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How to Leverage Collaboration APIs in Slack, Microsoft & Webex Teams

Blog How We Chat Integrations March 18, 2019
Collaboration APIs
Joe Beutler


How to Leverage Collaboration APIs in Slack, Microsoft & Webex Teams

Collaboration APIs

In the age of collaboration APIs, no company should suffer from workplace silos.

We live in a time where APIs should allow us to unlock any functionality, in any environment. Yet gaps between teams plague every industry.

To fully understand the power of the new collaborative environment, we need to know where collaboration came from, and where it can go with the right technology.

The rise of collaboration APIs

Collaborative platforms began with tools like Dropbox and Google Docs. They were a place to centralize knowledge sharing and opened the door for enhanced digital teamwork.

We then experienced a growing demand for instant messaging and real-time communication too. Early-adopters began to experiment with environments that could combine communication and collaboration.

As the collaborative space continues to grow, studies have found that these tools can improve productivity by up to 30%. As with most things in the business world, collaboration tools are rarely one-size-fits-all.

How APIs work
How APIs work (Credit: Upwork)

Collaboration is entering an evolutionary stage, so it’s no longer about applications specifically designed for specific workloads. Instead, it’s about combining the right apps and processes to suit the ever-changing needs of agile businesses.

Developers and company leaders alike are looking for ways to extend their communication strategies with plug-and-play functionality.

Are APIs the answer we’ve been looking for?

Collaboration platform APIs – examples for 2019

Come collaboration app leaders like Slack, Microsoft and Cisco have opened their own APIs for developers to use. Therefore enterprises should be making the most of them.

Mio CEO, Tom Hadfield, recently commented in an interview with Rich Terani:

“The API-ization of the world means these platforms have mature APIs and someone needs to stitch them together. That’s what we’re doing.”

Let’s take a look at some example use cases for each.

1.      The Slack API

Slack is one of the first cloud-based collaboration and real-time messaging services to appear in the digital world. The Slack API is RESTful and gives businesses the opportunity to extend the functionality of their favorite tool with additional features. For instance, you might:

  • Build an intelligent bot that uses Slack features on behalf of your employees – maybe a bot that schedules meetings?
  • Integrate into Slack to track the efficiency and performance of your team
  • Build a bot that sends daily updates to your employees based on the channels and groups they’re subscribed to
Slack API
Slack API

2.      The Cisco Webex API

The Cisco Webex API is another RESTful product backed by the Cisco Webex common identity system. So, if you have a Webex Teams account, then you’ll automatically have access to the API and any additional SDKs.

The Cisco Webex API allows developers to give their existing applications access to the Cisco Webex platform. For instance, you could give your other tools the ability to:

  • Create custom Webex Teams spaces and invite users to them
  • Search for people in your company and post messages into a space
  • Access Webex Team space messaging histories and send notifications in real-time when new messages appear
Cisco API access via DNA Center
Cisco API access via DNA Center

3.      The Microsoft Teams API

The Microsoft Teams API comes in the form of the “Microsoft Graph”. Once again, Microsoft uses the RESTful API standard to ensure that it’s as accessible as possible for developers. The Microsoft Graph gives companies access to a huge selection of resources from Microsoft, including the features of the Office 365 productivity suite.

Using the Microsoft API, it’s possible to build additional functionality into a host of different environments. For instance, you might:

  • Make it so you can load Microsoft Excel sheets in your CRM system
  • Connect your Microsoft Teams environment to your social intranet
  • Connect your Microsoft solutions to analytics and reporting features
Microsoft Teams API
Microsoft Teams API

Brands that use collaboration APIs powerfully

As the API environment continues to evolve, we’ll continue to see new examples of what’s possible with the right integrations.

For instance, there’s an API system available for Google’s communication strategy. The Google Contacts API gives developers the option to build applications that import Google contacts into any environment. The requests to introduce this information are handled by OAuth 2.0 – a system which displays pop-up messages to users.

Here are a few examples of companies that are making the most of the API revolution.

1.      Chute

Chute, the visual marketing platform that helps companies to search for videos and photos to support their promotional needs, released a developer API recently. The API offers access to the functionality of Chute so that organizations can infuse them into other applications.

There are client libraries available on Chute for Android, iOS, AngularJS, and Ruby. Additionally, the interface is RESTful, which makes it easier to implement. Chute helps developers to unlock better insights into the visuals online. You can count the number of likes used for media assets like videos and photos and explore photos to find out what’s trending in your industry.

Get Chute
Get Chute

2.      WebDam

WebDam is a cloud-oriented asset management tool designed to help companies organize their digital assets. The WebDam brand released a RESTful API for developers to access in 2012. This API provides multiple unique ways for companies to improve their asset management.

For instance, you can use the WebDam API to integrate WebDam with crucial business systems like content management tools, CRM software and project management solutions. There’s also the option to create front-end extensions and plugins to harness the power of WebDam for unique projects.


3.      Lusha

In a similar vein to the Google Contacts API we mentioned above, Lusha is a platform that locates individual profile information like phone numbers and emails. It’s ideal for marketing, recruitment, and even sales. With their contacts API, Lusha gives you access to a complete range of contact information through RESTful architecture.

With Lusha, you can get complete access to essential profile information on individuals for recruitment and marketing purposes. Given a full email and name, the Lusha API can deliver an overview of a person with location and phone number details.


What companies can’t do with collaboration APIs

APIs haven’t completely removed the silos from the collaboration environment yet.

There are plenty of APIs that allow you to access everything from CRM data to email solutions, but there aren’t any tools that will enable you to combine your disparate collaboration environments.

When it comes to fully synchronizing team chat apps, there is only solution available to offers total messaging interoperability.

Mio gives organizations the freedom they need to access cross-platform messaging through 3 essential steps:

  • Team authorization: Your IT admin grants Mio access to each team chat account
  • Channel and user mapping: Mio links the public channels in each of your teams, obtaining user tokens and mapping accounts
  • Message routing: As users send messages to their colleagues, Mio receives them as API events and translates them to suit the required platform

With Mio, companies can finally discover the true potential of the age of API, and what it means to live without silos.

Discover what you can accomplish when you bring your collaborative sessions together in the same unified environment.

Request a demo here.

Get started with Mio

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