Enterprise Chat News Round Up #26
Microsoft Ignite, new Cisco features and a Slack acquisition. It’s been a thrilling week in enterprise chat!
As we approach October, the big players in the enterprise chat have made significant announcements. Here are some of the most significant stories we’ve seen this week
Microsoft had plenty of exciting updates to share about Office 365 and Microsoft Teams at Ignite this week. Two major announcements included the inclusion of new Meeting Recording services with transcripts and Background Blur services to eliminate distractions from the backdrop of your videos.
The new features on Microsoft Teams will make business meetings more productive by transforming verbal and video conferences into distraction-free, searchable experiences. Microsoft also announced deeper integrations with other programs in their Office 365 portfolio this week, including Yammer and SharePoint.
On the 25th of September, the Cisco Webex platform went down for more than a day, putting meetings and conversations at a standstill. The company was quick to apologize for the inconvenience, stating that the issue was unacceptable.
Cisco also had some positive news to share this week. The Webex Meetings desktop app is now generally available. It comes equipped with features to help employees access conferences faster and more efficiently. Cisco announced that it is delivering the “fastest” join experience in a press release. There has also been a host of updates to the Cisco Webex app. These include enhanced contact cards on the web tool, and an audio only feature for iPhone, iPad and Android devices. There’s even a new meeting list for users who need to keep track of their WebEx meetings throughout the day.
Microsoft Teams discussed an upcoming update with new features tailored for Firstline Workers and specific industries. Included within the new feature roll out are schedule management tools which help employees to swap shifts, request time off and see who else they’re working with in their Teams ap.
For specific verticals, like healthcare, Microsoft Teams has some additional treats to offer. There’s a new patient care coordination solution ready for October. The service will integrate with existing electronic health record systems, while leveraging new messaging features. Microsoft reassured healthcare companies at Ignite that their upgraded Teams service will be completely HIPAA compliant.
Microsoft grabbed the opportunity to share positive news about industry adoption at Ignite this week. Microsoft Teams is now used by 329,000 organizations, an increase from 200,000 in March of this year. The enterprise chat app has more than doubled its user base since September of 2017, which just goes to show how popular the Slack and Cisco WebEx Teams competitor has become.
Unfortunately, Microsoft has always been reluctant to share how many individuals use Teams, which makes it difficult to determine how their user base competes with other enterprise chat apps. However, we do know that 54 of Microsoft’s customers have more than 10,000 users in Teams. Additionally, Microsoft also revealed that 87 of the Fortune 100 are using Teams in some way.
Slack is celebrating another big purchase, a few months after their recent Atlassian acquisition. This week, Slack bought the AI-powered email client Astro, with the plan to integrate new, smart features into their enterprise chat platform.
Astro uses artificial intelligence to automatically move the most important emails in a user’s inbox to the top of their feed. Astro also supports calendar integrations, to make sure that you’re always on track with your latest appointments. Following the purchase, Slack will be eliminating the email app entirely on the 10th of October. However, there are already some rumors that Slack will be looking to create its own, similar email app in the future, which would make the Astro tool unnecessary.
Thanks for joining us in our latest weekly news roundup. We’ll be back with more updates next week! Remember to catch up with us on Twitter and LinkedIn for more of the latest news about Enterprise Chat!