back to article Microsoft, Slack et al will 'laugh their asses off' at IBM's biz messaging tool

IBM is testing out a group chat collaboration tool branded Project Toscana, but judging by the reaction from channel partners involved in the beta, it’s not going to worry Microsoft, Slack or anyone else for a while yet. Toscana, which will run on a browser or as an app, includes IBM’s tools in the Collaboration Platform - …

  1. noboard

    icon says it all

    "no emojis"

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      Re: icon says it all

      I thought that was a selling point!

    2. GruntyMcPugh

      Re: icon says it all

      Odd they say it has no 'emojis' when Sametime had them. My Colleague and I had a little animated emoji gif of a rabbit banging it's head against a wall when we worked for IBM. Sometimes we got to Monday afternoon before one of us used it.

  2. Your alien overlord - fear me

    What, has Notes been canned?

    1. LDS Silver badge

      No, probably they built it on Notes... but it should have looked a bright idea after the third bottle of Brunello while in Toscana....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "What, has Notes been canned?"

      People still run Notes?! I thought that died a decade ago...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I know of a certain accountancy firm who are currently migrating away from Notes onto Google mail. Many of their clients are up in arms as they don't their emails to be read and analysed by Google/the NSA. So they're sticking with Notes, alongside gmail, i.e. two email systems. How the hell that is going to work is beyond me, but that's progress.

      2. GruntyMcPugh

        It's still used internally at IBM. It's still a pile of crap. It's 'integrated' with Sametime and office products under the guise of 'Symphony'. Symphony products were supposedly being re-worked as I left, and it was being merged into Open Office.

        When you install Notes, you also needed a little utility called 'Zapnotes' because Notes crashes from time to time, and leaves lock files laying about, so 'Zapnotes' tidied all that up so you could restart Notes.

        I've changed jobs now, and we use Outlook and Lync. Far superior products. They don'tcrash, for starters.

  3. chivo243 Silver badge

    Late to the party again?

    Wha? I just got here, and everybody is out the door for a curry?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Having had to suffer the insane 'not invented here' attitude of IBM (cf. Lotus Symphony and Connections for example) I am not at all surprised that they have created their own half-arsed Slack clone that will forever remain incomplete and laughably inadequate yet lauded as the the next great thing by management and foisted on all employees.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: NIH

      IBM has an internal project, Project Whitewater, that exists to support people using external tools (including Slack, but also Github, Mural, Travis CI) where no internal tool is suitable. This is such a useful, pragmatic concept that I can only imagine senior management are not aware of it (the only code-named projects that IBM senior management are engaged with are generally those that involve firing lots of people).

      So Slack is pretty well used in certain corners of IBM. I can imagine the waling and gnashing of teeth that would accompany any enforced transition from that to using our own dog food. I've not seen Toscana, but I *have* seen the pile of poo that is IBM Verse (sadly Whitewater doesn't extend to something genuinely useful such as a decent email client).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: NIH

        ... including Slack, but also Github ...

        Will Toscana include a CMVC plugin?

      2. GruntyMcPugh

        Re: NIH

        "(the only code-named projects that IBM senior management are engaged with are generally those that involve firing lots of people)."

        'Chrome' for me,... perhaps the last generous package that was offered, I got a year's take home to go away. Recent packages have been statutory minumum I understand.

        Trying to think of the codenames,... one of my jobs went offshore during 'Quantum', but they still had 'The Bench' back then and I got an internal vacancy within weeks. There was 'Jura', and of course 'Chrome', but I know I'm missing some, they pretty much came along every two years.

    2. Gwaptiva

      Re: NIH

      half-arsed Slack clone's half-arsed IRC clone

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: NIH

      The funny thing here is that I think Slack lists IBM as one of their biggest customers.

  5. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    I don't get it

    IBM, for Pete's sake. There are chat clients all over the Internet with every license imaginable, and IBM has to jump into the fray with a bleak, barebone excuse that would get squashed by what some college kids could have done in a week-end.

    This is friggin' IBM. That product should have been a polished, almost-saleable demo. It's not like IBM hasn't already dabbled in this market. Someone mentioned Notes, which means they know about Sametime. God knows that IBM has had long enough to play with that to know what features are required in a chat client.

    Somebody reassure me : this is an intern's summer project that finally got the green light, right ? Or did they allocate resources to it last week and two guys looked at the spec sheet, then checked the delivery date, and said "right, we'll just get a connection working then we'll see how it goes" ?

    Because this is obviously not a project that has actually been worked on by a team, with proper milestones and so on and so forth.

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: I don't get it

      "This is friggin' IBM."

      No, this is IBM.

      It's been years since they actually depended on computer services financially.

      These days they're literally a bank hiding behind a technical facade.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't get it

      Because this is obviously not a project that has actually been worked on by a team, with proper milestones and so on and so forth.

      Why would they need all that? The only buyers will be clueless "enterprise" buyers, inflicting this on thousands of hapless, angry (but powerless) users. The PHBs can't even turn on a computer, and rely on PAs to do everything, so they will neither see, know or care.

      In the world of enterprise software, there is no lower bound on quality.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: "In the world of enterprise software, there is no lower bound on quality."

        Well, it does have to actually start . . .

  6. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    It'll go the same way as OS/2...

  7. yoganmahew

    It can't be as bad as Jabber...

    can it?

    Please tell me it isn't worse or the loons at my place that replaced IM with Jabber will opt for it :(

  8. returnstackerror

    it's true!!

    I can confirm as at 3 Nov that there is an IBM sales kit available and the product is mark as "generally available".

    I can also confirm that the product was developed using agile methods and being an old skool developer of 40+ years, my motto is "Agile is Fragile"

  9. GrumpyOldMan

    We've just started using Teams at work - surely it can't be any worse than that! I also use Slack. Clean, simple, easy to use. I know which one I prefer by a mile!

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