know it sounds like a over zealot disciple screaming out new
learnings that they have gleemed after a visit to the mountain top,
but after attending IBM Connect 2014 this week I am convinced I have
seen the direction for traditional mail.
a move that would surprise many vendors in the market, IBM has not only
adopted and grasped SaaS with both hands (which surprising they
had done some time back but have failed in promoting it widely
enough), but they have fundamentally changed the positioning of how
we interact with email through their IBM Mail Next client vision.
yes, I do work for IBM, although people should realise that my scribings
here are my own impressions and not those of the company.
back to what got me so excited.
of a providing an interface whereby people access and manage mail and
personal productivity tools (calendars, to-do lists and so on), the
IBM vision for a mail client is more akin to a productivity dashboard
with mail being just one of the capabilities included. Included in
this 'dashboard' will be interactive links to the enterprise's Social
Collaboration platform, and with the incorporation of analytics into
the mixture we have a new UI; a UI that incorporates Communication
and Collaboration capabilities together with the power of Analytics.
Analytics into the email UI
hindsight, incorporating analytics into a mail UI makes great sense,
in that you end up with a UI that can 'learn' and prioritise mail
based on factors such as the users actions, keywords, subjects and
other factors. I appreciate that Google has attempted this to date
dividing mail into primary, social and promotional tabs, but this is
something that goes much further. The simple inclusion of indicators
showing 'who you owe responses to” and “who owes you a response”
being just two capabilities that are immediately apparent.
upon existing linkages into Social Collaboration Platforms.
is not collaboration. It is a communication mechanism. So refining
linkages between the communication (mail) and social collaboration systems through a dashboard UI also makes perfect
idea is for email to return to its original strength and intension in
being a notification tool for action (contrasted with the
inappropriate use of it as a collaboration medium for documents,
files, project plans and the like). The final piece of the IBM Mail
Next UI is in being able to seamlessly act upon these notifications
using the collaboration capabilities of your social business platform.
example, if there is an action required from a mail notification the
request can be moved
into a community or action plan in the IBM Social Collaboration
environment where it can be managed, tracked and acted upon
this the end of the IBM Notes client?
Mail Next will be provided as an alternate UI in the SaaS sector in
the second half of 2014 first and then for on premises users in 2015.
IBM will continually develop and shift in the cloud first, and then
make it available for on premises clients following. The simplicity
of this approach is that both their SaaS offerings, and their on
premises offerings use the same code base – IBM Domino.
strategy is very clear. It doesn't matter what delivery mechanism
clients require for their capabilities, whether it be cloud, on premises,
mobile or a mixture of all three, the choices will be available to
select what is most appropriate for the situation.
is also clear that the focus is today, as it was before. And that is
upon providing a platforms with capabilities and the best UI's that
will enable clients to move beyond the non productive use of mail,
towards more productive forms of social collaboration.