Taste the word: Toscana. It promises a lot, at least if you have a little bit of a crush on Italy as I have. Food and wine in the sunset, overlooking a fabulous view of the countryside or the sea. There’s something ancient but invigorating in the name, no wonder I had high hopes on this team collaboration solution from IBM when I first heard about it!

Yes, the comparison is silly, but hey, don’t blame me! I didn’t name it 😉

Yesterday IBM launched Project Toscana with its new and equally invigorating name IBM Watson Workspace, at The World of Watson conference in Las Vegas.

You can see a replay of the launch here.

I have been in the privileged group beta testing this collaboration software for a couple of months before the launch. We didn’t just test it, we stress tested it.

My team (the team planning the Social Connections user group conferences) is an 9 member group located all over the world, in different locations and time zones. We know how difficult it is to bring a diverse team together working towards a common goal; to have a huge amount of topics to handle and what it’s like to have hundreds of messages to process in just a short time. How hard it can be to find relevant information and to create and manage workflows and tasks out of our discussions leading to decision making and follow ups in other systems.

Until this spring we used Slack but when we got the opportunity to join the beta program for Toscana the choice was easy, especially since we saw it as a chance to take part in the beta forums and give feedback to IBM and try and help make the product as great as possible!

We took the plunge and moved. Now, a couple of months in, I talk to my team of 9 but also in cross organization spaces, where members are from different companies and parts of the world. Small teams and large, some very active and some not. Now that we’ve been using IBM Watson Workspace for several months, I like it more and more each day. It’s the place to be, simple as that.

I see possibilities to bring teams together in many different ways. For shorter or longer projects, for interest groups, for departments at companies or even the local book club. IBM Watson Workspace is an agile environment where you can invite whoever you want and immediately start having a conversation and share your work. You can pick up the conversation on your mobile, when you are out and about, and seamlessly go back to your PC when you’re back at the office and, of course, you can integrate it with other systems.

What about the magic then? The first proof of Watson’s presence is what IBM calls “Moments”. Here we have a cognitive function which presents a managed list that helps you quickly scan the conversation for questions, tasks and topics of interests. Early days, but ever so promising! I can’t wait for more of this stuff! Take a look below:

Yesterday IBM announced a collaboration together with Slack, bringing the two products together in sweet harmony. This is how that looks:


So jump on the train to the cognitive era together with us, IBM and Watson!