I had been trying to check out IBM Verse when I heard about it and volunteered to trial but never got a Invite…After a looong time I got the Invite early this month and over the weekend I activated it…This account is a basic Non-Enterprise Account meant for feature trial and not formal business usage so You need to hold back on expectations as the Enterprise edition may look and feel very different and also have very different User Experience…
Anyway here was the nice invite I got..
On Clicking on the Link it goes to a page that asks for basic Profile info and the Password You want to setup. Once Done we see this message
The confirmation mail did takes a few hours which IMHO is slower than how O365 gets activated. Once Activated I tried to open the link auth.ibmverse.com in my Official Laptop and was consistently not able to connect on all three major browsers: IE, Chrome and Firefox! I thought this must been a Server Side Issue and waited for a week and still no improvement….Then I tried from my Home PC and it worked! It was Slow compared to O365 and gmail, but it worked…Looks like ibmverse is black listed by the laptop’s Endpoint Security Program for now! So enterprises planning to adopt this should pay attention to this…
Anyway I’m in and I was surprised by the UI which is much more cleaner than the ancient Notes UI.
I had sent myself an email before I opened to be sure that the account had got created…and there it was waiting for me to open
What I liked was the way multiple services have been integrated into a clean single UI…The Opening screen itself gives a high level view of the day’s calendar…I can go to more details in the Calendar Tab
The Contacts Tab is simple compared to what Google or O365 Offers
Thankfully it does have group management
Further I liked the Files Management Tab
This moves this solution from a ‘Email’ To ‘Collaboration’ Platform…Though restricted to Non-Real-Time Collaboration only unlike Cisco Spark..
I tested it out using a sample docx file with nothing more than a text line saying “Testing”
When I try out the options some revealing aspects comes up
Looks like Encrypted Files are not searchable! Why??
I liked the Sharing feature
But was disappointed when I tried to read/open the file within the browser
The Cycling would just not go away…Don’t know why!
Weekend Free Time is limited so I move on to check out how this blends into the email application and was not disappointed at the nice integration
It shows the files within the email compose window ..Nice
Attached and ready to go …And I get a error message!
Awe..but I ignore and choose to proceed…
Actually the File sent as a URL and I was able to open it from O365 account…Of course inside a browser after username/password which ultimately ended in the cycling screen!!
Further it didn’t open in my laptop because of the endpoint protection software clocking this website…
I move on to search for the Sent File folder I Guess where I find it!
Sent Files are listed under the ‘Compose’ Button! why??
Then my attention shifted to other Items in the UI
and I noticed that within Chrome browser the app was trying to integrate itself into the browser as a mail app
Next I saw the IM Feature
Effectively IBM has Combined Notes, Connections and Sametime into a single UI and in a manner that is least cluttered and still easy for new comers!
Definitely it doesn’t have all the features of each of these solutions’s Enterprise On-Premise Counterparts but I’m still Impressed.
- Simple UI …Its way simpler than Gmail and Outlook (Web)
- Brings Email, File Sharing and IM into same UI very well
- Cloud Based meaning Features will keep added with time
- Still very basic and may not please sophisticated users of Notes, Connections and Sametime
- Slow compared to Gmail and Outlook (Web)
I will keep checking this again for new features getting added in future and will report back if anything interesting happens…There are still many features like the decluttering feature, 100MB Email size etc which needs further checkout but will do that some time later…below are some that were highlighted in the mailer I got
We hope you’ll find this to be a delightful experience. In addition to mail you also get:
- Calendar, contacts, in-line attachment preview, one-click tracking of actions that need attention, and analytics-based identification of important people and content.
- Upload, store, and share files with individuals, with up to 500MB personal file storage.
- Send and receive instant messages.
- Collaborate and interact with others by viewing profiles, status updates, and files.
- Encourage others to collaborate with you by spreading the word about IBM Verse Basic so they can get their own account.
We want you to see how Verse helps declutter your inbox. You can:
- Send up to 100 emails in a 24 hour period.
Send mail containing up to 10 recipients per email.
Send mail messages up to 100MB in size.
Have a mailbox quota of 500 MB.
Experience spam filtering for emails sent from outside domains.
Please use the latest Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox browser only. Support for other browsers is coming soon. For more features and the ability to send unlimited emails, check out the full version of IBM Verse for all your business mail needs.
If you need to try this out for yourself I encourage you to go to this link