IBM Takes on Enterprise E-Mail with Verse

Once considered a quantum leap in office productivity and efficiency, e-mail is now more often viewed as a millstone around employees' necks that wastes their time and clutters their lives. But a new service by IBM hopes to make e-mail useful again.

The "Verse," as IBM is calling its new enterprise e-mail service, seeks to reinvent the medium by combining it with cloud analytics, social networking and security platforms. The new offering also features an artificial-intelligence functionality that can learn users' preferences to more efficiently search through multiple types of content to find the most relevant data.

Changing Collaboration

IT industry analysts estimate that 108 billion work e-mails are sent daily, requiring employees to check their inboxes an average of 36 times an hour. Compounding the problem, it is also estimated that only 14 percent of those e-mails are of critical importance, according to figures cited by IBM.

"At a time when every organization is striving to be more efficient, social and collaborative, this has created a dynamic where the volume of e-mail interaction still outpaces social collaboration by a wide margin," IBM said in a press release.

The Armonk, New York-based company is pitching Verse as a new collaboration platform that allows employees to work together across a number of different channels, including calendar management, file sharing, instant messaging, social networking and video chats.

"With IBM Verse, we challenged our design teams to use analytics to completely reimagine the social collaboration experience to focus on engaging people and driving outcomes, not managing messages and inboxes," said Bob Picciano, senior vice president for IBM's Information and Analytics Group.

Using Your Data for Good

IBM highlighted several features new in Verse, including intelligent task prioritization, which customizes the user's experience based on analysis and prediction of the client's behavior. Verse will also come...

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