Yesterday, IBM executives unveiled a new product, IBM Verse, that will push the boundaries of how we work.
The new email platform takes a "people-centric" approach, and allows users to transform emails into blog posts or other social media content, view the relationships between internal and external participants in the email chain, and easily preview and add documents with just one click.
"IBM Verse fuses the meat with the wheat," says Bob Picciano, SVP, Information and Analytics Group at IBM. "It is email reimagined to get work done in a new way."
One of the key aspects of IBM Verse is its "faceted search," which uses analytics to retrieve context-specific content, and identifies the most critical activities and contacts for each employee.
One of the most useful, and newest developments of IBM Verse, is a function that allows users to make emails actionable. Let's say that you get an email from your boss asking you to have Project X on his desk by next week, and you need to alert your team. When you prepare the forwarded email to your team, you can click on a watch icon next to the "send" button, and add a time stamp that will alert all of the recipients that they need to take action on this by next week.
Another new, (and personal favorite) function of IBM Verse is the "mute thread" function. Let's say "Gail" just joined the company, and the CEO sent out a "welcome to our company" email to all of the employees. Instead of viewing hundreds of repetitive "congrats" emails, you can mute the email thread and keep it out of your inbox.
IBM spent $100 million to develop Verse, and that kind of investment will likely pay off when you consider these stats: The average employee checks their email 36 times per hour, and devotes at least four hours a day on email. "Email is still the center of our workday, but we need it to work smarter and more efficiently," says Picciano. "This is the future of work."