Laptop user collaborating
PHOTO: Photo by Thomas Lefebvre on Unsplash

Slack continued its efforts this week to gain traction in the enterprise, announcing a new partnership with Redwood City, Calif.-based Oracle.

The partnership links Slack with Oracle’s Intelligent Bot Platform to give both technical and nontechnical users of the Oracle platform access to bots to that can be used in Slack out-of the-box.

For Slack, the partnership helps the cloud-based collaboration platform provider gain deeper traction in the enterprise market. For Oracle users it makes it easier to access Oracle cloud data and applications from within the Slack interface using bots. For example, workers who need data stored in Oracle ERP cloud or HCM Cloud can access it rapidly without the help of IT.

The announcement comes on the heels of recent partnerships between Slack and IBM, Salesforce, SAP, Google and ServiceNow. By their nature collaboration tools work best when connected to different data siloes across the enterprise, which explains Slack’s rush to partner with as many data management vendors as possible and to set itself up as an easy access point to all enterprise data.

The integration of Slack with Oracle comes at a time when enterprises are increasingly under pressure to provide integration among their business apps. This is particularly true of collaboration tools across the digital workplace where competition is fierce and Slack is still trying to build an enterprise reputation in a field dominated by the likes of Microsoft, Workplace by Facebook and Cisco Spark.

For Oracle, its bots platform helps customers engage with customers and employees through common instant messaging and chat clients, like Facebook Messenger and WeChat, or by adding conversational features to their mobile apps. Chatbots are an extension of the Oracle Mobile Cloud Platform.

Integration between Oracle Bots platform and Slack is a logical one, but according to Slack’s blog it is not the last of its collaboration with Oracle.

 “In the coming months, more interactive bots that feature functionality like organization-wide people lookup will be ready for use with Oracle Intelligent Bots. This is just the first step in our partnership with Oracle, and we look forward to much more to come,” the Slack blog reads.

Microsoft Remembers It Owns Yammer

News out of Microsoft’s Ignite conference last week created a stir. One of the most widely reported announcements was that Microsoft Teams would be replacing Skype for Business.

Teams will become the cornerstone of the Redmond, Wash-based company’s communication and collaboration strategy.

And, yes, it is big news, but there were other things industry watchers were looking for from Microsoft. One of those things was news on Yammer and any clues as to what Microsoft intends to do with it.

While there was no clear indication of Yammer's final destination, it will play a significant role in Microsoft’s collaboration strategy.

If Teams enable groups of workers to come together and collaborate on a project, Yammer will focus on communication and collaboration across the enterprise.

Microsoft announced that it is improving the integration between SharePoint and Yammer with a new mobile-ready web-part for integrating Yammer conversations into SharePoint sites. The new features will be available this month.

In addition, Microsoft is enriching the preview and editing experience of SharePoint documents within Yammer as well as building out its default SharePoint file storage and OneNote services for Office 365-connected Yammer groups.

Another addition to Yammer is aimed at users outside the U.S. Currently in preview, the feature, starting with European customers in the first half of 2018, will allow users to store data where it is geographically compliant.

Microsoft also clarified the relationship between Yammer and Teams, and what lies in the future for Yammer.

Office 365 marketing chief, Ron Markezich, offered the following guidelines on what to use and when.

Office 365 Marketing Chief, Ron Markezich’s Yammer slidePHOTO: Microsoft

The "inner loop" is where you collaborate on core projects and the "outer loop" is where you connect across an organization.

A blog post that goes with the slide not only explains Microsoft’s digital workplace tools and when to use them, but also when and what to use in Office 365.

However, while Microsoft talked up SharePoint and OneDrive collaboration features and communication capabilities, it didn't talk up the future of Yammer.

While Markezich’s slide is helpful, it still doesn't offer guidance to help enterprises plan for Yammer as a strategic tool.

Nuxeo Partners With Simflofy

New York City-based Nuxeo has also been busy. It recently announced what it is describing as a strategic partnership with Texas-based Simflofy, which provides content integration services designed to enable users connect their content wherever it is located.

The partnership addresses the fact that no matter how much content management technology you have, you are hindered if that content lives in different repositories.

“With all those existing applications and processes connecting to content, migrating to a new system represents a huge undertaking,” said Eric Barroca, Nuxeo's 
CEO, said in a statement.

 “The partnership between Nuxeo and Simflofy takes a more intelligent approach. Organizations get the benefits of an ECM system without having to move their content. And, when the organization is ready, they can move their content at their own pace, avoiding the pain of a huge migration.”

 Nuxeo provides open source content management and digital asset management. Its cloud-native content services give users access to content they need in context.

Simflofy provides connectivity to a broad range of siloed content repositories, including legacy ECM systems, business and productivity applications, cloud storage and Electronic File Sync and Share (EFSS) solutions.

Coveo Adds Search To Dynamics 365

Finally, this week Quebec City-based Coveo announced the early release of Coveo for Microsoft Dynamics 365 for customer service and sales departments.

Coveo provides intelligent and predictive search technologies, Microsoft 365 combines Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility and Security.

Coveo’s AI-powered search, machine learning and usage analytics brings relevance to every interaction in an organization. It learns from every query and interaction to provide better outcomes, content and services.

With the latest iteration, users can now access and unify content from outside sources from within Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Service and Sales.

This, in turn, enables users to build a unified experience in Dynamics 365 by bringing external, non-Dynamics content from sources like SharePoint, OneDrive, Lithium and more.