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Facebook takes aim at enterprise collaboration with Workplace app platform

Third-party app integration could help the social network make waves in the office

Facebook has taken another step into the business sphere with a newly revealed collaboration app platform to take on the likes of Slack.

The company announced the new service, which is built on top of the Workplace platform it launched in October, at TechCrunch Disrupt, explaining how it will support third party services such as CRM, file sharing, email, calendars and more to help employees communicate with colleagues more effectively and boosting productivity as a result.

The intention is for the app platform, which doesn't have its own name, to be customisable, meaning support for third-party tools will be developed by IT departments. Nevertheless, Facebook says the framework makes it simple to expand the functionality of Workplace, such as adding Box for file sharing, Salesforce for CRM, or Google for email and calendar functionality.

This also means Facebook doesn't need to spend time setting up integrations or managing a marketplace for add-ons to be installed or purchased, which it claims makes it easier for to concentrate on making the experience better for end-users.

The service will go head-to-head with the leading enterprise collaboration platform, Slack, which already has hundreds of third-party integrations set up and ready to use. However, TechCrunch suggested Workplace could still have an advantage over Slack as most users are already familiar with the Facebook UI and most businesses already have a presence on Facebook, so less training for and acclimatisation to the platform would be required.

"By combining the familiarity from Facebook's similar consumer features with enterprise-grade security and platform apps, Workplace becomes a serious threat to the Slack rocketship," TechCrunch said.

Collaboration is at the heart of making your business more efficient. Find out about the great speakers and agenda we have lined up at Collaborate 2017. Register now to secure your place

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