In the first part of this post, we took a spin through the history of enterprise software.
We saw how three big trends – the fragmentation of Saas apps, the shifting consumer expectations being driven by mobile, and the rise of messaging – have created new challenges and opportunities for software providers.
At Workplace, we believe the answer is to make tools that are seamlessly interoperable – no matter the platform. We call this strategy ‘Better Together’.
Defining the principles of Better Together
What constitutes a Better Together experience?
Better Together means that Content, Context, and Identity are seamless (almost invisible) between the best of breed applications they use.
‘Content’ is the atomic unit of information necessary to generate insights or make decisions. This could be a campaign results report from your marketing automation tool, a ‘sprint’ board from your project management tool or a Quip file with a draft plan.
“Content is available where conversations and decisions actually happen. It should just appear where we need it”
In a Better Together world, this content doesn’t stay locked away wherever it’s created but is available where conversations and decisions actually happen. People shouldn’t have to download reports or click ‘share’ UIs to manually move information from one place to another. It should just appear where we need it.
‘Context’ represents the ambient information necessary to make a decision. It places the content in perspective.
This could be a notification that your PM updated the project plan, a conversation around why a task was created or an alert about a spike in customer activity.
People shouldn’t have to wait for that information or have to remind themselves to go somewhere to get it.
While Content and Context represent data portability, ‘Identity’ is how we guarantee security.
Visibility to information should be governed by permissions. If people don’t have the permissions to view either the content or context, then they shouldn’t be able to. On the other hand, they should be able to request access. And if they do have the permissions, they should be inherited from one underlying source of truth.
There should be no information breach on account of unintended escalation of privileges because two applications couldn’t agree on whose permission model is the primary.
An integrated experience is one in which IT leaders get more out of their current investments in best of breed software while helping senior executives deliver Digital Transformation.
When it comes to digital transformation, the pain of change can often feel like it outweighs the pain of staying the same, as overwhelmed traditionalists struggle to assimilate all the new apps that are supposed to make their work (and lives) easier.
An ecosystem in which these apps work Better Together brings everything into one place and removes the burden of learning different systems and interfaces. It forces the platform – rather than people – to do the heavy lifting.
Better Together is an opportunity for better discovery, distribution, and engagement of partner apps.
“We have the opportunity to reshape the way people work. Smarter. Faster. Better. Together.”
A high tide raises all boats. Done right, an integrated platform creates higher engagement, which in turn leads to greater adoption, retention and satisfaction with each individual app than if they went it alone. As a result, customers get a better ROI on their IT investments, which increases the perceived value of the product and fuels renewals, upsells or cross-sells.
At its best, Better Together is a virtuous circle.
The road to success
The Integration Directory we announced at F8 is just the beginning.
Workplace’s vision is to unlock human potential by giving the world a place to work together. We’ll do this by connecting Workplace with the tools and services people value, taking common workflows and making them dramatically easier and simpler, mobile-focused and secure.
This is new territory. We’ll likely get some details wrong. But as we get it right over time, we’ll have the opportunity to reshape the way people work. Smarter. Faster. Better. Together.