I’ve been following F8 conference for the last few days. An annual Facebook gathering is usually a good place to catch up on latest FB news and innovative development. Although it might be boring for some people looking after VR / AR gadgets, my favorite thing so far at F8 was an update about Facebook Workplace. I wrote about it last year – check my article Facebook at Work and designer airplanes. Facebook Workplace was announced last year.
Workplace — which is launching as a desktop and mobile app with News Feed, Groups both for your own company and with others, Chat direct messaging, Live video, Reactions, translation features, and video and audio calling — is now opening up to anyone to use, and the operative word here is “anyone”.
As you probably noticed from the picture above, I created my account with Facebook Workplace to check how it works. The Techcrunch story I captured today is specifically focused on Facebook Workplace integrations. Modern enterprise software cannot live without robust integration capabilities. And my favorite for Workplace is File service integration.
Today’s updates are about bringing that same type of integration, including file sharing, bots and compliance and governance tools, into the Workplace by Facebook experience. This kind of blending has been on the drawing board from the beginning, according to Julien Codorniou, vice president of Workplace.
For starters, the company announced integrations with Box, Microsoft, Dropbox and Quip/Salesforce. That means when you share a file in a Facebook group, instead of just a link, you’ll see a thumbnail and when you click it, you go directly to the file for editing or commenting.
One of the issues of modern cloud software is the explosion of services in a company. It is exacerbating [the problem of] where does data live and how do I interact with it. The vision is that [these services] can seamlessly interoperate and you don’t have jump back and forth to get the job done
If you think about bringing Workplace to engineering firm or manufacturing company, the ability to integrate with CAD files will be the first demanded by everyone. This is why I think, it is an interesting opportunity.
What is my conclusion? If Facebook Workplace will be growing into engineering and manufacturing firms, CAD file integrations with Facebook Workplace is inevitable. Who will bring it first? Will cloud CAD companies become first to jump into that. Cloud CAD business is less dealing with files, but might be interested to connect cloud services directly to expose design into Workplace. How existing cloud collaboration products will compete with Facebook Workplace? All these questions will have to be answered. The potential opportunity can be big. Just my thoughts…
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Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of openBoM developing cloud based bill of materials and inventory management tool for manufacturing companies, hardware startups and supply chain. My opinion can be unintentionally biased