GigJam: Microsoft Attempts to Redo Collaboration
By Jim Lundy
At its Worldwide Partner Conference this week, Microsoft gave new details on it’s Project GigJam collaboration app, which represents a fresh approach by the technology titan.
GigJam will enable users to find or pull information from any or multiple business applications, and share that information or parts of it with team members in a workspace metaphor. Users can keep track of processes and the tasks involved to get work done quicker.
I find GigJam to be one of the more important announcements from Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference. For one, the name is probably the coolest name Microsoft has come up with. Well, being the son of a jazz musician, it just evokes emotions in me. But I digress. More importantly, this represents a new Microsoft. This is Satya Nadella’s Microsoft, which is trying to be more open and platform-agnostic.
GigJam is Nadella’s vision to move Microsoft into an innovative position of openness and breaking down proprietary barriers between the applications and devices people use to get work done. What makes GigJam important is that it could potentially cause a paradigm shift in the way collaboration and productivity applications work. We’ve seen Microsoft release Sway and Delve and is trying to address the “help people get work done” mantra of newer mobile collaboration services such as Slack. The traditional barriers to that have been proprietary islands of collaboration platforms in which Microsoft was a main culprit. Building GigJam with open standards is a huge step for Microsoft and sends an industry alert that they’re about innovating in this space.
I’ve been writing about the emerging mobile collaboration space, which is impacting collaboration and causing traditional vendors to react with new lightweight mobile offerings to support how people work. I believe GigJam is an innovative step and point in this trend that will demand a response from emerging and traditional collaboration providers. GigJam calls tasks, people, content, and context to the forefront in a way that will potentially help people get work done faster and more efficiently.
GigJam is at the project stage, so from now until it is officially released, I’m sure deeper details will be revealed. As an analyst, I’m usually tempered on product announcements claiming to be the next big thing that can cure all ails, but I believe Microsoft has something here.
Time will tell how well they execute, though. Stay tuned!