IBM has announced Verse, a social messaging solution that incorporates analytics to help users connect and communicate with the right people and information.
IBM has announced the availability of IBM Verse, a social messaging solution that incorporates built-in analytics to give people a new way to connect, communicate and find the right people and information fast.
A direct result of IBM’s $100 million investment in design innovation, IBM Verse integrates email, calendars, file sharing, instant messaging, social and more – all through a single collaborative, cloud-based environment.
“IBM Verse is a natural blending of IBM’s expertise in collaboration and analytics,” said Jens Rauschen, Managing Director of Retail, Hamm-RENO Group, GmbH, one of Europe’s largest footwear retailers which has been beta testing the solution. “It understands who and what is important to me and helps me get to the heart of the most important matters quickly, so I can get back to my business.”
For international marketing and communications firm, Havas Creative, design and speed are key aspects of the solution. “Right away, I was impressed with how intuitive, user-friendly, and modern Verse is,” said Jeff Marshall, CIO Havas Creative North America. Havas Creative manages an IBM Verse beta environment and plans to roll it out to more than 5,000 employees across North America, Latin America and Asia-Pacific this year.
Of particular interest to Marshall is IBM Verse’s faceted search. With faceted search, users can pinpoint and retrieve specific information across all the various types of content within their email extremely quickly.
IBM provided the following information on key features of IBM Verse:
- Team Analytics. With just one click, users can see an organizational graph of the people on their thread and gain insights before responding. No longer do you have to wonder who you are corresponding with.
- Calendaring. As part of Verse’s innovative visual design the calendar is animated, visible and actionable across the bottom of the landing page, making missed meetings a thing of the past. Users can join meetings quickly by merely hovering over the calendar meeting and clicking “Join Meeting” directly from the calendar bar.
- File Sharing: IBM Verse includes a social file sharing capability to make co-editing, review and commenting on a file easy. When sending an email, users can choose to easily upload a file from their desktop and share it with the mail recipients in a single action. This enables full life cycle management of the files. In addition, owners can track who has downloaded the file and recipients will always have access to the latest version instead of the version that was attached into the email. It is safe, secure and encrypted. These files can be synchronized to users’ desktops, and mobile devices, making sharing and action easy, tractable and also saving space.
Delivered on the SoftLayer Cloud with enterprise-grade security, IBM Verse offers organizations big or small a scalable, cloud-based social collaboration offering. In addition, IBM plans to introduce a new licensing model as part of its Bridge to Cloud program for IBM Connections Cloud that makes it easy for customers to deploy collaboration solutions to cloud, on premises or in a hybrid environment.
IBM plans to offer new native mobile apps for Verse that integrate with the IBM MobileFirst platform, including IBM MobileProtect, and starting with IBM iOS for iPhone later this month. IBM will follow that release with apps for Android and iPad in the second quarter.
IBM is also making available a free version, IBM Verse Basic, at www.ibm.com/verse.
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Queues and cash-only frustrate SA’s commuters
A new study by Visa reveals the success factors for improving travel and creating smarter cities
The use of cash-only payments was
Visa, in collaboration with Stanford University, came up with these findings in one of the largest global studies examining the growing demand for public and private transportation, and the important role digital commerce plays in driving sustainable growth.
According to the UN[i], by 2050, 68
Building on Visa’s experience working with transit operators, automotive companies and technology start-ups, Visa commissioned a global study, “The Future of Transportation: Mobility in the Age of the Megacity” to better understand the challenges commuters face today and in the future. The key findings were combined with a view of existing and near horizon innovations provided by experts at Stanford University, to better understand the technology gaps in addressing their pain points.
The South African Perspective
Payments lie at the heart of every form of
Aside from cash-only payments, another commuter frustration when paying for public transport has been long queues – 67% of Johannesburg commuters and 64% of Cape Town commuters. Over the last few years, a number of mobile-driven taxi-hailing apps have been launched in the South African market to counteract these concerns and commuters are open to the possibilities presented by mobile apps. The Visa study echoed this by showing that 77% of Johannesburg commuters and 76% of Cape Town commuters would be willing to try a consolidated app to make payments for public transport.
Mike Lemberger, SVP, Product Solutions Europe, Visa says: “The future success of our cities is intertwined with – and reliant on – the future of transportation and mobility. Visa and our partners have an important role to play, both in streamlining the payment experience for millions of commuters around the globe, and supporting public transportation authorities in their quest to build sustainable and convenient transportation solutions that improve the lives of the people who use it.”
Herman Donner, PhD and Postdoctoral Researcher from Stanford University co-authored the report and summarised: “When looking across the technology landscape, there already exist many products that could easily address people’s daily frustrations with travel. However, none of these solutions should be developed in isolation. A major challenge therefore lies in first identifying relevant technologies that provide suitable products for the market then managing implementation in conjunction with a broad set of stakeholder including mobility providers, technology companies, infrastructure owners and public transport agencies. From our research, we think that many of these small, incremental changes have the potential to make a significant difference in people’s daily travel, whether it’s to help find parking, get the best price to refuel their car or plan their journey on public transportation.”
Click here for the detailed global findings.
Women take to tech, but more needed
By HAIDI NOSSAIR, Marketing Director META, Dell Technologies
$12 trillion – that is the value in additional global GDP that remains locked behind the gender gap. This is according to the latest Women Matter report from McKinsey, which also reveals startling disparities in the workplace. Even though women make up more than half of the human population, only 37% contribute to GDP on average – and in some countries that proportion is significantly lower.
The reasons for this can be put in three areas. Fewer women – 650 million fewer than men – participate in the global labour force. Women are also more likely to be in part-time employment and thus work fewer hours. Finally, female employees are more common in lower-productivity sectors than in higher-productivity areas. Are women not being offered the opportunity or are they holding themselves back?
Among STEM careers this ratio is particularly dismal: only 24% of engineering professionals are women, and as few as 19% of careers in ICT are filled by women.
What is the cause of this? Studies have found that women pursuing STEM careers are higher in countries with more oppressive policies towards women, because those careers hold the promise for financial freedom and more social autonomy. In contrast, countries with progressive attitudes towards women tend to produce fewer female STEM graduates. Then how can we encourage women from early ages to take the path of STEM education? And how can organizations ensure women have equal opportunity at the hiring stages.
Certainly addressing gender inequality is crucial and must not stop.. Where women are increasingly more part of the workforce, there are often still barriers preventing them from assuming higher management roles. Female entrepreneurs often struggle more to gain investment capital. Corporate cultures are rarely aligned with the pressures of balancing work and family obligations. Decision makers may simply lack exposure to the potential of female candidates. Female pioneers have also argued that women are too risk-averse when compared to men.
Whether these assertions are true is a matter for debate – and that’s exactly why every professional man and woman should be talking about them and identify action to change the status-quo. This is not just about female rights, but about social upliftment: companies with a mixture of male and female leaders perform better across the board and companies in the top-quartile for gender diversity are 21% more likely to outperform on profitability.
The digital economy we live in today represent a golden opportunity for increased women contribution to the workforce as technology breaks the boundaries of location and time for the workplace and where labor intensive jobs may today be performed by data scientists.
For two days in March, top professionals will gather to talk and exchange ideas around creating more roles for women, larger appreciation for female professionals, as well as counter the attitudes among women holding them back from greater career success and autonomy.
If you want to be part of this conversation, join the Women in Tech Africa summit today at the Century City Conference Centre in Cape Town – learn more at https://www.women-in-tech-africa-summit.com/ and use the code DELL20 for a 20% discount.