Connect 2017 – Opening General Session (Part 2)

Best-effort live notes from the session.  Synthesis/take-aways to follow.

Ed Brill

History of bringing community together over past several decades.  Glad to be back part of it.

[Buzzword Bingo card shared]

Refreshed and streamlined our portfolio, and laid foundation for Watson Work.

Today’s tools can’t handle the constant influx of information.  They add to the noise.  Notifications, alerts, etc.  Tools push people away from business outcomes and feel overwhelmed rather than productive.

Solve user problems with tools that are open, seamless and cognitive.

Imagine an inbox that does half the work for you.  

What was introduced in 2016:
·        Verse:  Over 30 new features, calendar inbox.  
·        Notes/Domino.  Announced product support through at least 2021 (over 30 years since first released).  Feature packs – bundles features and fixes on regular basis.  Shipped Verse on Premises.  (And there is more coming this afternoon.)
·        Sametime 9.0.1 .Formally announcing support and feature packs through at least 2021
·        Cloud:  All data centers in multi-active environment.  New certifications like privacy shield.  Pan-Asian data center.  3rd party marketplaces.  US Federal Data Center
·        Cisco and Box:  In June, announced new partnership with Cisco.  Expect to see available in April.  Integration with Box, plan to do more in 2017.   Offering with Actiance, and in next few months similar solution for Cloud.  GENBAND – integration for voice/video calling on desktop and mobile devices.
·        Connections Cloud:  Smart Search.  Community Metrics.
·        Microsoft Integration IMSMO integration, Connections integration into Outlook sidebar expected to come this year.

Rishi Vaish
Cognitive should be available to everyone to embed in their own solutions.

Watson Work Services:  Platform is cognitive because it understands business conversation and translate into actions.

Understand business conversation:
1.        Detecting intent of individual message
2.        Identify topics from part of a conversation
3.        Summarizing conversation
4.        Learning business dialect for specific industry or domain

Translate into actions for applications:
1.        Integrating with applications
2.        Enrich streaming with that info
3.        Interact with application to clarify intent
4.        Take action right from conversation stream

Watson Workspace:  Open conversational collaboration environment built on Watson Work Services platform.

Ecosystem is critical part of what we do, designed to bring you choice.

Box on stage.
Box has had APIs for a time – have more traffic from 3rd party apps than native interface.  Customers building own applications on Box.  Especially in regulated industries.

Doing a lot of work with IoT, working with BlueMix.  Showed how can add sensors to shipping containers, feed through IBM IoT to pull content in from Box (Manifests, etc.)

Worked with IBM MobileFirst team to build field sales resource tool to make sure they always have up to date info.

Box Relay – Embodiment of partnership between Box and IBM.  Collaborative workflow tool, designed by Box team with IBM’s workflow engine under hood.  Will be coming to market this year.

Box working with Watson.  Store docs and content for thousands of organizations.  Making platform more intelligent is key part of strategy.  Working with Watson Workspace to surface there.

Chris Crummey
Three-part demo of how we use this technology at IBM.  Everything is deployed at IBM or is beta or preview.

Start with mobile device.  Connections App.  Filter by content type.  At bottom is tabbed navigation to quickly go through different types.

Smart search – organized all files I’ve navigated to in past few days.  

Swipe out mobile action center – important to me, calendar, recent updates.  Pivot on community or person.

Document provider extension.  All the apps on your mobile devices can take better advantage of Connections Files.  (e.g., can open and do round trip editing in PPT on mobile device.)  (No longer have to say “I have to wait to get back to my desktop to do that.”)

Back to laptop – talk about communities.  Make them more flexible and customizable.

Looking at World of Watson 2016 community page.  Want to make it look more like web page, and want to copy forward for WoW 2017.  Move navigation to top like traditional websites do.  Also choose to copy community.

My Drive – has all folders, files and nested folders that sync to desktop. Can synchronize files and folders shared with me.  See all nested folders and files that synchronized in Finder.  

How cognitive cut time down by 1/3. cognitive editor from Ephox.  Reading page, parsing, adding tags.  Have suggestions for external news articles, YouTube videos, internal content, experts.  Drag/drop suggestions into wiki.  Can turn on tone analyzer to figure out tone.

Time to Act – XCC digital workplace tool.  Both cloud and native on-prem.

Weave social into fabric of user experience.  Can weave both internal and external content into framework.  Leverage fact that personalized and rule-based.  E.g., if new hire, show one thing, otherwise show something else.

Laura Rodriguez
Think about typical workday.  Are you in control of that day, or is that day controlling you?  Are the things important to you a few clicks away?

Configurations could be GENBAND, Watson Workspace, etc.  In this example, launch Jabber chat.  From the same business card, trigger Watson Workspace.  In business card, see consolidated business card with social tools.

Go to message Chris sent.  Customized, 3rd party integrated live text.  E.g., part number in part number database goes right there.  Click on name to bring up LinkedIn.

Tone analyzer – cognitive coach to read tone of note.

To field is active… click brings up custom directory search for people associated with an account number that happens to be listed in the email.  Tried to send to someone not on account and before send, was presented with warning message saying sending to someone not on account.

Verse calendar inbox – Ghosted draft of invitation not sent yet.  When composing meeting, see calendar list on right for that day.  Same when accept/decline other people’s meetings.

Click to block time on calendar, click and drag to reschedule, change length.

Default meeting can be WebEx, Spark, Oblong, etc.

Switch to Mobile – Click to join WebEx meeting.

Unlimited mail sync.  Can search until the beginning of time.

Tools that meet me on my terms and not the other way around.  Feel in control of day.

Ann-Marie Darrough
Share how using Watson Workspace preview has helped focus, understand intent and take action.

Green dot shows content haven’t seen.  Expand resource view to see files shared.   Can jump to where file referenced in conversation and where discussed.  

Help navigate noise to help prioritize what’s important to me and simply get work done.  Click on moments to trigger Watson Work Services and summarize, pull out key actions.  Can include entries from other applications like Slack.

Sentence that mentions opportunities highlighted and associated with action to bring in sales opportunities from CRM.  Firstrain Insights brings in details about customer account that’s mentioned.  Connections Expert Locator app brings back top results for experts in that area into space.  Can invite them in to discuss opportunity without leaving the space.

Phone has all same capabilities and is synced.

Example – Watson Workspace trained for healthcare… recognizes conversation that talks about follow-up appointment and links to open appointment search.

Recognize importance of continued care and feeding for Domino environment that you have spent decades building. Notes/Domino is lifeblood of many organizations and will continue to be well into the future.

Thrilled to report we have created a path forward.

First – Announcing a plan for new REST APIs to supply extensibility for the platform.  Continuing to work with OpenNTF community around new ways to access Notes logic.

Help understand domino environment on deeper level – which apps used most and most valuable to employees.  AppicationInsight powered by panagenda.  Builds on partnership had with them for last several years around Domino Doublecheck.  

Lot of you want to invest in exposing applications to users in new ways.  Highlighting 3 partners – Darwino, Aveedo by We4IT and Sapho.  While no truly magic box that anyone’s come up with, these tools will definitely help you leverage your investment.

Let’s look at a Nifty Fifty app – One of the original Notes applications built over 20 years ago, to demonstrate one way to protect investment.

Peter Yared – Founder and CTO, Sapho
Make it quick and easy to deliver microapps to deliver apps like Notes/Domino.
Microapp shows all Domino data.  Can click through to Salesforce data, or contract info from Box.  Can go back and approve because she has all the context she needs.

When travel request approved on phone, submitter can see response in Watson Workspace. See details there, or deep link directly back to Notes.

Built the app in under an hour.

What’s coming next for some of the products you’ve seen today.
IBM Verse:  Delegation for Calendar and mailbox – will come in next 2 quarters.  Other extensibility enhancements.  Verse on Prem to catch up with capabilities in Cloud.  Plan to update Verse editor with cognitive insights.

New – Cognitive Inbox.  Sort through noise so you don’t have to.  Learns your habits and keep you organized.  See at glance if need to upload file or intelligently organize incoming mail to highlight email that needs response.  Highlights tasks that need response.  

Will add additional certifications.  Updating antispam capabilities for users and admin.  Added departmental admin to cloud last week.  Will bring more datacenters online.

IBM Connections – biggest year since introduced.  Next version of Connections.  New onboarding experience, Orient Me, new Connections community experience.

Formally announcing Connections Pink, a modern approach to employee engagement, designed to benefit admins, developers and end users.  Pink is a platform for innovation.  New projects like Project LiveGrid will help surface data, and new ideas around content creation.  

Everything in Pink is an API.  It’s a journey that will lead to single converged codebase for on premises, cloud and hybrid.  With Docker, can make updates continuously.

Rishi – Everyone in conference invited to preview of Watson Workspace and Watson Web Services.  (And if not attending in person, find a friend who attended and they can add you.)

Ann-Marie – What working on in Labs:
Without leaving space, can launch meeting.  Adds URL in room so rest of team can join in.  Can share items in Box with just a few clicks. Speech to text… and recognize that there is an action associated with that.  (e.g., imagine virtual assistant listening in on meetings to recognize actions.)

Chris Crummey:
Training Verse to recognize common actions.  Verse logs into Watson Work in cloud. Using passive learning, so gets better over time.  Customers can train for their dialect, their business.  Customize industry domain classifiers.  (Biggest opportunity for BPs in room.)

Pink architecture – built for future of where we’re heading.  Based on modern, open microservices architecture.  Orient Me and Important to Me bar are examples of those microservices.  Have custom ITM icons.  Drive awareness of LOB initiatives with these capabilities.

Create applications without programming.  Project LiveGrid.  Edit content, add new content, take advantage of social business card built into it.  Started as spreadsheet.  Can see/change fields, @ fields.  Can apply stencils and launch grid.  Simply by building grid, have created data-driven application that can be queried in real time and is available as REST API. 

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