Facebook is updating Workplace to move it beyond collaboration

At F8, Facebook is rolling out a series of integrations to the enterprise version of the Facebook platform, so people can use it to check pay slips, monitor marketing campaigns and more.

Facebook on Tuesday rolled out a series of new integrations for Workplace, the enterprise version of the Facebook platform, that aim to make it more than just a collaboration and communications tool.

Announced at the F8 developer conference in San Jose, California, the new integrations should help enterprise customers discover popular enterprise tools, such as Microsoft Sharepoint and Atlassian's Jira, and use them on top of the Workplace platform.

"We want to be the place where work happens," Julien Cordorniou, VP of Workplace, told ZDNet.

It's already the place where many large organizations get at least some work done: Since Workplace was launched in 2016, more than 30,000 organizations have adopted it, including major enterprises like Walmart, Starbucks and Spotify.

With the new integrations, employees at those companies should be able to use Workplace for tasks like sharing updates on marketing campaigns, checking their payslips and signing documents.

Customers value putting together their own combinations of "best of breed" technology services, Workplace product manager Simon Cross said. "Rather than going to a one-stop shop, many customers are going to the market and picking and choosing the tools that meet their business needs. That's our vision, too -- that's how things work at Facebook internally."

There are more than 50 new integrations, chosen to advance three enterprise customer goals: sharing information, keeping track of information and activity with notifications, and automating common workflows and processes.

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Clare Nordstrom

Most significantly, Workplace is using bots to integrate and automate workflows and processes. For instance, an integration from ADP will let employees use a chatbot to do things like request pay slips or see their PTO balance. Other integrations include AdobeSign, Kronos, Smartsheet and Workday.

Workplace is also bots to help users automatically share third-party notifications in groups or Workplace chat. For instance, a marketing team could set up regular, 24-hour notifications from Marketo about an ongoing campaign. Integrations also exist for SurveyMonkey, Hubspot, Vonage, and Zoom.

To enable sharing information, Facebook is providing rich previews of content, making it easier to work content in a Workplace post via integrations with Jira, Cornerstone OnDemand, Medallia and more. The preview posts are authenticated to ensure only the right people can see them.

For more extensive sharing, Workplace Facebook is enabling Workplace users to link folders to groups. For instance, a user could take a Sharepoint Online folder with employee information and map it to a Workplace group. Facebook says this should effectively let businesses treat Workplace as an intranet replacement.

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Workplace offers a cross-application search function for these integrations.

All of the new integrations will be available to premium Workplace customers and eventually to all standard customers. Premium system administrators will be able to control the integrations enabled in their Workplace communities from the Admin Panel.

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