Workplace by Facebook got a boost this week with the announcement of integration support for CRM, email, calendar and other productivity apps.  

Integration support will allow enterprises to customize the enterprise collaboration solution out of Menlo Park, Calif.-based Facebook. A post on the Facebook developers blog explains:

“Out of the box, Workplace is a powerful tool for people to communicate and collaborate with each other. By building custom integration apps, you can make it into a tool for communication with other tools and systems crucial to your productivity.”

The solution offers enterprises a means to access enterprise documents and content stored in other apps.

According to the developer blog, workplace integration is done though the Graph API for Workplace, a programmatic way to get data in and out of Workplace's platform:

“Workplace is a low-level HTTP-based API that you can use to query data about objects in a Facebook graph. The Graph API is named after the idea of a 'social graph' — a representation of the information on Workplace.” 

Workplace by Facebook: Late to the Collaboration Party

Formerly Facebook at Work, Workplace by Facebook emerged in October following beta testing across thousands of users.

While Facebook is late to the enterprise collaboration game, being late to the party probably poses no problems for Facebook given the familiarity most enterprise users will have with the product through their personal Facebook accounts.

However, it is trying to enter one of the most competitive spaces in enterprise technology. So it does face some hurdles.

One hurdle: corporate culture. Mention Facebook to many CEOs and they think time wasting and productivity drain.

Hurdle number two: trying to convince enterprises with collaboration solutions in place that it offers something that Slack, Atlassian HipChat, IBM Connections, Microsoft Yammer, SAP Jam or Salesforce Chatter don't.

With Workplace now open to third-party apps, Facebook and all the data it contains, could in theory become the single access point to all productivity apps and work.

Workplace's original features included groups, posting updates (photos, videos, live streams) and live discussions.

Ending the Year on a Sour Note at Xerox

The drama at Xerox promises to play out into the new year.

Per an interview published in the Wall Street Journal Dec. 7, the president of the Norwalk, Conn.-based company, Jeff Jacobson, said that the company must make further job cuts once the breakup of the company is completed at the end of this month.

Xerox currently employs about 39,000 people. Jacobson did not say exactly how many jobs would be slashed, but the job losses are part of a three-year plan to bring its productivity gains to $1.5 billion, which has already resulted in the loss of nearly 5000 jobs.

Beyond the job cuts, Xerox also announced intentions to release 29 products next year, including printers and new software for handling documents tied to specific sectors, such as health care.

Synchronoss Technologies Acquires Intralinks

Bridgewater, N.J.-based Synchronoss Technologies announced Dec. 6 it had entered a definitive agreement to purchase New York City-based Intralinks in a deal valued at $821 million. Intralinks CEO Ron Hovespian is expected to be named CEO of Synchronoss as part of the deal.

Intralinks provides a range of secure collaboration solutions for the enterprise, counting customers in some of the most highly regulated fields — finance, health and legal — among its clients. 

Synchronoss offers multi-channel transaction management solutions for the communication and digital content marketplaces. CEO Stephen Waldis cited Intralinks' track record in the financial field as a strong point in a statement: "“Intralinks has established itself as a household name in the financial services world over the past 20 years, with a keen focus on growing its presence into the next generation secure content collaboration market over the coming years."

Learning Opportunities

The two companies noted the complementary nature of the relationship, with Waldis saying that the Intralinks buy will help Synchronoss transformation and expansion. 

Waldiss will stay on as Executive Chairman of the Board when the deal closes, which is expected to happen in the first calendar quarter of 2017.

Nuance Offers Mac Users Help with PDFs

Burlington, Mass.-based Nuance Communications, meanwhile, has announced the release of a new PDF converter for Mac users.

PDF Converter for Mac version 6.0 enables Apple users to convert, edit and securely collaborate on industry-standard PDF files. The tool allows users to assemble PDF documents from a variety of sources and convert them into editable formats.

Nuance has also streamlined the user interface running on OS X Yosemite or El Capitan, which the company claims will simplify using the Converter for Mac functions.

The number of important documents and records stored in PDF form make converter tools like these attractive to businesses.

Nuance PDF Converter for Mac is available now for $99.99.

Canto’s Latest DAM Play

Finally this week, San Francisco-based Canto claims that the latest release of its based media library for marketing teams, Flight PHL, will displace Box and Dropbox as marketing technologies for visualizing and managing brand assets.

As a SaaS digital asset management (DAM) solution, Flight PHL includes a new interface which provides Flight PHL users a better view of their brand assets, including documents.

It has also introduced a new private collaboration Workspace feature that enables secure sharing of images, videos and other visual content.

“Box, Dropbox and other cloud storage platforms are fine for business users in need of a simple file sharing or storage solution, but they lack features for visualizing and organizing brand assets to create better marketing workflows,” said Leslie Weller, director of marketing, Canto in a statement.

Flight PHL gives marketing teams a centralized online location for sharing, storing, searching and collaborating on essential brand assets, including capabilities for cropping images on-the-fly and a way to relate assets.

It also allows content to be shared through multiple platforms, including Slack, to social sites such as Facebook and Twitter and through restricted portals.