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IBM to consolidate communication and collaboration wares into Connections suite

Juan Carlos Perez | Feb. 3, 2014
IBM will house its email, communication and collaboration products in its Connections suite, whose scope until now has been limited to enterprise social networking (ESN) software.

Koplowitz is also optimistic about the effort to rework Notes and iNotes so that email is transformed as a component within an enterprise social collaboration suite.

"The 'email is dead' spin has been around for a few years, but it's poppycock. The traditional functions of email, messaging and calendaring are becoming part of a broader suite that's inherently social," he said.

However, once Mail Next comes out, the question will be how users will receive it, since it will likely require an adjustment and learning of a modified user experience, Koplowitz said.

Industry analyst Michael Osterman from Osterman Research had a chance to view a demo of Mail Next and offered up some suggestions for improving the user interface in a blog post, but is generally positive about what he saw.

"Depending on the way you look at it, this is either the next generation of email that integrates with social business capabilities, or it's social business that more tightly integrates with email," Osterman wrote. "I view it as more of the former -- a realization that email is central to the way that people work, but with some interesting social capabilities, task management and other functions integrated into the interface."

Microsoft made the announcements at its Connect 2014 conference held this week in Orlando.

 

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