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At the end of January, IBM held its ConnectED event in Orlando, Florida, which was much more developer- and technologist-focused than the IBM Connect event it replaced. The areas of coverage were also narrower than last year, concentrating on IBM collaboration and digital experience solutions, which meant that there were fewer delegates attending the event.

IBM Verse provides a new take on collaboration

The most interesting announcement of the conference was Verse, IBM’s new email solution that uses analytics to learn and understand the behavior of users. Based on IBM’s analytics technology, Watson, each user’s interface can be automatically arranged according to their priorities and how they work.

The use of analytics to understand user behavior is nothing new. It is an important part of web analytics, which tracks how a user interacts with a website to build up a picture their preferences in order to target them with appropriate content and convert a visit to a sale. In the same way, Watson learns how users interact with people around them, who their most important contacts are, and which documents they work with on a regular basis, listing them in order of importance.

IBM should extend the use of analytics to its enterprise content management (ECM) user experience. Using an interface with underlying technology that understands what documents, contacts, and tasks are important to users would provide a real differentiator. However, this is an opportunity that IBM needs to pursue quickly, as Ovum believes the technology will be taken up by other vendors, particularly as HP has its IDOL platform and Oracle has Endeca, both of which are used for analytics.


Further reading

Ovum Decision Matrix: Selecting an Enterprise Content Management Solution, 2013–14, IT014-002763 (August 2013)

SWOT Assessment: IBM ECM Portfolio, IT014-002734 (June 2013)


Sue Clarke, Senior Analyst, Information Management

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