searches, but, for all the time we spend dealing with our email, it’s one of the least-evolved computer activities around.”
Last week IBM announced that they are attempting to evolve this aging computer activity and transform the future of work by reinventing enterprise email with a new social collaboration tool called Verse, which launches in limited beta today to select enterprise clients and partners. A freemium version will be available in the first quarter of 2015.
Verse is intended to help you focus on work, not the inbox, and engage people, not email. Verse is optimized for mobile and Web environments and designed to provide a single, intuitive, collaboration environment across devices and multiple tools (email, meetings, calendars, to-dos, instant messages, social updates, documents, file sharing, video chats and more).
Verse has a nice interface that includes visualizing profiles and graphing the relationships between the individuals and groups involved in a discussion. You can mute a discussion so after you have contributed and don’t need to be included in follow-ups, your inbox isn’t inundated with incremental messages. Discussions can also be shared as a blog post rather than an email. Verse also features faceted search, enabling users to pinpoint and retrieve information across all content types within their email.
Verse, along with their recent partnerships with Apple and Twitter, as well as the launch of Watson Analytics, is part of IBM’s attempt to transform the future of work. Verse will also have the future optional feature to query your email with Watson.
To learn more about IBM Verse and signup to be among the first to experience email reimagined, please visit: ibm.com/verse
This post was brought to you by IBM for Midsize Business and opinions are my own. To read more on this topic, visit IBM’s Midsize Insider. Dedicated to providing businesses with expertise, solutions and tools that are specific to small and midsized companies, the Midsize Business program provides businesses with the materials and knowledge they need to become engines of a smarter planet.