IBM has revealed Verse, a cloud-powered service that merges email, social features and analytics into a single service.
Verse features a dashboard that pulls information from various organisational and communication tools, such as email, calendar, social network and to-do list applications, to provide what IBM calls an “at-a-glance” single view of the most pressing actions for the day.
Talking to V3, Danny Wilks, business executive of IBM UK and Ireland’s Social Business & Smarter Workforce division, said Verse’s dashboard will help users find a different way of working.
“We’re all guilty of an inbox which spirals out of control, and how do you get started on that and start making a dent in it? What Verse will enable users to do is more readily identify what’s important and what’s not,” he explained.
“You got a feature that can start tuning in and therefore make decisions on what’s important to you and the way you want to work.”
Using built-in analytics, Verse analyses and eventually predicts a user’s preferences and priorities to ensure the information displayed on the dashboard is relevant to what they are working on and who they are working with.
In future, IBM plans to integrate Verse with its Watson cognitive computing and machine learning technology. This will enable users to present queries on a given topic that Watson will reply to with answers ranked by degree of confidence.
IBM also claims it has made the first messaging service that uses “faceted search”, a feature that enables users to pinpoint and retrieve specific information from across various types of content within their email.
Verse borrows social features from IBM’s Connections enterprise platform to enable users to communicate via blog posts, micro-blogs, forums and instant messaging.
As a service sitting on IBM’s SoftLayer cloud service, Verse works across various desktop and mobile platforms.
Wilks said that Verse allows users to “sift through the volume and the clutter we all have in our inboxes”.
He explained, “Most [other] email clients at the moment look quite similar. The dashboard looks nothing like a normal email system; it’s probably the most radical rethink of email since we started using it 20 years ago,” he said.
IBM is not the only company looking at using analytics and cloud to help people work in a more streamlined manner.
Microsoft recently revealed Delve, which is designed to pull together content from Office and cloud applications to enable better collaboration between business employees.