According to Slack CEO & Co-Founder Stewart Butterfield “the world is in the very early stages of a 100-yr shift in how people communicate.” Next step? How XR will reimagine workforce collaboration.

Salesforce has acquired the collaboration platform Slack in a eye popping $27.7bn deal which is reportedly aimed at competing with Microsoft and its collaboration platform, Teams.

While some analysts are reported as saying Salesforce is overpaying for Slack and that Salesforce is drifting too far from its core business (CRM), the deal does say a lot about how enterprise software ‘tech giants’ are thinking right now and where enterprise software is headed.

It’s all about enchancing (remote) workforce collaboration.

Cloud desktop workforce collaboration

As Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives is reported to have said about the transaction:

“I think the pandemic’s played a massive role” in paving the way for the deal…the Zooms, the Slacks, the Microsoft Teams, that’s going to be a new part of the workforce.”

And as the press release on Salesforce conveys:

The events of this year have greatly accelerated the move by companies and governments to an all-digital world, where work happens wherever people are—whether they’re in the office, at home or somewhere in between. They need to deliver connected experiences for their customers across every touchpoint and enable their employees to work seamlessly wherever they are.

While this focus by enterprise software on enhancing remote collaboration seems to be a bold vision, it’s not an entirely unique one.

Enterprise virtual reality and augmented reality (XR) companies like Snobal are working on this very issue – albeit through the lens of leveraging virtual reality and augmented reality (XR).

Cloud XR workforce collaboration

Cloud XR workforce collaboration is the new kid on the block but like the Salesforce press release conveys the events of this year have also greatly accelerated the move by companies, educational bodies and governments to using XR for design collaboration and testing, customer engagement, education, workforce training and workforce collaboration.

And of course providing and easy to use solution to remotely deploy and manage XR experiences / solutions becomes key here.

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Back in 2015 in an interview on the history of Slack CEO and Co-Founder Stewart Butterfield shared what led to the evolution of Slack and why he felt it had achieved such growth:

“The world is in the very early stages of a 100-year shift in how people communicate, and we’re determined to push the boundaries”

XR in workforce collaboration and communication is increasingly playing a key role in this ‘ 100-year shift’ but whetherXR will push the boundaries or go even further by reimaginging how workforce collaboration and communication is done in the first place, well only time will tell.

In case you missed it

Bankers look to VR for future of banking: 90% of employees at some of the world’s biggest financial firms are working from home leading companies, such as Fidelity International and UBS, to experiment with VR. Currently some of the worlds largest management consultancies including PwC UK are looking to VR to aid the finance sector estimating that “advances in immersive technology could save banks as much as $1.5 trillion by 2030 with nearly $500 billion coming from virtual reality applications alone”. Read more.

2021 elearning trends look to VR: Education experienced major disruption this year due to the pandemic but eLearning is now at the forefront of innovation. Major trends to expect in 2021 include mobile learning, social learning and immersive technology. Read more.

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Crisper’ & ‘cheaper’ XR headset: Finnish virtual reality company Varjo has just released new VR and augmented reality (AR) headsets for enterprise, medical, design, and engineering applications, which promise higher resolution, wider field of view and AR with advanced depth mapping. The “XR/VR” headsets are called the XR-3 and VR-3, combining VR and AR in the same headset. Shipping early 2021 with a cheaper pricetag. Read more.

VR stress test: Scientists have developed a test that measures how vulnerable people are to stress. In the study, behavioral scientists tested 135 participants who were immersed in three different VR scenarios. This is one of the first such tools that doesn’t rely on a subjective evaluation . Apparently this paves the way for “identifying potential workers at risk…from cardiovascular to mental problems in high-stress jobs. Read more.

Snobal is hiring! – We’re at an exciting time of growth and are looking for curious minded and collaborative people (QA Software Engineer & Frontend Software Engineer) with a ‘can do’ attitude to join the journey. Learn more.

Posted: 3 Dec 2020

This post first appeared on Snobal Midweek. Like Snobal Midweek? | Signup to receive your copy delivered direct to your inbox each week.