Tuesday, October 25, 2016

IBM Announces a New Category: IBM Watson Work

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In today's press release, IBM announced a new category called IBM Watson Work. In that category there are two new offerings that will be available: IBM Watson Work Services and IBM Watson Workspace. IBM Watson Workspace uses cognitive analytics to help users communicate with their teams and focus on key business outcomes. Teams now have a single space to manage all their work conversations and avoid information overload with smart summaries that highlight the most relevant actions and decisions so team members stay aligned and prioritize daily tasks quicker. This is what you may heard before as Project Toscana.

IBM Watson Workspace is built on a platform that we call IBM Watson Work Services. Watson Work Services provides a set of APIs built to help developers build apps that understand conversations and interpret user needs and intent using natural methods of communication. Developers can use these to infuse Watson Work capabilities into existing work applications and products or accelerate differentiation when building new apps.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:
Businesses today need to apply cognitive-powered productivity applications and services to digital content, conversations, and workflows to empower their employees with the ability to find, connect and work with the right experts; speed access to relevant content and insights; and provide the time and space to work simply and together.
  • IBM Watson Workspace learns how an individual works and interacts, and consolidates multiple work conversations from various communications channels into a single space. Using Watson, the technology is able highlight the most urgent action items, point to the right content needed at the time, and automate everyday tasks so employees can focus on key business outcomes. 
  • IBM Watson Work Services are a set of cognitive APIs –Action Identification, Moment Identification, and Summarization – given to developers through the offering’s website so they can infuse cognitive capabilities into existing work products and applications such as IBM Watson Workspace, third party applications, and when building new applications. The technology uses natural language classifiers that are pre-trained to identify key ‘actions, questions, decisions, and commitments in a conversation. It can analyze and disambiguate context to facilitate fulfillment of the next action. For example, if someone says: "Great point –let's schedule a meeting to discuss further," the system can identify 'schedule a meeting' as an action, and help the person find the best time to continue the conversation.

One of the cognitive capabilities available today in the preview is called "Moments". You know how painful it is to catch up when you've been away from work on vacation, out for a meeting or just lunch. You come back to a mess of information, and the time you spend catching up, is time that you are falling behind. No more! With Moments, Watson gives you summaries of conversations (think of it like Cliff Notes!) and at a glance you can see what was talked about, who was engaged, the content that was shared, etc. In seconds, you are caught up and aligned with your team.

Today, Inhi Cho, GM for IBM Collaboration Solutions, takes the stage at 4pm PT to share more about this announcement and it will be live streamed! And I get the opportunity to walk the audience through the flow. If you want to watch the live stream today, head out at 4PM PT to:

IBM Watson Workspace (aka WW aka "dubdub" as the cool kids would say) is currently invite-only.  All IBM World of Watson attendees have access to IBM Watson Workspace. They can just log in with their IBM ID/password that they used to register for the conference. Those attendees can invite as many people as they wish, and those in turn can also invite others. So if you don't have an invite yet, find someone that attended the conference so they can hook you up.

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