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Hyperconnected business and driving the next level of productivity with collaborative apps

This title is not really mine and comes from some of the headline announcements at Microsoft Ignite which took place this week. I have an interest since I work there (disclosure) and write about these things, collaboration especially. In this post I want to unpack one of the themes and product announcements. The theme is captured by the title, the product is Microsoft Loop.

First on the theme. In full, its expressed as “hyperconnected businesses that drive the next level of productivity with collaborative applications which bring business process directly into the flow of work in Teams”. That was clearly too long for a title ;) It came from a session where Jared Spataro (CVP for M365) announced Loop and here is an accompanying blog post.

The emphasis for me is “bring business process directly into the flow of work in Teams”. I have long been an advocate of this. As far back as the time I built a business around it – more here on that: Birth of Enterprise Social.

But back to the point, in one of the products we developed, we expanded on this concept of social objects and extended it to business processes. The video below tries to explain.

We were clearly a little ahead of our time and ultimately, probably because of that, unsuccessful. But its edifying to see it come to life again.

If you are struggling to see the commonality let me try elaborate.

I have always thought that business apps needed a social conversation layer. In the video, I probably would have been better off describing the function as adding social conversations to business objects. We ended up calling them social objects and trying to identify ones for the business that were based on ones that came from the consumer space. That is what the video describes.

No matter, the point is the same, just turned around somewhat. You need to bring collaboration to business processes. That is what Microsoft Teams is doing by “bringing business process directly into the flow of work in Teams”

And Microsoft Loop is taking that further.

Microsoft Loop

First of all check this demo of many Microsoft Loop components in the context of a sales business process – from Jared’s Ignite announcements – its should start at the right time:

Microsoft Loop is based on Fluid Framework, an open source set of technologies built by Microsoft. I’ve been playing around with it already in Microsoft Teams – more on that here.

It’s pretty amazing especially the ease with which you can create and work on components right from within Teams and then collaborate with others on those components. Here is a video showing it in action.

Bringing other business functions in beyond these components, from things like CRM tools as the video above shows, is where the killer application lies though.

And where I think all those years ago, I was envisioning we should be headed.

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