Fb this week introduced a handful of updates to its Office enterprise social community, together with new video options and improved integrations with third-party purposes.
Among the many options unveiled Tuesday are updates to a Stay Q&A characteristic rolled out final 12 months. A presenter can now click on on a query and get particulars about the one that requested it, making it simpler to personalize a response. By clicking on the query, the presenter may also place it in the midst of the display screen for hosts and the viewers. (Staff will quickly additionally be capable of embrace their title pronunciation, serving to to keep away from mispronunciations throughout video Q&As.
Fb additionally beefed up an integration with Cisco’s Webex video conferencing platform first introduced in December, providing the flexibility to broadcast instantly into Office’s Stay video characteristic with out switching apps.
Office already has current integrations with Zoom and BlueJeans, and an integration with Microsoft Groups stays beneath dialogue, mentioned Ujjwal Singh, head of product at Fb Office.
With the introduction of Plugins, the corporate took one other step in the direction of connecting Office to exterior instruments, with an eye fixed on making it simpler to share content material by way of exterior instruments equivalent to Microsoft’s SharePoint. “This lets leaders use Office to create content material to attach with staff but additionally enhance the floor space for that content material,” mentioned Singh.
Different updates to the platform embrace the flexibility to sync Office occasions with exterior calendar instruments, together with these inside Microsoft’s Outlook and Google’s Gmail. And there’s an replace to Office’s Data Library content-sharing platform that enables the app to tug sources from different locations equivalent to intranets.
Angela Ashenden, a principal analyst at CCS Perception, mentioned Fb’s rising give attention to integration — each by way of surfacing third-party instruments and content material in Office, in addition to pushing Office content material elsewhere – serves to “spotlight the necessity for these instruments to play properly with a corporation’s current investments with a purpose to enhance the worker expertise.
“Staff face a mess of instruments to get their work finished, and it’s essential that the instruments work nicely collectively in order that the worker doesn’t should be the human integration level becoming a member of the dots,” Ashenden mentioned.
Fb claims 7M paid Office customers
Fb execs additionally gave an replace on the variety of paid Office customers, saying that quantity has grown to 7 million, up 40% from 5 million in Might 2020.
“We constructed Office as an inner model of Fb to run our personal firm, and it was so helpful we began letting different organizations use it, too, together with everybody from Spotify to Starbucks to the World Well being Group,” Fb CEO Mark Zuckerberg mentioned in an announcement on his Fb web page Tuesday.
The paid consumer development is due partially to the pandemic-led rise in distant work, mentioned Julien Codorniou, vp of Office from Fb, although new clients are additionally deploying Office as they eye reopening places of work and search to attach distant and on-site staffers.
“As corporations embrace the hybrid approach of working, they understand that typically simply having a video conferencing answer or a chat messaging answer shouldn’t be sufficient,” Codorniou mentioned. “They need one thing that may assist them join everybody — individuals who do business from home, from the manufacturing unit, or from the workplace — with real-time and asynchronous communication instruments.”
Ashenden mentioned Office’s development within the final 12 months is proof of a “renewed give attention to worker expertise” amongst companies throughout the pandemic, as corporations look to attach workers and nurture firm tradition.
“It’s one thing that may stay essential, at the same time as places of work begin to reopen once more, creating that consistency of connection no matter whether or not you’re within the workplace or at house,” she mentioned.