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This is an email from Work Week, a newsletter by GigaOm.

Work Week | More Ways To Connect

| Slack Connect | Microsoft Teams | Honeycode | Apple and Hey |

Photo by Pavan Trikutam on Unsplash

Work Chat

Introducing Slack Connect: the future of business communication | The folks at Slack have announced Slack Connect, which picks up on the idea of shared channels allowing a company to connect with partners outside the company. With Slack Connect up to 20 organizations can cross communicate in a single slack channel, and the company plans to increase that limit in the months to come.

The goal is secure communication across a supply chain, a group of collaborators, or an ecosystem of businesses:

Keeping a company’s data protected is critical when working with external organizations. Admins and security professionals can rest assured that all of Slack’s enterprise-grade security features and compliance standards extend to Slack Connect: data loss prevention, retention and e-discovery. Slack also provides Enterprise Key Management via Amazon Web Services, giving organizations increased control over their data and who can see it.

source: Slack

“Our largest customers, like TD Ameritrade and Iress, put enormous effort into security and compliance,” Butterfield says, “and external communication often moves out of band. It goes to text messages and WhatsApp — and the organization has no visibility or ability to retain important records.”

With Slack Connect, admins can maintain control over their organization’s data and monitor external access. And unlike email — which leaves users open to the risk of spam and phishing — when they work in channels, teams receive messages and files only from verified members.

Sounds like a great idea. However, it is limited to partners who also are using Slack. What about the growing number of companies that are relying on Microsoft Teams (or Google Chat, formerly Hangouts Chat)? Don’t we really need an approach that supports interoperability? That is one of the basic features of email, after all: I don’t need to know what email system you are using to send you an email.

There is no way to get off email until we have interoperable work chat standards like IMPP offered for interoperable instant messaging (and that’s a long story from long ago).

:::

Microsoft starts rolling out consumer features for its Teams apps on iOS and Android | ZDNet | Mary Jo Foley reports on Microsoft’s plans for consumer Teams use:

The new Teams consumer features available in preview as of today include chat/messaging and video calling; the ability to share lists, documents and calendars within groups; the ability to collaborate on and share documents created using Word, Excel and PowerPoint within the Teams app (which are stored in OneDrive); the ability to share locations; and the ability to store and share information, like passwords, rewards numbers and login information, using the built-in Teams Safe. The Safe is not the same as the OneDrive Personal Vault; it only can be accessed via the Teams mobile app and it does not allow users to store files, photos or videos.

Going for the consumer side, maybe to stop enterprise users from using other videoconferencing and file share options when not at work.

No Code

Amazon launches cloud service to help non-coders build apps | Jordan Novet reports on Amazon’s announcement on the introduction of Honeycode, a no-code tools to compete with Google and Microsoft offerings.

Amazon’s cloud unit on Wednesday announced the introduction of Honeycode, a service that non-coders can use to write applications.

The move could help Amazon Web Services broaden its audience beyond programmers. AWS leads the cloud infrastructure market, topping Google and Microsoft. As more services get introduced, AWS aims for customers to spend more money, which is important because the unit accounts for most of Amazon’s operating income.

[…]

In 2015 Microsoft introduced the PowerApps software for easily building business applications, and in January Google acquired AppSheet, a start-up with no-code application-development tools.

I hear more about no-code development every week, especially in organizations hoping to automate their critical business processes in the drastically uprooted distributed work environment we find ourselves in.

I am putting Honeycode and its competitors on my research agenda.

Apple Ecosystem

A new email startup says Apple’s shaking it down for a cut of its subscriptions | David Pierce reports on the brouhaha around Basecamp’s release of their HEY email client:

Right around the time the team at Basecamp was launching their Hey email service to the public on Monday, Zach Waugh, Basecamp’s lead iOS developer, got a distressing email. The second version of their iOS app, 1.0.1 — with a few bug fixes from the original — had been rejected by the App Store reviewers. It cited rule 3.1.1 of Apple’s guidelines for app developers, which says in essence that if you want people to be able to buy stuff in your app, you need to do it using Apple’s payments system.

Because of the controversy, Apple has announced some changes to the app store rules:

Moving forward, the Cupertino company says it will no longer hold up bug fixes over guideline violations except where legal concerns are at play. Apple also says that it will offer new channels for developers to challenge its judgments.

[…]

The CTO of Basecamp took to Twitter with an impassioned thread accusing Apple of criminal behavior for insisting on a cut of the app’s revenues. The tweet thread sparked a great deal of discussion, not only about Apple’s take of app revenues but also about the company’s failure to be transparent and consistent about App Store guidelines.

Here are Apple’s words on the developer website today:

“Additionally, two changes are coming to the app review process and will be implemented this summer. First, developers will not only be able to appeal decisions about whether an app violates a given guideline of the App Store Review Guidelines, but will also have a mechanism to challenge the guideline itself. Second, for apps that are already on the App Store, bug fixes will no longer be delayed over guideline violations except for those related to legal issues. Developers will instead be able to address the issue in their next submission.”

It sounds good, but Apple’s really just kicking the can down the road.

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Stowe Boyd

Stowe Boyd

Insatiably curious. Economics, sociology, ecology, tools for thought. See also workfutures.io.