In part 5 we find out why new, expressive and multi-modal ways of communicating will play a central role in the successful workplaces of the future.

First time here? Catch up with our introduction to the series in part 1. Read about the 1st principle and why future communication will be Open by Default in part 2. Head here to see why the workplaces of the future will be mobile first (and full of bots). And take a look why work communications will be more expressive than ever before.

Principle 4: Integrated not isolated

The 4th principle we’ve identified is the expectation that the tools we use for work will be Integrated not isolated.

People are always going to want to use multiple tools to get work done. And it’s really important that we enable this flexibility rather than trying to lock people into a walled garden.

There’s nothing worse than the realization that you can’t access a link or file from somebody in a different team because the software they’re using isn’t compatible with your own. This happens a lot. Particularly with legacy IT systems. That’s why the tools we use in the workplace of the future will have integration built in from the start.

Better together

This is something we’re heavily invested in for Workplace. Earlier this year we announced integrations with some of the world’s leading cloud services – from OneDrive and Office 365 to G-Suite and Okta.

More recently, we announced even deeper integrations. Secure collaboration on documents and shared folders with Box. Linked folders and auto-permission with Quip. Previews of files to that speed up collaboration with Google Drive and Dropbox. These are seamless integrations that help organizations work smarter and solve problems quicker.

An Operating System for your organization

New platforms like Workplace are helping to shape this integrated future. Imagine a world where people need only to log in to 1 piece of software, not 3 or 4 (or 5 or 6). Where that single platform is the central hub and the natural first place to visit when they start work in the morning. The portal through which they access all projects and all the tools and documents they need to get stuff done. That future is nearer than you think.

Here’s how Azuronaut sees integration with Office 365 working in the future.

“Workplace becomes the entry point where employees login each morning and engage directly with colleagues. Microsoft’s tools and applications then operate behind the scenes allowing teams to collaborate on documents, store files and use purpose-built applications and workflows.”

– Azuronaut

We’re already seeing the business impact of seamless integration across different tools and services. Here’s an example.

Oxfam is using Workplace and OKTA to solve problems

Oxfam was looking to create a single active directory to enable all employees, wherever they’re based, to sign in to the same central IT system. Together, Workplace and Okta integration now provides that unified platform. A single sign-on access that’s revolutionized Oxfam’s approach to getting work done.

Using Workplace integrations is helping Oxfam’s employees collaborate more effectively and solve problems. The integration with Box allows a seamless and more structured way of working using the multiple tools that Oxfam staff need every day.

“We use it like a kind of glue. We’re trying to pull all our tools closer together as an ecosystem so they behave as one. It doesn’t matter which one you happen to go in through – it all behaves together as one Oxfam, one IT infrastructure, one IT ecosystem.”

– Diana Langley, Digital Workplace Manager, Oxfam

And the Okta integration simplifies user management by automatically creating users at scale in Workplace based on security groups and other Active Directory attributes. New users are automatically added to pre-existing Groups.

These integrations give people immediate access to all the collaboration that’s taken place since the very creation of the group. It means new members of a project are completely up to speed with very little effort.

So the future of work will be integrated. In the next post in the series, we explore how it will also be Connected. Catch up on Part 4 of the series here.


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