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The Future of Collaboration Automation

Automation is one of the hottest topics within the collaboration space, and certainly within the SharePoint world. When we talk about automation, we’re really talking about streamlining our day-to-day activities — those recurring tasks that eat up our time that could be spent on more productive activities. Collaboration automation can take many forms, from new productivity solutions to simply changing our bad work habits to become more effective and efficient in our roles.

Automation is at the core of the “Intelligent Enterprise” that Microsoft regularly talks about, with artificial intelligence (AI) realized through chat bots often the first type of automation mentioned. On that note, I recently wrote about chatbots in the print and digital edition of Redmond Magazine (Modern Collaboration with Chatbots). But automation is not all about AI. There are much more common examples, such as business processes, workflow, and product integrations — all of which can automate our daily tasks.

Automation is also an important topic within the topic of operational change management. When speaking to audiences on the topic, I often talk about AI, chatbots, and connectors along with governance and project management best practices, as they all support the same end goals of operational excellence. The Japanese have a phrase for this: “Kaizen” is the process of continual improvement, and that is what we are trying to do with collaboration automation: continually improve.

In this latest interview video with Michal Sobotkiewicz (@michalsobot), the CEO of KanBo, we discuss some of our ideas around collaboration automation and some of the exciting work KanBo is doing around bots and connectors within SharePoint and Microsoft Teams:

 

Automating Productivity

As I’ve written about in the past, Microsoft is putting a lot of time and resources against this idea of collaboration automation — by expanding the Microsoft Graph, through pure R&D efforts into artificial intelligence, and by opening their successful collaboration platforms to partners and customers to develop commercial and private automation solutions.

Microsoft Teams is a great example, and for many Information Workers, it may be their first foray into this kind of technology. Connectors within Teams is about pushing content from different apps and services to the Teams newsfeed, or conversation stream, while Bots is about creating two-way communication between your Teams and both internal and external applications. Having this tight integration means that end users can make requests to the system and get answers without having to switch context (move between different tools, or even screens), helping users to improve their efficiency — and reduce the loss of time and context due to multi-tasking.

Learn More About Automation and KanBo

It’s an exciting topic, and as always, it was a great discussion with Michal. If you’re interested in learning more about the extensibility of Microsoft Teams and how how KanBo helps power automation, check out the recording of a recent webinar with myself and Michal Sobotkiewicz on the topic — or sign up for a live demo.

If you would like to see how KanBo can quickly add value to your SharePoint on-premises or Office 365 environment, you can try the solution within minutes through the KanBo Sandbox using our infrastructure and test data, or you can sign up for the free trial and deploy the solution on your own infrastructure, or request a personalized demo with the KanBo team so that you can walk through the features and ask questions.