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IBM to kill off Watson... Workspace from end of February

Not even using the founder's brand could save Big Blue's Slack for suits

IBM is killing off its collaboration-plus-AI tool Watson Workspace from the close of next month due to crappy customer demand.

The thing, only released in beta in late 2016, provides a platform for users to work on projects, swap ideas and integrate multiple tech utensils. It came with added cognitive capabilities for good measure.

In a memo sent to staffers - seen by The Reg - IBM said it expects to end the Watson Workspace service 28 February, including the Essentials, Plus and the free version.

“While there is no question that Watson Workspace is innovative and agile, it hasn’t resonated with clients or obtained traction in the marketplace necessary for IBM to continue forward with the service.

“Despite our best efforts and enthusiasm for these offerings, our decision to withdraw them aligns to IBM’s investment strategy, focused on delivering solutions that deliver measurable value to our customers and business partners,” the memo added.

IBM said it has already stopped taking “new orders” for the products and “we will not be adding any new features to the offering. It said it has worked with biz partners and punters to create “options for handling subscriptions and contracts once the end of service announcement is published to provide a smooth transition”.

Any businesses that bought into Watson Workspace will, from today, see a banner slotted into the UI of the service that provides a “timeline for moving off the service”. Handy for the amnesiacs in the customer base. There are also release notes in the mobile app.

“We will also provide access to a tool that will allow you to download and save your conversations and content from Watson Workspace. Please plan accordingly to capture any content you’d like to retain as we work to sunset the service. This option will only be available for a limited time,” IBM concluded.

So that’s basically 30 days after the service shuts to get your stuff moved somewhere else. What recommendations does IBM have for an alternative? IBM Sametime?

“Although Sametime is viable alternative, it is not an exact replacement for Watson Workspace,” it added. ®

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