Building Developer Friendly Enterprise Bots

For the fifth session of the day at Botness Enterprise, platform experts got to hang out and talk about best practices in building developer-friendly enterprise bots.

There were some fantastic insights, so definitely watch the video to see the full panel!

One of the main questions: what technologies should bot developers look into early? Bot to bot communication?

Everyone had a different answer. Amir Shevat, Director of Developer Relations at Slack, said although bot to bot isn’t the most urgent problem to be solving right now. First, create good apps, then let people collaborate to create things – give them as much canvas as possible.

Steven Goldsmith, General Manager of HipChat at Atlassian, said deep linking – when they acquired Trello, that was the first feature they offered.

John Wang, Director of Platform Products at RingCentral, mentioned helping users tie things together in a workflow – when you think about workflows where you need to interact with multiple bots, users need to check multiple systems, it makes sense to make these into a workflow.

Another important, broad question: what are the best practices?

Jose de Castro, CTO of APIs and Integrations at Cisco, said there’s a tendency to impart a certain amount of personality to a bot. By and large, the most successful bots aren’t humanlike, but instead, give the user superpowers. They’re extending human capabilities instead of trying to be human.

Tania McCormack, Director of Product for CA Flowdock, agrees – we don’t want bots to be human, but it’s important to remember to not bring habits (being bossy to bots) back to your team.

And Bill Bliss, Program Manager at Microsoft Teams, mentioned that the startup experience is key – don’t try to be cute. People try to be too creative. Setting clear expectations and communicating the value proposition up front is best practice.

We covered the bot ecosystem at SXSW 2017 – catch up on our posts here, or follow us on Twitter for more Botness Enterprise goodness!

 

About Cassie Bannister

Director of Marketing for Message.io. I edit all the things for Message.io (and sometimes write them, too.)