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Connected Workspaces Getting Smarter and Smarter


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It’s not enough for a workspace platform to foster the ability to work collaboratively; it must also offer its users the ability to manage that work within the platform. Vendors are shaping their product strategies around enabling individuals and teams to work, communicate about their work and manage that work all from within one self-contained workspace.

Metrigy calls this product category “connected workspace,” and we focus on three core use cases:

  • centralized knowledge – providing support for a wiki or knowledge base that serves as an easily searchable single source of truth
  • content collaboration and management – supporting content co-creation and iterative work in collaborative mode
  • project/task management – enabling the ability to plan resources for and manage tasks and projects, end to end, while offering the means of communicating about status, etc.

Connected workspace platforms also may cater to a variety of other use cases, such as goal tracking and reporting; managing time, workloads, and other resources; and note taking.

Artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning, generative AI, and workflow automations are quickly becoming integral to connected workspaces, as we’ve seen in a spate of recent announcements. Examples from May and June alone include the following: 

  • Asana – Asana introduced customizable and adaptive bots for the Asana work management platform. These bots, called Asana AI teammates, will be able to help individuals and teams get work done. They will be capable of spotting goals at risk and suggesting remediation; completing tasks, triaging requests, assigning work, and otherwise keeping work flowing; and finding and helping to fix broken workflows or other issues. AI teammates, which are in beta now, will be added to Asana’s intelligence suite of AI-assistance tools, which already includes tools for building and automating workflows, generating status reports, creating executive summaries, and more.
  • Slack – Slack has been slowly morphing its team collaboration application into a connected workspace platform for collaborative work management; its most recent move is the introduction of Lists, for lightweight project and task management. Lists integrates with Slack channels, allowing users to assign, manage, and collaborate on tasks and projects within this workspace rather than switching out of Slack and into separate project or task management tool. This is a similar strategy Slack took with Canvas, introduce early last year for content creation within Slack. Additionally, Lists allows users to create automations using Slack forms and workflow builder.
  • Smartsheet – Smartsheet continues to expand on its goal of enabling intelligent work management via its connected workspace platform, most recently with a trio of new generative AI capabilities. With the first new capability, users will be able to use conversational prompts to trigger data analysis, initially for delivery of generated metrics or virtual charts based on the customer’s data in Smartsheet. With the second new capability, users will be able to use conversational prompts to generate formulas for driving processes and automation in Smartsheet. Lastly, generative AI will create summaries, translations, and other text copy to simplify user tasks.
  • Wrike – Wrike fleshed out the AI capabilities it offers in its Work Intelligence platform with new generative capabilities supported via the Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service. With the generative AI offerings, users will be able to get AI-generated summaries of long discussions; AI-generated briefs, plans, ideas, and descriptions—plus the ability to match brand and personal voice—and AI content editing. For the latter, users can tap the AI to change the tone or length of text, do a spell check, and translate copy.
  • Zoho – Zoho announced it will be bringing Zia AI engine-powered capabilities to two of its core connected workspace applications for collaborative work management. The first of those applications is Zoho Projects, and the second is Zoho Notebook. Within Projects, Zia is enabling conversational search queries across the Zoho app universe, as well as delivering summaries of charts and analytics dashboards for improved insights. Additionally in Projects, Zoho is supporting an integration with OpenAI’s ChatGPT large language model for generating tasks and recommendations. Zia-powered summarization, task management, chart creation, and more also apply to Zoho Notebook. Zoho also introduced various workflow automation capabilities these and other collaborative work management apps.

Now doubt, we’ll see these and other vendors continue to push more and more AI and automations into their connected workspaces supporting collaborative work management. Gaining traction beyond a team-level deployment to companywide implementation—the ultimate goal for many of these players—may very well depend on it.