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IBM Verse – A #NewWayToWork

Posted by EddiePrentice on November 19, 2014

Back in January this year I as at the IBM Connect 2014 conference in Orlando where IBM unveiled their planned “Mail Next” as a “radical email interface rethink”. Yesterday that plan came to fruition when I attended a live webcast at IBM’s Southbank offices of the launch of IBM Verse. So what’s the verdict?


First, let’s examine the reasons for the arrival of IBM Verse. What problem are we trying to solve?

  • 94% workers feel they are overwhelmed by information to the point of incapacity. (Hay Consulting)
  • 44% of executives feel their employees are too stretched to deliver current business objectives. (Hay Consulting)
  • The average interaction worker spends 28% of the work week managing emails (McKinsey)

The workplace is ever more complex, with people working across borders and timezones, social networks, growing use of smartphones and tablets, and the need for data security. Millennials prioritise ease of use in applications i.e. if the office systems don’t deliver they will find their own.

Focus on Your Work not Your Inbox

IBM identified three things that workers were crying out for:

  1. A clear sense of where to focus the time they have.
  2. An easy way to collaborate with the people that matter to them most.
  3. A way to take back control of their day.

The result is IBM Verse and from the demo I saw yesterday it really is a “new way to work”. New doesn’t always mean better but in this instance I think we have a solution here which makes existing systems look incredibly dated and frankly obsolete. IBM Verse facilitates ways of working which reflect the age we are in (connected, mobile, always on) rather than the way business was done in the nineties and the noughties when email became all pervasive. This isn't just improved, socialised mail with enhanced design features (although it is that too), it’s a game changer.

How Does IBM Verse Make You More Productive?

  • "Mail that understands you" - Imagine email that works for you instead of email that makes you work. Guided by analytics, IBM Verse learns your behaviours to adapt to the way you work, wherever you work. And because it's built for business, it understands you have special security and privacy needs, too.
  • "Less clutter, more clarity" - Move to a place beyond the mess of senders, subjects and folders. With built-in intelligence and a user-first, user-tested design, IBM Verse offers a faster, better way to manage your communications across devices, organize inbound and outbound information, and focus on what you need most.
  • "Connecting me to we" - Bridge the distance between people and information. A seamless array of social and mobile capabilities delivered from the cloud helps IBM Verse open up intuitive new ways to share valuable information with colleagues, co-workers and customers. It's never been easier to be mobile, secure and connected.

IBM focuses on a number of personas to show how IBM Verse can help you claim back your working day: the Mulitasker, the Prioritizer, the Sharer, the Searcher, the On-theGo Worker, the Tech Professional, the Assistant, the Business Leader. Let’s have a look at a few of these personas.

The Prioritizer
The old way - “I try to focus on the most important priorities, but with 1000 messages in my inbox and a double-booked calendar, things fall through the cracks.”
A new way with IBM Verse - “With help from analytics, my inbox is now organized and prioritized, showing the top actions that I owe or that I am owed, and when they are due.”


The On-the-Go Worker
The old way - “Being on the move is exciting but when I switch from my tablet to my smartphone to my PC I don’t want to lose information. I just want them all to sync up to each other.”
A new way with IBM Verse - “The cloud makes switching between devices seamless. I can pick up right where I left off no matter where I am. And cloud can do the heavy lifting so I still have secure access, and analytics.”


The Multitasker
The old way - “With email, file sharing, calendars, and social networking I spend half my day switching back and forth from one window to another.”
A new way with IBM Verse - “I can now organize my business communications and schedule from a single, intuitive console, and finally focus on my work.”


When Can you Get IBM Verse?
No promises yesterday but the indications are that for those of you using Connections Cloud it will be available to you in January 2015. Beyond that there was a lot of buzz yesterday about IBM Watson, cognitive computing and how this will add further value to IBM Verse.

If you want to keep in touch with all the latest developments on IBM Verse send me an email at eddie.prentice(at) and I will add you to my mailing list.