Recent rumors indicated Microsoft was planning to acquire the hot social collaboration platform Slack. However, it ultimately decided against the acquisition; instead choosing to make its existing portfolio of groupware more robust. The latest example is Office 365 Connectors which provides integration with popular services such as Trello, Twitter, Bing, Wunderlist, GitHub, Salesforce, Visual Studio Team Services, and more.
Office 365 Connectors
Whether you are tracking a Twitter feed, managing a project with Trello or watching the latest news headlines with Bing—Office 365 Connectors surfaces all the information you care about in the Office 365 Groups shared inbox, so you can easily collaborate with others and interact with the updates as they happen. Source
A new feature in Outlook 2016 for Office 365 business subscribers Groups. Groups build on the distribution lists method for communication and collaboration with team members. With Outlook 2016 and enterprise mailboxes, you can do the following:
- Create and manage groups from within Outlook
- Stay aware of activity in your groups without leaving your Inbox
- Access the conversation history of a group, even from before you joined
- Gather files and notes related to a group in the group OneDrive, and get there from Outlook
- Schedule meetings on a group calendar that everyone in the group can update
- Or just use them as a distribution list
Office 365 Connectors third-party integration and Outlook Groups are even more powerful. If you prefer spending time in Outlook as your preferred command center; you won’t have to worry about missing out on notifications from other popular services you might be using. You can also add and configure Office Connectors using Outlook on the Web.
These new integrations are meant to entice users to consider Outlook when planning to deploy a quick and easy groupware solution. Being partly free, easy to setup and join is part of what makes services such as Slack attractive; Office 365 remains a paid service. Also, the approach to how collaboration is done these days is less about email and more about instant communication. Outlook Groups is still centered around the good old email standard, which is still the lifeline of many enterprises.
Office Connectors is off to a strong start with over 50 connectors available already. Microsoft says Office Connector will be available to Office 365 First Release customers while a general rollout will be available soon. Office 365 Connectors requires an Office 365 business account. Support for Windows 10 Mobile, Android and iOS is also coming soon.