2019 Enterprise Chat Predictions
As 2018 draws to a close, the Mio team got together to discuss their messaging predictions for 2019.
1. More interoperability across Slack, Microsoft Teams and Webex
Director of Product Marketing, Meredith Schulz highlights two key areas of change for 2019.
More interoperability across all types of tools. We recently covered that 2018 was the year interoperability became crucial to collaboration. 2019 needs to be year that the industry recognizes what happened in 2018 must continue, in order to platforms to coexist.
Considerations for external communication will ramp up. As the need to collaborate with vendors, partners, freelancers, agencies and contractors continues to grow, we’ll see platforms increase features for this use case. Ease of access to better manage guest access, automating approvals for guest accounts, time-boxing access, sending one-time use URLs to join a channel via web, and other “guest access on crack” features could become more common.
VP of Engineering, Ian Hannaford, shared the feeling that external communication would be driven by customer desire.
“One use case could even be messaging providing companies a new channel for marketing as they try to reach new potential customers.”
2. App confusion
Overseeing and researching content, trawling forums and reaching out to businesses has me leaning towards continued app confusion next year.
“With more and more messaging apps being launched every day, it’s natural for users to want to use them all. There is no perfect world where every app integrates with each other so there will be even more app confusion in 2019. Users will want to stick to their app of choice, but have to flick to another app, reset their password and message their colleague or client that uses a different app. This is hugely unproductive.”
Ian predicted the continuation of a fragmented workplace as more and more vendors are bringing new platforms to the marketplace that are integrated in their current offering such as Amazon Chime.
For a user this is tricky enough, but IT Managers and administrators have the toughest job here.
3. Feature parity
Feature parity was a major area amongst the Mio team. Meredith, Julio and Dominic all bought this up. It was also a major area in CEO, Tom Hadfield‘s predictions for 2019. Tom said,
“2019 will be the year of convergence for enterprise messaging. All four major platforms – Microsoft Teams, Slack, Cisco Webex Teams and Google Hangouts Chat – will achieve feature parity by converging around a common set of UI elements, including threading, emoji reactions, interactive buttons, etc.”
VP of Product Chris Traganos specifically called out chat feature parity.
“All the major chat platforms will finally have parity for rich formatting, cards/attachments, interactive menus/buttons. Slack were pioneers here but everyone else will catch up next year.”
Ian had a similar view. He suggested:
“Video and speech will start to work their way into chat apps but provide cross vendor support.”
Team chat was crucial in 2018 and will be again in 2019 as teams face the challenge of syncing not sinking.
James Cundle, CTO, pointed out two key areas that we should see in 2019. The first security and privacy concern to be mentioned by the Mio team was raised here.
“I expect to see an increase in compliance and data control from the big players as GDPR and the Californian Privacy Act both from 2018 begins to have a much bigger impact with customers.”
Messaging app security was a key area in 2018 across Slack, Cisco Webex Teams and Microsoft Teams. 2019 will be the turn of compliance and control.
James also highlighted the potential for deeper integration across the board.
“I also expect to see much deeper integrations via the platform APIs as platforms expand more seamless programmatic developer offerings. Potentially we should start to see much tighter and seamless integration with voice and chat in the UI.”
VP of Product, Chris Traganos suggested the need for a video version of Mio.
“Someone is going to figure out how to stitch together video calling across Slack, Zoom, Cisco Webex Teams, Microsoft Teams, Bluejeans etc – it’s 2019 and you can’t easily video chat with business colleagues unless you know what they use for calling. This will get tackled in 2019.”
As teams also move from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams next year, there will also be the major concern of catering for Slack users during migration.
6. Outside the box
QA Coordinator, Julio Lopez, suggested that we might some see email based activity from Slack, following their acquisition of Astro earlier this year. It would be a dramatic turn of events by the email killers. This view was not shared by Ian who cited it could be the beginning of the end for email.
“I think we will see chat apps slowly replace email in its traditional sense. I think we will see the emergence of some form of identity framework akin to cell phone or email addresses.”
Finally, Chris gave some insight into a key technology to keep an eye out for.
“RCS messaging – it’s getting industry-wide support and Google is pushing their partners hard to support the standard as the successor to SMS/MMS.”