This Year’s Top Stories About Interoperability (2019 Round-Up)
As team collaboration tools mature, real-time messaging is fast becoming the most popular way to keep your team connected. But when it comes to keeping multiple teams together, interoperability simply must take the front seat.
With 91% of businesses using 2+ messaging apps, 2019 has been the most important year for interoperability yet.
Whether caused by mergers, organic growth or shadow IT, multi-app environments can be challenging to manage for IT teams.
They usually lead to problems like lost information, disconnected teams, and exposed security.
Interoperability is the glue that brings disparate tools into a unified environment for ultimate productivity.
Recognizing 2019 as the biggest year in team collaboration interoperability, we’ve rounded up the biggest stories that hit the news this year.
1 – Slack integrates with Outlook and OneDrive
In April, Slack announced that it was now supporting integrations with Microsoft OneDrive and Microsoft Outlook.
This allowed Slack users to:
- Respond to invites, sync statuses, and join calls within Outlook Calendar
- Join Microsoft Skype for Business Meetings from Slack
- Automatically send emails to Slack from Outlook
- Import and search files from OneDrive
- Preview Microsoft Office files in Slack
Slack noted its decision to integrate with Microsoft was based on a desire to make normal workflows seamless for users.
When teams don’t need to switch between multiple apps to get things done, productivity is much easier to come by.
2 – RingCentral Joins Forces with SD-WAN Vendors
Speaking of using interoperability to make access to communication tools easier, RingCentral recently joined forces with CloudGenix, VMWare, and GTT Communications.
In May, RingCentral announced its new SD-WAN partnership program to ensure interoperability between cloud communication products from RingCentral and the SD-WAN offerings of leading vendors.
These partnerships will make it easier for companies from all backgrounds to take advantage of new RingCentral cloud technologies – including Glip, the messaging app from the Gartner Magic Quadrant leaders for UCaaS.
The collaboration tool from RingCentral also integrates seamlessly with leading tools like Dropbox and G-Suite.
3 – Mio releases interop support for group messaging
In July, we announced some exciting product updates, including the option to sync multi-party instant messages (MPIM) across Slack and Microsoft Teams.
The July release means that users in Slack can invite their colleagues in Microsoft Teams to join anything up to an 8-way direct message, and vice versa.
Note, in the image below, Fernando, Jessica, and Moses are chatting in a 3 person chat across platform.
After all, why shouldn’t you have the same experience with group messages as you do with one-to-one communication?
Just like syncing any conversation with Mio, the members of a group message will get a completely natural and native experience when talking to employees using other apps.
The entire conversation, including files, text, and emojis is replicated completely on both Slack and Microsoft Teams for entire groups of users.
4 – Nextplane add Cisco Webex Teams access
In September, NextPlane updated its ConverseCloud offering to include Cisco Webex Teams access.
NextPlane’s ConverseCloud provides an alternative environment where you can connect your users from multiple collaboration tool landscapes.
Adding Cisco Webex Teams adds one of the most popular workplace messaging apps to Nextplane’s portfolio.
ConverseCloud users can log into their profiles as a Cisco Webex user or a user from a selection of different UC platforms.
While NextPlane doesn’t allow users to communicate natively through the same apps they’re already familiar with, it does offer a workaround for those struggling with interoperability.
5 – Zoom and Samsung Hardware Interoperability
Samsung teamed up with Zoom this year on a new Samsung Zoom Rooms Kit.
This solution leverages hardware products from HARMAN and Samsung to create more immersive meeting rooms for today’s teams.
Samsung also recently announced its decision to work more closely with Verizon and BlueJeans on more collaborative experiences too.
In October, Samsung said that users would be able to use Galaxy S10 and Note10 Plus 5G technology to turn any huddle room into a video conferencing space.
The new development features interoperability with BlueJeans, Verizon 5G, and Zoom collaboration spaces.
Samsung’s latest announcements are an excellent example of how interoperability in the hardware and software space can create more meaningful business moments.
Away from hardware, Zoom also released its own business messaging app this year, adding another big name into the already fragmented team collaboration landscape.
6 – Slack and Salesforce Deepen Relationship
Interoperability doesn’t just refer to two chat tools working well together in team collaboration.
It’s also important for employees to be able to access the solutions that they use outside of the chat world, without having to open endless tabs and new pieces of software.
Salesforce was one of the first companies to work with Slack to help develop the company’s immersive app marketplace.
Since the early days of Slack, businesses have been able to access Salesforce information from within their enterprise chat tools.
In October, Slack announced a new Salesforce for Slack app, enhancing the existing Sales cloud integration.
Now the new app allows teams to access their Salesforce records within Slack so that they can respond more quickly to sales and service opportunities.
7 – Highfive launches Meeting Connector for video interoperability
Highfive, the cloud-based video conferencing and collaboration solution provider, is also getting involved with interoperability.
The latest innovation from Highfive allows users to connect with SIP-enabled third-party meeting platforms like Cisco Webex, BlueJeans, and Zoom.
You can see the Highfive Meeting Connector in action below.
The decision to offer greater interoperability came soon after Highfive also announced unlimited user licenses for its mobile and desktop app users, boosting its strategy for greater accessibility.
Highfive’s latest updates promote a path for the future that’s focused on giving everyone and anyone the video and meeting tools they need to get more work done.
8 – Cisco, Microsoft Teams and Zoom Team Up
In November, Cisco, Microsoft, and Zoom announced that all of their platforms would work together seamlessly.
In other words, you can join a Zoom Meeting using Cisco Webex Devices, and vice versa.
Until now, it hasn’t been possible to start or join sessions from one provider using the platform of another.
This has meant that plugging into meeting experiences from fast-paced huddle environments hasn’t always been simple.
Interoperability between Cisco, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom will remove some of the hassles from the meeting environment going forward.
9 – Cisco and Microsoft come together for meeting interoperability
Cisco and Microsoft have long been single platform leaders across messaging, calling, and video conferencing.
However, in November, they revealed a willingness to work together if it meant delivering better customer experiences.
Cisco announced they are working on a fresh approach to enable direct guest join capability from Microsoft video conferencing devices.
This enables joining from a Microsoft Teams meeting from a Webex Room Device and joining a Webex Meeting from a Microsoft Teams Room.
Senior GM and VP for team collaboration at Cisco, Sri Srinivasan said,
“People often need more than one communication tool to work in tandem to get work done faster.”
These solutions will hit the shelves in 2020. Yet another innovation from Cisco to make meetings more efficient.
Previously, Cisco had already announced a simplified join experience. You can see this in action below.
10 – Mio named Cool Vendor for message interoperability expertise
Showcasing the rising importance of interoperability in the current landscape, Gartner recognized Mio as a Cool Vendor for connecting digital services and applications.
Each year, Gartner releases its Cool Vendor reports for different parts of the tech landscape, highlighting emerging companies in growing marketplaces.
Gartner noted that Mio is a Cool Vendor because our product is innovative, impactful, and intriguing.
According to Gartner, Mio has the potential to unify conversations across teams in disparate collaboration platforms, helping employees to communicate however they choose.
So there we have it!
2019 has been an important year for interoperability in the team collaboration industry. These are just the top 10 that we could fit into a single article!
To learn more about interoperability between apps like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Cisco Webex Teams, request a demo.