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Salesforce.com Acquires Word Processing Quip App, Easing Collaboration In The Cloud?

This week, Salesforce.com announced that they bought the word processing application Quip - the online collaboration tool re-designing the way we work with our files. Declaring themselves “committed to changing the way teams work” – the news brings some exciting and positive changes ahead.

Jump back to Salesforce for just a moment, and think about Chatter. I love Chatter, I collaborate on projects with my team, I post all of my documentation into groups so we can all share them, but what happens when I want someone to review my latest presentation? My colleagues download the presentation, add comments below my file in the Chatter group, mention me, and I make the changes and upload a new version. Couldn't I do this more efficiently?

Well this is where it gets interesting - enter the world of Quip! Firstly, for those of us not in the know, the Quip app allows teams to collaborate on files, with posts and comments in a feed within the document, allowing everyone with access to the folder to collaborate. You can view a full history of file updates, actions taken, and decisions made on each document, as well as the ability to highlight specific sentences with comments or suggestions. And of course you can chat directly with colleagues in the feed or chat rooms!

Stimulus Consulting - Quip App Review For Salesforce

We decided to take a deeper dive into the opportunity presented by this word processing app by the way of reviewing the software whilst writing this blog, and have a play with its current features. Here are our favourites: 

  • We are working with a living document! Whilst actually writing this blog, my colleague was reading and posting comments directly in the feed to the left of the document. I didn't need to upload it to Dropbox, or post it into Chatter to ask for some collaboration. We wrote this blog in double quick time, because it reduced the usual collaborated effort required with old school techniques.
  • I can use the @mention feature that we are all familiar with, to ask my colleagues for their help or ideas with a specific section. They can join in directly inside the text of my blog to add sentences or paragraphs as I work.
  • Even better, we discovered that the @mention feature does so much more in Quip! We can mention another blog, spreadsheet or an image to create new content within our document. It was simple and quick to embed a new spreadsheet or image straight into the text.
  • Quip makes sure you are completely comfortable with their creation as you work. If we couldn't find a feature that we would expect to see, then their representative, Logan, was available through online chatting and providing us with information immediately. OK, so they want to sell it to us, but to be honest, they don't need much of a pitch! I was up and running within minutes, and truly feeling the benefits.

However, we did find a few limitations! As a training consultancy, we have a heavy dependency on our friend PowerPoint, so naturally we wondered whether Quip could support us here too. Unfortunately, not - Quip do not have a PowerPoint equivalent at this time. Although we can reference the PowerPoint file, collaborators would need to click on the file to download it, and review within MS PowerPoint itself. Alternatively, we can import our PowerPoint as a PDF. 

There is also a maximum file size of 25MB, which is still workable for many, but no total limit on storage. Given the stricter storage limitations of Salesforce, I can only assume this unlimited storage will change in the future.

Oh, and not to forget, the lovely people at Quip also send you a free T-shirt for trying it out! 

I am truly excited at what the future will bring, and I predict within a couple of years, we will be seeing the integration of communication with content on the record level. The Quip app enhances what Chatter brings to the table, and raises it one! 

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