Enterprise Chat News Round Up #17
The week started with more news from Microsoft Inspire but ended with major acquisition and partnership announcements from key players.
Let’s dive right in.
On the 26th of July, Slack revealed that they’re joining forces with Atlassian. The two companies have nurtured a friendship for quite a while now, and that camaraderie is finally turning into something greater.
As part of the new partnership, Atlassian will be discontinuing their Hipchat and Stride products, and providing their customers with a simple migration path to Slack. At the same time, both companies will be committing to creating deeper connections between the Atlassian portfolio, and the Slack experience. This means that we can expect to see new functionality in the Slack integrations for Jira server and Cloud, as well as Trello and Bitbucket.
If you’re currently part of the Hipchat or Stride network, then you can visit the Atlassian migration hub here.
Cisco and Google Collaborate to Boost Productivity for 150M+ People
An announcement from Google Cloud Next this week delivered big news for customers who use the Google Cloud with Cisco WebEx tools. As part of a growing alliance between the two, Cisco revealed that they are creating their first wave of collaboration integrations for Google products. According to Cisco, the move is about more than simply making sure that their collaboration and meeting services work together. Together, Google and Cisco want to help the workforce become more empowered and efficient.
Cisco will be adding Google Artificial Intelligence to their Customer Journey Solutions and providing an add-on item for customers who want to schedule WebEx meetings in their Google calendar with a single click. Additionally, thanks to a new WebEx Teams Android SDK, developers will be able to add Cisco collaboration services into their Android apps.
Microsoft Teams Achieves Feature Parity with Skype for Business
Aside from major updates like a free version of Teams for smaller businesses and freelancers, Microsoft gave us an insight into the success of their development roadmap this week. According to Corporate Vice President for Office 365 Marketing, Ron Markezich, Microsoft is ahead of schedule for making Microsoft Teams just as feature-rich as Skype for Business. Markezich has told partners that the company have achieved “feature parity” between Skype for Business Online and Microsoft Teams.
Lori Wright, the General Manager of Microsoft Collaboration apps also took to the stage to discuss the growth of Teams. Only last year, Microsoft suggested that the many advanced calling features available in Skype for Business wouldn’t be in Teams until the end of 2018. Now, plans to replace SfB are moving more rapidly than ever.
Only last year, Microsoft suggested that the many advanced calling features available in Skype for Business wouldn’t be in Teams until the end of 2018. Now, plans to replace Skype for Business are moving more rapidly than ever.
Cisco, Oblong and LG Join Together to Optimize Meeting Experiences
Spatial computing environment experts, Oblong Industries Inc, recently announced their new distribution agreement with ScanSource Inc. to create a bundle to serve customers searching for advanced collaboration tools. The new package offering combines Cisco WebEx Teams for high-quality meetings, LG for visual displays and Oblong’s Mezzanine service for content-rich collaboration.
According to the Director of Product Management for Cisco, Finn Helge Lunde, the introduction of the new product bundle makes it easier for companies to find and install a state-of-the-art system for virtual collaboration. With Cisco’s popular WebEx Meetings and Teams platforms leading the way, alongside WebEx room kits to facilitate higher-quality conferences, the bundle represents a great way to bring people together.
Workplace by Facebook Doubles Users in a Year
Microsoft is the name on everyone’s lips right now, but it’s not the only enterprise chat vendor rolling out new features. Workplace by Facebook also introduced a host of upgrades last week. These included:
- A more sophisticated search function
- Greater system admin controls
- Enhanced personal fields
- One click connections through Workplace chat
- Division and organization fields on profiles
Alongside the application upgrades, Workplace announced they had doubled their users in the last year. Today, the tool has more than 30,000 businesses around the world, across a range of industries and regions. While Workplace have a long way to go before it catches up to Slack (around 8 million daily active users), it’s starting to make waves.
Meetings on Microsoft Teams Get Bigger
Microsoft keep blowing us away with the announcements revealed at Inspire this month. Recently, they have delivered a new update for Teams with various features, including support for code snippets, inline translations, and various other improvements. One of the most compelling upgrades this week is the ability to include up to 250 participants in your meetings.
In Microsoft Teams, you can bring up to 250 users into a video, audio and screen-sharing conference. Microsoft also enhanced their PowerPoint presentation sharing experience to ensure that it uses as little bandwidth as possible – less than a video stream. You can find your contacts in the “Chat” section of your Microsoft Teams application and add them to a meeting with a single click.
Vonage Joins the Enterprise Chat Space with VonageFlow
Enterprise chat continues to thrive. This week, we see another new entrant in the application space. Cloud communications leader Vonage is one of the latest organizations to join the market with their VonageFlow service. An extension of the Vonage Business Cloud, VonageFlow allows users to access team messaging, file sharing, voic, and SMS on any device.
VonageFlow is a fully integrated solution that works with the features of the Vonage Business Inbox. Users can leverage voice, SMS and messaging within a single interface. We even see social messaging included through Facebook. According to the VP of Product at Vonage, the new system will provide customers with stronger omnichannel customer experiences and better opportunities for collaboration.
Microsoft started and will conclude this week’s enterprise chat news. Microsoft have added live broadcasting to their Yammer and Teams applications. This enables users a new way to stream company announcements and training sessions. The Microsoft Teams update includes:
- Revamped UI for Streams
- Intelligent, searchable speech-to-text transcriptions
- Support for Office 365 groups
- Seamless integration with Office 365 apps
The Microsoft Teams upgrade will give users the opportunity to host live events within their collaboration apps. Whether you’re showcasing software to large groups of people, hosting presentations or producing Q&A sessions, Teams have got you covered. Attendees can also comment on the stream in real-time.
Thanks for joining us for this week’s news roundup. We’ll be back next week with more of the latest announcements from your favorite enterprise chat apps. Make sure you follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Medium for the latest updates too!