Facebook Upgrades Workplace With Salesforce, Microsoft And Box Integrations

Facebook Tuesday revealed upgrades to its young enterprise collaboration platform, Workplace, including integrations with Salesforce, Microsoft, Dropbox and Box.

The integrations with Microsoft, Dropbox, Box and Salesforce (including the Quip productivity suite Salesforce recently acquired) will enable Workplace users to access Office 365 documents, CRM data and files stored in the cloud directly within the Facebook service.

Workplace is notable because it is the first product that the $18 billion consumer behemoth has offered to a dozen partners as part of its inaugural channel program.

Developers attending the social media giant's F8 conference in San Jose , Calif., were first to see a demonstration of the new features for Facebook's first enterprise product. Among them the ability to develop bots that automate workflows within the service, partnerships with security and compliance vendors, and an API that enables high-quality live video streams directly into Workplace.

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The collaboration, messaging and social networking solution, while Facebook's first foray into the business market, is already seeing wide adoption among large enterprises. Facebook officially lists Starbucks, Viacom and the government of Singapore among more than 14,000 organizations using the product.

[Related: Facebook Makes Its First Channel Play, Cloud Superstar SADA Among New Workplace Partners]

The service went into general availability in October. Two weeks ago, Facebook introduced a free tier called Workplace Standard.

Moving into the enterprise space required ramping security features to handle confidential business information. To that end, Facebook partnered with identity management providers and added support for two-factor authentication when launching Workplace.

To make exporting and backing up Workplace conversations easier, Facebook announced on Tuesday new partnerships with CS Disco, a legal e-discovery service; Smarsh, an archiving and encryption platform; and cloud security vendors Netskope and Skyhigh Networks.

"We're working with a number of companies that are hungry to integrate more processes into the easy-to-use Workplace platform," said Nicky Parseghian, practice director for Workplace at SADA Systems, a cloud channel partner of Facebook based in North Hollywood, Calif. "Integrations with critical enterprise platforms from Google and Microsoft, as well as other line-of-business applications, demonstrate that Workplace is far more than just a social platform. This is a major step forward, as Workplace looks to help organizations streamline workflows and increase employee engagement."

Facebook also upgraded the Workplace platform to support development of custom bots that can automate business tasks. Users can interact with those bots through group and chat modes.

Finally, Facebook added a Workplace Live API that can be used to stream video directly into user feeds using the RTMP protocol, delivering higher quality than its cousin, the Facebook Live API.