Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Introducing IBM Connections Mail

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With the upcoming availability of IBM Connections 4.0 I would like to talk a bit more about IBM Connections Mail, one of the many new features of v4.0 and one of my favorite ones.

IBM Connections Mail brings mail and calendar into your social context by integrating key messaging and calendar views and functions into your social environment. As email turns 30, we know email is not going away any time soon. Thus, we've now given end users the ability to easily access and manage their Mail and Calendar content directly from IBM Connections. This allows user to process emails quickly (e.g. reply, forward, etc) as well as obtain a quick glance of their calendar. This feature supports Lotus Domino and Microsoft Exchange environments.

I've been using IBM Connections Mail now for a couple of months and I like it a lot. I find that I spend more and more time within IBM Connections since I don't have to switch to another app to work with my email. IBM Connections Mail was featured as one of the MUST-HAVE features all Enterprise Social Networks need according to InformationWeek.

Here's a screenshot of how it looks:

My personal email and calendar is always accessible from the top navigation bar by simply hovering over the mail and calendar icons. The great thing is that I can quickly reply, forward, and delete emails and process my inbox. Of course, I can also use this capability to send private messages to other users.

When reading an email, the business card is available when hovering over people's name. When sending an email, the system is even smart enough to allow me to "attach" files that already exist in my personal file share within Connections. Extremely powerful, right?

By far, however, my favorite feature is the embedded experience provided directly in emails. For example, say that someone posts a question in one of my files. In a typical platform, this usually means that I have to click on a link the email, go out to the social platform, log on, respond to the question and then come back to delete the email. This multi-step process is reduced to a single step. In IBM Connections Mail, the email contains a live page where not only I can see the question posted in the file, I can reply to it directly from there and once I'm done, I can get rid of the notification.

Feedback from people that have seen this and our beta customers has been extremely positive on this feature. So as soon as you get your hands on the code, make sure you install this capability!

To learn more about IBM Connections 4.0, register for the September 13th webcast: From Liking to Leading - The Success of your Business is Social.

Updated 20/Sept/2012 - To download IBM Connections Mail, click here.

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