Enterprise Chat News Round Up #19
The enterprise chat industry has started August with a bang. 💥👊
From exciting announcements about Cisco acquisitions to Microsoft placing Slack on its official competitor watch list, action is already brewing for this new month.
Here are some of the best stories from enterprise messaging in the last week (2nd of August to the 9th).
Slack has been in a growth spurt for the last few months. Slack has explored new acquisitions and added new features to its enterprise chat app. Slack is now on track to increase that growth with a new round of investment. Reports suggest that Slack is aiming for around $400 million in extra investment.
TechCrunch believes that General Atlantic may be leading the new investment round. Rumours are mounting with a new backer called Dragoneer too. According to Pitchbook, there are already 41 backers involved with the new Slack investment round. At a valuation of $400 million, this is Slack’s biggest round yet. It leaves us wondering – what are they planning next?
Cisco announced its intention to purchase “Duo Security,” a multi-factor authentication and unified access security business. The purchase will help with Cisco’s strategy to build stronger communication experiences for their customers. With Duo Security, Cisco can identify the health of user devices before granting them access to applications and products. The service could even secure access to chat applications like Cisco WebEx Teams.
The new integration will help to prevent cybersecurity breaches in multi-cloud and BYOD business environments. If the purchase goes through, Cisco’s devices, cloud platforms and WebEx portfolio will all adopt Duo Security’s zero-trust authentication process. This means Cisco customers will be able to connect securely to various applications on a range of network devices.
After years of battle between Microsoft and Slack, Microsoft has finally announced that the competing collaboration tool is on their list of rivals. The 10k report to the Securities and Exchange Commission from Microsoft highlights Slack as an official competitor and shows how serious the enterprise messaging wars are getting.
Slack joins Cisco WebEx Teams, Google, Facebook, Apple and IBM on Microsoft’s list of top competition. They replace Oracle, SAP and Adobe Systems. The recognition of Slack as a serious Office 365 competitor is one of the most notable announcements on the 10K report. The report aims to provide investors with comprehensive updates into Microsoft’s growth. Todd Bishop drew attention to the change in the rival list on Twitter, on the 5th of August.
Microsoft’s Keara James announced a series of admin feature updates for Microsoft Teams this week. The latest updates include:
- Access to important notifications in “Do Not Disturb” mode. Admins can adjust settings to receive alerts from certain people in their team.
- Auto attendants and call queues. Teams users can access Auto attendant and call queues directly from Microsoft Teams.
- New customization options with Jira, MailClark, and BitBucket.
As the “back to school” season draws closer, Microsoft is gearing up with a new selection of updates to its education tools. Microsoft recently announced improvements to Microsoft Teams for Education, including the addition of “rubric grading” to Teams. Rubric grading will make assignments more accessible to students while giving educators a better way to provide feedback on work.
Microsoft is also making it easier for students to work on assignments from mobile devices. Updates to the Teams infrastructure allow students to check upcoming assignments when they launch the app and start working on them with their smartphones.
Security isn’t the only thing on Cisco’s mind for the start of August. A recent overhaul to the back-end infrastructure of the Cisco WebEx portfolio will also pave the way for augmented and virtual reality support, according to Jonathan Dame of Search Unified Communications.
The redesign released this month features simplified scheduling, calendar management and in-meeting controls for WebEx apps – including Cisco WebEx Teams. The integration of AR and VR technology could offer a similar experience to the Microsoft Teams AR experience that Microsoft previewed this Spring. Cisco has already begun partnering with AR startup Atheer Inc. to let WebEx users access augmented reality through AR smart glasses on the platform.
Following the recent announcement that Slack will be partnering with Atlassian, some messaging organizations are rushing into action, with an aim to steal previous Atlassian customers. Flock is just one of the companies currently offering a migration deal to potential HipChat and Stride customers who don’t want to move to Slack.
The migration opportunity comes with a free year of Flock Pro for Atlassian customers. The service also provides users with a way to transfer all of their messages and chat histories over to Flock with a single click. According to Flock’s Twitter updates, the offer will help give Atlassian customers closure.
Perforce Software recently announced the release of it’s Helix ALM system. The New Helix ALM tool is an end-to-end developer tool designed to support agile product life cycles. The latest release features various updates, including Slack integration.
General Manager for Helix ALM, Nico Kruger, noted that Perforce customers want to do “as much in Slack as possible.” The new software update will let teams share, comment and collaborate on development items within Slack.
Thanks for joining us in our latest weekly news roundup. We’ll be back with more updates next week! Remember to catch up with us on Twitter and LinkedIn for more of the latest news about Enterprise Chat!