Salesforce boosts Quip’s team collaboration cred with LiveApps integration

The move enables users to embed third-applications directly into Quip documents and spreadsheets. Analysts say the company sees documents as team workspaces for collaboration.

Credit: Quip

Quip is evolving from a standalone product into a full-fledged team collaboration hub.

Founded in 2012 and bought by Salesforce last year in a deal valued at $750 million, Quip’s software was designed to make team collaboration easier by offering capabilities such as chat-enabled documents and spreadsheets.

At its Dreamforce event today, Salesforce unveiled new integration capabilities for Quip that allow users to embed a range of applications directly into documents. LiveApps, as Salesforce calls them, can be updated in real-time, meaning that Quip users can carry out work on shared documents without switching between various apps related to a specific project. Relevant information can be accessed within the Quip app itself, bolstering collaborate and eliminating the need for long email chains.

A number of custom apps have already been built. They include a calendar tool, Salesforce customer records app and Kanban Boards – essentially a task management app that allows users to check off completed jobs from a list. These can be placed in Quip documents and updated in real time, meaning that changes to customer records in Quip are instantly updated in Salesforce, and vice versa.

Of note to users: third-party developers can create their own custom LiveApps, with Atlassian, JIRA, Docusign, Lucid Chart and New Relic already doing so. The DocuSign app, for instance, allows users to add signature fields and view transaction status in a Quip document, while the New Relic integration presents real-time performance metrics from web and mobile apps. 

Gartner Research Director Larry Cannel said that the LiveApps launch show Quip “is going beyond simply providing a cloud-based document that everyone can co-author. It shows their desire for documents to become team workspaces themselves.

“Players like Slack or Microsoft Teams are betting that teams primarily collaborate around conversations,” he said. “Asana and Atlassian’s Trello are betting that teams primarily collaborate around tasks and projects.

“Quip is betting that documents will still play a big role. This is similar to what Dropbox has been doing with task management within Paper.”

Salesforce has also added pre-built WorkFlow templates aimed at specific industries, projects and team functions. Each template contains the layout and apps best suited to a particular project, such as preparation for a product launch.

There are also tighter integrations between Quip and the rest of Salesforce’s product portfolio. That  includes native integration of Quip documents and spreadsheets into Salesforce’s collaboration platform, Chatter.

Alan Lepofsky, a Constellation Research vice president and principal analyst, sees Quip as the “glue that brings context to all the systems of record across the Salesforce portfolio.

“Imagine being able to easily tie together a customer support ticket with the actual customer record, have a discussion about it, embed content that points to the solution, then include a marketing campaign to help with customer loyalty, all on a single screen,” he said.

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