Verse from IBM, an email revolution?

Yes, or so they claim. IBM is coming with a new email platform, now called Verse.  Aha....I can almost hear you say, another of those revolutionizing concepts that will "change the way we work"? 

Admittedly there's a few of them around, of platforms, systems and solutions, all claiming to have potential to become your digital Oracle, soothsayer and Jinn. But it won't make your coffee, wash your socks, toast your bread or shampoo your hair. Or govern your life, though with a certain level of irony one could be tempted to claim that is precisely what classical email does. Govern peoples work life. 

Sometimes when one reads about new fantastic products out, concealed or packaged in the form of an app, it is almost as if that is what it's all about. A one-click solution to your every problems. Alas, we know it takes a lot more than that. However.........

 The looks of IBM Verse, click image to see a video or here 

This might be something (?) 

Yes, it might. IBM's approach here is to try to change the way email services, on which we all depend, look, feel and work. Do something about how information that pours through, is being received, sorted, found, re-found, and utilized. Add social, smart elements to how communication is done. And try to do something about the vast amount of information and knowledge that lurks within the tons of email you have in your box. Of which you daily may only be aware of a little, figments. 

Why I think it might be something

I am an old Lotus Domino/Notes administrator. We could do a lot of smart things with that platform, the possibilities were and remains, fairly limitless. One could create agents and services for almost any means or purpose. But it took initiative, resources, time, planning, cultivation, decision making and buy-in from a user community. Sometimes it worked, other times not but the platform seldom was the limitation. However, the interface wasn't always very graphical or intuitive enough. People mostly spent their work life in a mail box that was highly customized to suit their own individual needs.

So based on the experience, I feel quite confident that a new, socially and graphically oriented interface with smart(er) search functions has a future. But without people changing to a more socially oriented way of working, the platform by itself may not change much. 

I remember a guy who, one day, a long time ago, contacted us the technical staff due to a problem in his gargantuan mail file. He could no longer create new folders. Turned out he had difficulties with folder number 1000! So we asked if it wasn't high time to revise the content of the mail file, did he really need a thousand folders? This wasn't your average John Doe by the way, he had over many years developed an information structure that apparently worked for him. All of a sudden, after >10yrs of accumulation, he hit the roof, the wall, had gone to the outer rim of the physical universe of the platform, at that time.

So .. Verse and the next Verse

Lets face it folks, however much a platform, a solution or concept can change the way we work, we the users, need to change with it. The most important aspect of any IT service, the values, the assets, are the people and the organizations using IT. Garbage in, garbage out. I'd claim to know what I am talking about here, once upon a time involved in a project that was pretty trail blazing, a paradigm shift. One that today is more of a standardm or a norm, than an exception. 

Are you ready for the next Verse? Cheerios :)