Quip, the productivity platform acquired by Salesforce last year, is getting a complete makeover. The platform has a revamped user interface and new project management features. It also now allows users to automatically integrate live Salesforce data into their work.
Quip's "living documents" now come with checklists that allow users to manage projects alongside the work that's getting done. When a user drags his cursor over the checklist, it lights up with added functionality like the ability to archive, add due dates and tag people. The platform will notify a user when a due date is approaching or if someone has commented on an item they're monitoring. Users can add "reminders" anywhere, like spreadsheets, checklists, or draft documents.
Meanwhile, the UI updates include a sidebar and "contextual menus" that reveal available tools. The menus adapt to whatever a user is doing in their documents, spreadsheets, or checklists.
Quip CEO Bret Taylor said the new features and design allow for a more "free form" approach to project management -- almost akin to posting a sticky note on your computer screen. The updates allow for a level of collaboration, he said, that without Quip, "probably would've taken three email threads and a file attachment."
Additionally, Quip now allows users to export customer data from Salesforce right into Quip documents and spreadsheets. There's also a new Quip component in Salesforce that lets teams link, access, and create Quip documents from inside Salesforce.
Previously, if a Salesforce user wanted to game out different sales strategies, they could export their data into a spreadsheet -- but it would be outdated as soon as it was exported.
The integration underscores one of the big reasons Salesforce acquired Quip, Taylor said -- because of how important productivity tools are to certain verticals that use Salesforce's CRM. The latest Quip update, he said, "demonstrates the vision of how Quip can be the glue that holds all of these things together."
While Quip gives Salesforce added capabilities, the productivity platform is obviously also benefiting from the acquisition, thanks to the exposure it gets to a greater pool of potential customers. Still, Taylor said he expects the collaboration and productivity market to stay competitive for at least a few more years.
"I think there's a lot of people who really think there's an opportunity to define a new way of working... It's obvious to a lot of consumers that the Word document isn't the future, but it's not obvious what the future is," he said.
"We're still in a period of exploration and innovation... I've been pleasantly surprised how even old companies are willing to experiment" with platforms like Slack and Trello, Taylor continued. "There's this incredible appetite for new ways to work."